• Old 'Stache

The Breakup Album that Has Stuck Around

written by: on September 21, 2011

Imagine the rigorous the process of making a record—with your ex-lover. Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham had the guts to write songs about their relationship together, and from there went on to record this monumental record, later to promote and perform together.

With their most iconic piece, Rumours, the group tells dozens of stories and shed light on a bounty of subjects while capturing the most genuine emotion to come from each of the scenarios.

What’s golden about Rumours is that if Fleetwood had held back any bit of energy or had they listened to their inhibitions, the record would’ve fallen to pieces. The band put together a full set of tunes as they let go of everything they may have been afraid of when publishing these stories for the public.

Both main vocalists, the him and her, Buckingham and Nicks, have balanced tones in their voice. You can pick them out. They work together so brilliantly because their artistry and vocal strength are matched. The best part is that each of them can tear apart a track with so much passion in their voices, to the point where they are nearly straining their voice but giving it their all. It radiates onto the tracks of the CD.

The best example for this kind of story is the low metaphor for “The Chain.” Here, Buckingham uses a chain to iterate some sort of broken promise as he’s faced with betrayal. He says “And if you don’t love me now/You will never love me again/I can still hear you saying/You will never break the chain.”

Where when the verses gain momentum he sings in tandem with Nicks, here in the chorus, the vocals echo each other in a bantering sort of way. It’s haunting and relieving; controlled but also out of control.

This is presumably the relationship between the two band members which was illustrated so graphically and honestly from start to finish. It’s almost like a call and response between songs. Take Buckingham’s humble letter to himself regarding something that had happened in relationships past in “Never Going Back Again,” accepted and replied to with Nicks’ “Silver Springs,” speaking of a former lover and the joys of young love.

Even between the lines, Rumours has songs in many other categories of storytelling. The most essential love song in the world, titled “Songbird” is a simple piano/guitar track guided mostly by the incredible words of Christine McVie as she proclaims “And the songbirds keep singing like they know the score/And I’ll love you … like never before.”

Somehow the band managed to make the first (and possibly the only) song in history that deals with a breakup meanwhile forgetting any bitterness and focusing on the positive. “Go Your Own Way” is the most positive breakup song of all time.

Along with that, we have the uplifting and cruising “Don’t Stop” to bring the listener up in a moment of weakness and “You Make Loving Fun” to remind everyone about the sweetness in love that’s often forgotten. If that weren’t enough, there’s “I Don’t Want To Know” near the end of the album to serve as the admirable appreciation of togetherness, whether lover or foe, disregarding any feuding that may have happened between them. There isn’t anything more adorable.

As exes, there’s no doubt Buckingham and Nicks knew they were taking a risk when displaying their emotions for the greater public, but there’s also no doubt that any regret came from the critical success of the album as a whole.

Maybe the producers weren’t quite sure what to do with so much raw material. Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours [Expanded & Remastered] was released in 2004 with a multitude of bonus tracks, demos and mixes of the same songs and also new songs. Not only did this show what kind of work went into the making of the record, it showed a different side of every song. Even just the instrumentals without vocals show the effort to create the most perfect tracks possible. Whatever went into the final version of Rumours was certainly the best one to make the final cut. Fleetwood’s best work was given its brightest light to be showcased in.

The album is a triple threat when it comes to considering all things music. Rumours is gifted with flawless musicianship and one-of-a-kind melodies only seen once in a generation. Combined with a pair of voices that were made to accent each other and a talent for every instrument placed with care in every measure, we can gather that this record was made to be, and made to be great.

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours Tracklist:

  1. “Second Hand News”
  2. “Dreams”
  3. “Never Go Back Again”
  4. “Don’t Stop”
  5. “Go Your Own Way”
  6. “Songbird”
  7. “The Chain”
  8. “You Make Loving Fun”
  9. “I Don’t Want to Know”
  10. “Oh Daddy”
  11. “Gold Dust Woman”