“Rumors” by Fleetwood Mac: Classic Album Review


This classic and praised album was released back in 1977.

Luke Chipley, Copy Editor

Back in the late 70s, Fleetwood Mac was enduring a time of scandal and controversy. According to an article on People, “The group’s namesake drummer, Mick Fleetwood, was the first among them to take a personal hit when he discovered his wife and the mother of his children was engaged in an affair with his best friend, telling PEOPLE in 1977 that perhaps this first ‘split-up catalyzed the others in the band.'”

From then on, there were even more cases to behold. For instance, Christine and John McVie from the band also separated from each other, but still toured with the rest of the band after their album “Rumors” was released.

To say that the “Rumors” creation process was hectic would be an understatement, and the tracks on the album show, as many lyrics vaguely or dramatically pertain to what was happening within the band.

For instance, while “The Chain” can be interpreted as a song about a relationship that has taken its course, using an imaginary “chain” as a representation of said relationship being strongly bound together, it can also be seen as a song pertaining to both band members Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, as their relationship was progressively falling apart. To make this observation even clearer, Nicks and Buckingham both share the vocals on the song that was written about them.

These two band members seem to have the biggest influence on each of the tracks.

“Second-Hand News” and “Dreams” the frontrunning tracks of “Rumors,” contain lyrics with interpretations dealing with Nicks and Buckingham’s relationship together. While “News” was written by Buckingham, “Dreams” was written by Nicks. These two seem to portray each other’s perspectives of their failing relationship. “Never Going Back Again” and “Don’t Stop,” while not immediately related to the two, it can be seen as a sort of resolve in action in terms of their relationship, or really any relationship.

The album delves into different themes of romance, specifically the failing and loss of it. Each track keeps its themes easy to understand, but still a little vague and in need of interpretation, all the more making for an interesting album experience. However, I do not want to spend time on every single song and their themes, as the songs themselves need to be looked at as well.

The production throughout this entire project is sharp and shockingly clean for its time, with each song sounding fantastically mixed. In more blunt words, this album sounds scarily good. Every band member also does their part, the vocals are great, the guitar and bass playing is fantastic, and the drums always suit the mood. The instrumentation overall deserves another paragraph itself; whether it be the subtle strings on “Dreams,” the loud guitar solo on “The Chain,” (although there are multiple notable solos on this project) the punchy yet slow drums on “Oh Daddy,” giving it an almost Pink Floyd feel to it, or the somber piano passages on “Songbird” that are subtle enough to not get in the way of Nicks’ vocals, but still be heard.

One problem I do have with these songs is the fadeouts. While I do not mind them in songs, I do unfortunately think that some of these could have proper endings to them. It becomes even more apparent as most of these tracks have fadeouts within them. I should also note that not all of these have fadeouts, “I Don’t Want To Know” and “Songbird” are prime examples.

It makes otherwise near perfect songs like “The Chain,” “Dreams,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “You Can Go Your Own Way,” “Gold Dust Woman,” and “Silver Springs” feel unfinished when I feel they would really need some sort of end.

However, it does not stop the fact that these songs are still in the “perfect” status.

“Rumors” was made throughout a pretty tumultuous time, and while behind the scenes there was struggle, it sure did pay off with this album. Fleetwood Mac outdid themselves with this forty-four minute collection of songs with amazing production, interesting song-writing, and overall above average songs. A few tracks in the first half left a little bit to be desired, but are not bad by any means. Every song after “The Chain” just feels like a step above the rest, however.

Regardless, while not perfect, “Rumors” by Fleetwood Mac is a radiant gem in its year, decade, and time that it has existed, and feels like it would have been released in the future. I would give this album a nine, or perhaps a nine and a half out of ten.