Despite being released over 47 years ago, “Rumors” is one of the most iconic and biggest selling albums of all time. The record’s cover is recognisable to almost everyone, a Fleetwood Mac fan or not, and “Go Your Own Way” is one of the most recognisable tracks ever released too. Numerous huge stars of the 21st century have cited Stevie Nicks, the band’s leading lady responsible for the majority of the record, as their biggest influence. Courtney Love, Florence Welsh and the Dixie Chicks can’t really all be wrong, can they? Being the band’s eleventh studio album, it would have been remarkably easy for this record to slip into the background, blinded by the band’s success with other huge albums such as “Tango in the Night” and the self-titled “Fleetwood Mac”, but this record speaks for itself. Its success was truly deserved and we can only hope that the record will remain iconic in the years to come. Fleetwood Mac deserve to go down in music history.
“Rumours” begins with the modest “Second Hand News” which slowly builds as layers of vocals, drums and bass guitar blend together and create the sound of pure happiness. Lindsey Buckingham’s voice bounces off John McVie’s bass throughout the track and sets the tone of the record being energetic and upbeat. Despite the song being less than three minutes long, Fleetwood Mac showcase their best attributes in this short time and convince us that the rest of the record is going to be worth every second of listening time. Of course, this proves to be true. Stevie Nick’s vocals take over with the second track “Dreams”, which slows the tone slightly but only to highlight the beauty of the track. Memorable lyrics such as “players only love you when they’re playing” fill the track as Nicks displays her beautiful song writing talent. The band’s three female leads create gorgeous harmonies as their voices naturally weave together and highlight why this line up of the band is all it should have ever been. “Never Going Back Again” places itself as the third track on the legendary record. The instrumental beginning of the track sounds as if it was sampled straight from a western album but later comes to compliment Buckingham’s voice on the tiny track. The guitar riffs build until they are perfectly aligned with the singer’s vocals but unfortunately, not much happens after that. It does its job though, relaxing you and divulging you further into the world of Fleetwood Mac. As we reach track four, we meet the more energetic “Don’t Stop” with it’s recognisable melody and enlightening tones. Numerous, anonymous voices litter the chorus, leaving us feeling almost as excitable as the track itself is; the perfect song to put on if you’re in a foul mood.
One of Fleetwood Mac’s most popular tracks follows from this. We all sing along to the chorus blares “you can go your own way”. This is one of those songs where you know you’ve heard it before even if you don’t realise. McVie’s vocals on the track are powerful and emotive and as they blend with John McVie’s bass, the song automatically becomes imprinted in your brain. You have no chance of getting this out of your head anytime soon. The incredibly powerful bass solo during the bridge only adds to this. Truly some of the band’s best work. We hear the delightful voice of McVie again during “Songbird”, another iconic Fleetwood Mac track. “Rumours” is slowed down here as the combination of the lyricist’s emotional words and the slow keys bring a tear to your eyes. It’s impossible not to bubble up as McVie repeatedly belts “And I love you, I love you, I love you like never before”. An impossibly beautiful musical creation. Western themes are repeated again with the introduction to “The Chain”, the harmonies later kick in and seem to invade the track. As the track plays out, we hear the two seemingly separate sounds entwine to make yet another knockout piece from the band.By now, it’s impossible not to be utterly in love with the band. More recognisable riffs slip into the song and create another strong musical fusion until the track’s fadeout.
“Rumours” is now an unmissable album. “You Make Loving Fun” follows as we hit track nine and we become more deeply in love with each of the singer’s unbelievable voices. The rock tones become more prominent here with the screaming of the bass guitar tainting another track and it feels like every genre has been on this album so far. Fleetwood Mac’s sound is so distinctive, it’s no wonder they have a place in history. As we head towards the back end of the record, “I Don’t Want to Know” narrates another heartfelt tale of love with symphonies from Nicks, McVie and Buckingham. The simplistic keys mix with the memorable drum beats here and show us again why this line up of the band works so well. The repetition of the lyrics is simple and effective and gets the point across, this track is brilliant. “Oh Daddy” brings us to a seemingly slow ending as we hear McVie woefully sing lyrics of hurt. Embellished harmonies complete this track as the guitar guides us through, returning us to the slower tone addressed earlier in the record. Echoing “Songbird” slightly, this track dulls the mood and leaves a lasting atmosphere in true Fleetwood Mac style. This excellent record unfortunately comes to an end with “Gold Dust Woman”. Stevie Nicks’ voice rings against our ears and reminds us why we need this record in our lives; the genius of this track represents the entire record. More upbeat choruses mix with lower tones in the verses and help the band prove themselves as one of the best things to happen to music in a long time. One listen to “Rumours” will seal your place as a massive Fleetwood Mac fan in less than forty minutes. This record will never not be iconic.