Here goes with day 64 of my countdown of 75 Albums that in my opinion should have a place in everyones music collection. They are not in any particular order though the top 10 will be my personal take on the top 10 albums ever released. You might be surprised at some of my picks and some of my omissions. Feel free to chime in with your comments and let me know if you love (or hate my choices).
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
It has been a busy week and as a result I missed a couple of entries so today is another double helping. Today’s second offering is Fleetwood Macs best album in the post Peter Green era. Rumours was recorded mostly in California and was the 11th studio album to be released by the Anglo-American band. It was released to widespread acclaim in 1977 and was the bands most successful release. It has sold over 45 million copies worldwide and has won multiple awards.
The album took a year to make delayed no doubt by unfettered hedonism and copious amounts of cocaine. The album may have been the complete opposite of the punk rock that was taking hold on both sides of the atlantic but by god Fleetwood Mac set the standards when it came to excess. Those boys and girls were solid rock and roll. Against this backdropRumours laid down a template for sparkling pop rock with a dark, hidden undercurrent. In an era when singles mattered the album spawned a succession of hits. The songs “Go Your Own Way”, “Dreams”, “Don’t Stop”, and “You Make Loving Fun” were all successful singles.
After a succession of flare ups, divorces and band members leaving the band recruited Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks who had been working together as a duo. Buckingham and Nicks hijacked the lions share of the songwriting duties for rumours, a move which was to prove inspired as they developed a much more fresh and radio friendly sound. The bitterness of broken relationships comes over loud and clear in the album, in opener ‘Second Hand News’ Buckingham all but labels Nicks a wanton slut. Nicks thrusts back in knife twisting style with ‘Dreams’, a ballad about what she had and had lost with Buckingham. The track was to be the bands only No1 single hit.
With all the action going on it was perhaps easy to overlook the role Chrissie McVie played in Rumours. Her songs ‘Don’t stop’, ‘You Make Loving fun’ and ‘Songbird’ are in this listeners view three of the best tracks on the album. Chrissie adored her soon to be divorced husband but both of them were sleeping around. Bass player john with a model he dragged along to the recording sessions, Chrissie with a member of the crew. It is doubtful that the album would have been the record it is without the almost unbelievable personal backstory.
All that said the real strength of Rumours lies in its balance, the balance between male and female, the balance in songwriting, the balance between love and hate, between light and dark, between sorrow and elation and between McVie’s sweetness and Nicks grit. It all combines to make a fantastic piece of work, one that is a masterpiece of glitzy pop-rock as close to perfection as anything in the genre.
- 75 Essential Albums – #1 – Van Morrison – Astral Weeks
- 75 Essential Albums – #2 Van Morrison – No Guru, No Method, No Teacher
- 75 Essential Albums – #3 Stiff Little Fingers
- 75 Essential Albums – #4 The Levellers
- 75 Essential Albums – #5 Van Morrison – Into The Music
- 75 Essential Albums – #6 – The Clash – London Calling
- 75 Essential Albums – #7 Ramones
- 75 Essential Albums – #8 Nirvana – Nevermind
- 75 Essential Albums – #9 Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
- 75 Essential Albums – #10 RedHot Chili Peppers – Californication
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