Rumours Deluxe Edition (Warner Bros./Rhino)
In the parlance of Californication, fucking and punching. Rock & roll’s ultimate breakup album – four of five group members rending a pair of intraband partnerships and the fifth, founding drummer Mick Fleetwood, about to sunder his own marriage by taking up with Stevie Nicks – endures because it storms romantic volatility through a prism of rockstar sex, drugs, and a Beatlesque triad of singer-songwriters. Christine McVie’s sweet spot (“Songbird”) between the he said/she said of the UK survivors’ adopted Left Coast folk-pop duo, Buckingham (“Never Going Back Again”) and Nicks (“I Don’t Want to Know”), melts into layers of acoustic urgency and electric hush as animated by Fleetwood and John McVie’s heart-valve rhythms. The No. 8 bestseller of all time appended an hour’s worth of outtakes and demos to the 2004 reissue (Nicks’ early “Gold Dust Woman”), a trove now doubled on this 4-CD/DVD/vinyl LP set, including un-ironic Lindsey/Stevie duet “Doesn’t Anything Last.” An hour live on the ensuing world tour fills out the fourth disc, well-scrubbed to start – Christine McVie’s “Oh Daddy,” a slice of English balladry fit for Westminster Abbey – but exploding on Nicks’ eight-minute spook and spell “Rhiannon,” from Rumours’ eponymous precursor. Finally, a 30-minute video promo finds the 1977 quintet on a soundstage crackling through the hits, though an unidentified bowl appearance with high-flying Lindsey Buckingham guitar showcase “I’m So Afraid” borders on acid rock.
Raoul Hernandez / Austin Chronicle / Friday, August 16, 2013