June 1979- Rumours is the Number One album.
There are so many amazing stories about Fleetwood Mac’s bandmembers since the band formed 50 years ago. The band has sold more than 100 million records, making them one of the pretty planet’s best-selling bands in history.
From 1975 to 1987, leaving behind their Blues influence for a more Pop sound, Fleetwood Mac featured original member Mick Fleetwood along with Christine McVie, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Gay Icon Stevie Nicks. Rumours (1977), Fleetwood Mac’s second album after adding Buckingham and Nicks, produced four Top 10 singles in the USA and remained the Number One album for an astonishing 31 weeks, plus it reached the top spot in many other countries around the world. It was a true international hit, selling more than 45 million copies worldwide, making Rumours the eighth-highest-selling album of all time.
The making of Rumours was one of the great soap operas of Pop Music. Let me see if I can get it straight: Nicks had just split with her longtime lover and musical partner, Buckingham, when they began to record the album. Christine McVie was in the middle of a divorce from her husband, the band’s bassist John, and having an affair with the group’s lighting designer. The McVies only spoke to each other when discussing music. Fleetwood’s marriage was also ending, and he had just started an affair with Nicks.
Plus, there were piles of white powder available in the different rooms at the studio and plenty of booze. They even included a special thank-you to their drug dealer in the album’s liner notes.
Rumours took a year to record, and cost more than $1 million. Most of the songs were about the band members’ break-ups. Fleetwood Mac created their best music when the members were suffering the worst personal crises and were the most fucked-up.
“Making Rumours almost killed us.”
Cocaine was bought in bulk and the band and crew would stand in line for their ration. The handing out of the drugs was listed on the band’s daily schedule. The drugs and booze were claimed as corporate expenses on their taxes.
Yet, all this drama brought brutally honest lyrics and beautiful music, transforming the album into a scintillating romantic confessional. The musicians’ personal lives found their way on to the album and fans were left with a peek at their painful, glamorous mess. It is a masterpiece.
During the 1990s, Nicks and Buckingham left the group and then returned, together and separately. During the aughts, Christine McVie took time off.
So, here we are 40 years after Rumours and Buckingham and Christine McVie have just released an album together and it is filled with plenty of the drama that Fleetwood Mac has been cooking up since 1977. Buckingham, the McVies, Nicks, and Fleetwoood were all set to record their first album since Tango In The Night 30 years ago. Suddenly, Nicks wanted to work on her solo career instead. That left a bunch of new songs written by Buckingham and Christine McVie, some together, some separately, but no album. They decided to make a duet record, and they asked Fleetwood and John McVie to play on it.
So, the album, titled Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie is really a new Fleetwood Mac record minus Nicks. That’s is the way they work: Behind The Mask (1990) was made without Buckingham; Time (1995) was made without Buckingham and Nicks; and Say You Will ( 2003) without Christine McVie.
I streamed Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie yesterday and it is very good, but I miss Nicks. There is just something magic about the mix of their three vocals. Fleetwood Mac ans are going to love it.
Buckingham and Nicks start a tour this week with a concert at Chastain Park in Atlanta. Nicks is about to start a solo tour along some dates with Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers this summer. She is practicing her twirling. Fleetwood Mac will tour around the globe with their The One Show in summer 2018 with all the members on board.