Album review: Fleetwood Mac, Rumours: Super Deluxe Remastered Version (Rhino)
Pitch-perfect pop before they went their own way
It speaks volumes about the enduring quality of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours – here repackaged in an expanded heritage edition comprising, in its most lavish format, four CDs, one DVD and audiophile vinyl album – that not even the twin taints of appropriation as Top Gear theme and political anthem have managed to diminish its appeal. It remains one of pop's most impervious generational touchstones.
Rumours represents, along with The Eagles Greatest Hits, the high-water mark of America's Seventies rock-culture expansion, the quintessence of a counter-cultural mindset lured into coke-fuelled hedonism. Its very sound, with those winsome melodies, those West Coast harmonies, and that rhythm section lagging fractionally, imperceptibly behind the beat conjures a fantasy world of luxurious, liberal excess and Californication, captured with sleek perfection.
The album's story is well-known now, rock's premier case of strife bringing forth sweetness, as Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham batted the tattered remnants of their relationship back and forth in song. She had only to refer to “thunder” in “Dreams”, for him to snipe back “You can roll like thunder” in “Go Your Own Way” – but both songs are equally sublime, as too are Christine McVie's attempts to cheer the troops up in songs like “Don't Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun”.
Heaven only knows how they managed to remain focused (and civil) enough to bring the project to such glorious fruition, a process here sketched out across two CDs of revealing demos and outtakes, the best of which may be Buckingham's exquisite “Brushes” – the original demo for “Never Going Back Again” – on which his delicate, lace-like threads of multi-tracked guitar intertwine with the crystalline sparkle of dulcimer or harp.
Hearing the band develop its definitive voice in these performances, one's interest is sharply piqued for the imminent reformation tour: it may not be as intriguing as Bowie's comeback, but there's a peculiar magic in operation here that deserves treasuring.
Download: Don't Stop; Go Your Own Way; Dreams; The Chain; You Make Loving Fun
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
- 3 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 4 Black teen in critical condition after store employee 'shoots him for stealing 79-cent pack of cookies'
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
Amy Winehouse film director: 'I wanted to show the fun, bright-eyed girl we didn't know'
James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Contemporary art is a fraud, says top dealer
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget