Dad Rock Bi-Weekly: Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

By Jessica Jones, Contributor
[Warner Bros.; 1977]
Original Release Date: Feb. 4, 1977

Widely regarded as Fleetwood Mac’s most iconic album, Rumours debuted in February of 1977, making it the 11th studio album for the band. Following the success from Fleetwood Mac, this essential ’70s pop album contains angsty hits like “The Chain” and “Gold Dust Woman” and slower, timeless songs, such as “Songbird”. The British- American rock band was formed in 1968 in London, consisting of band members Mick Fleetwood, Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer. The band as we know it today consists of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham. Although the band has had mass success, it was not without the influence of the “sex, drugs and rock and roll” era and the multitude of relationship troubles that ultimately led the band to split for nearly decade.

Read more: Math Rock Monthly: Tiny Moving Parts

Rumours was largely recorded while the band members were under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and many of the songs have deeply personal meanings. The song, “You Make Loving Fun” written by Christine McVie, was inspired by Curry Grant, the band’s lighting director. Christine and John were still married during the affair between McVie and Grant, so Christine lied and told John the song was about her dog, which John actually believed for some time. The couple later divorced in 1976.

The McVie’s weren’t the only band members having relationship issues, as Buckingham and Nicks were also an item. “Silver Springs”, written by Nicks, is one of the songs that details the tension between the two. The couple also split in 1976. Even Mick Fleetwood had an affair – with Stevie nonetheless – but it was rather short-lived, as Nicks said that if it had continued, it would have been the end of the band.

Despite the tribulations the band faced during the production of Rumours, the album had become the band’s second U.S. number one record and remained at the top of the Billboard 200 for 31 nonconsecutive weeks. It also reached number one in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Nick’s “Dreams” became the band’s only Billboard Hot 100 single to date.

A staple album for many different occasions – the perfect breakup album, the perfect falling in love album, the perfect study album and the perfect road trip album – Rumours is a timeless American rock album that will be enjoyed for generations.

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