Fleetwood Mac: Rumours Deluxe Edition

2013_rumours_1024x929Reissues

Fleetwood Mac
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

The man who recorded fleetwood mac writes a tell-all

(The Recording Academy)
(The Recording Academy)

Stories, truths, and rumors about Rumours from Ken Caillat

By Sonya Singh / Los Angeles Magazine
Friday, May 24, 2013

Thirty-seven years ago, a promising British-American band convened at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California to create their second album. The result of these efforts was Rumours, an LP that would catapult Fleetwood Mac to fame, win Album of the Year at the 1977 Grammys, and nearly tear them apart. Through every studio outburst, every late night jam, and every break-up—the marriage of band members John and Christine McVie, the partnership of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, and Mick Fleetwood’s marriage—the group’s audio engineers turned co-producers, Richard Dashut and Ken Caillat, watched from behind the studio glass along with Caillat’s dog, Scooter. Caillat released his memoir about the experience, Making Rumours, last year, just before the band announced an expanded reissue of the album and their 2013 tour, which hits the Hollywood Bowl tomorrow.

Rumours was such a remarkable event that I stumbled into, and I wanted to share that with people,” says Caillat as we sit in a recording space at the Village Studios. “The book is really just a story of a boy and his dog. It just happens to be set into a recording studio. All the crying, the fights—I had no idea what Scooter and I were walking into.”

Rumours has sold more than 40 million copies sold worldwide and earned spots on dozens of top-100 lists, but something sets it apart from the other 99 classic albums on those lists.

“Most of the crew involved are asked about it even today. It’s like we were all survivors of a plane crash, bonded by it,” Caillat explains. “I have a friend who says, ‘Ken, it was over 30 years ago. Why don’t you let it go?’ Not me. Every time I’m introduced to somebody, it’s ‘This is the guy who did Rumours.’ I thought, mistakenly enough, that if I wrote about it, I could stop talking about it.”

Caillat doesn’t hold back. He writes about the time an enraged Buckingham nearly strangling him, about the drugs in the studio, and about things he may have otherwise left unsaid around his daughter, Grammy-winner Colbie Caillat. His aim, though, was never to scandalize.

“The original publisher wanted shock and awe. They wanted a tell-all,” says Caillat. “If John was drinking and I wrote that he walked into the room, they sent me a rewrite saying John ‘staggered’ into the room. I said no. I do feel bad about some of the stories I told about Lindsey, but I made a vow when I wrote the book that I was not going to hold secrets back or speculate on anything that didn’t happen in front of me. I tattle on me as much as anybody else.”

He also recounts, with amazing clarity, the haunting quality of a perfect Stevie Nicks vocal, the genius of Lindsay Buckingham’s guitar style, the beauty of hearing Christine McVie alone at her piano, the ease with which John McVie wrote an iconic bass riff, and the antics of the group’s fatherly leader, Mick Fleetwood.

The qualities that made the album a hit in 1977 are striking a chord with millenials, who have latched onto Fleetwood Mac and particularly its magnum opus. Just as The Strokes and The Libertines pointed young listeners toward foundational punk-rock pioneers, today’s hook-heavy guitar groups may be responsible for Fleetwood’s spike in popularity.

“I have to think it’s the words,” Caillat conjectures. With songs that were written in the studio, Rumours feels like a diary of its own recording process. “When Lindsey sang, ‘You can go your own way,’ he was singing that to Stevie. Even though they agreed to put aside their breakup for the sake of the record, it wasn’t as easily done. Every day, we played those songs and poured salt in those wounds. That pain was completely painted into the layers of sound we worked so hard to create.”

After the success of Rumours, Caillat found himself in Fleetwood Mac’s shrinking inner circle. He went on to produce their next two albums, live shows, and a box set, but for all his history with the band, you won’t find him at the Bowl tomorrow. Even he hadn’t seen the band perform countless times over the years, Fleetwood Mac’s enduring fame means his chances of getting tickets are the same as anyone else’s. (He was once the last person waiting outside to see them after a show.) It may not be fair, but he doesn’t mind.

“Lord knows they deserve the fame and accolades they’ve got and I’m happy to just have been part of it,” Caillat smiles. He also got the ultimate book review. “Christine did call me after the book came out to tell me she loved it. She said she loved how I portrayed her and hoped that’s the way she’ll be remembered.”

Caillat is working on a book about recording Tusk, the follow up to Rumours.

Fleetwood Mac plays the Hollywood Bowl tomorrow and the Anaheim Honda Center on May 28. They will return to play Staples Center in July.

Music Review: Fleetwood Mac – Rumours: (35th Anniversary Expanded Edition)

 

Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)
Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)

By Donald Gibson
Blog Critics
Thurday, March 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Of course they’ve scored plenty of hits over the years, but the prime catalyst of Fleetwood Mac’s legend, why they still generate a buzz and draw arena-sized audiences whenever they re-team for a tour—the band begins a new one next Thursday night in Columbus, Ohio—is Rumours.

For as much as been said and written about the 1977 album’s often-tumultuous creation, of infamous tales of band members feuding and fucking and shoveling through insane quantities of cocaine, its songs collectively remain the band’s crowning achievement. Recently released by Warner Music, Rumours (35th Anniversary Expanded Edition) illustrates over three discs just how driven these musicians were to have something to show for the soap opera their personal lives had become.

Only the second album to include Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks in the fray—the lineup was rounded out by Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, and John McVie—the Mac were at this point a pop/rock band, with mainstream hits like “Rhiannon” and “Say You Love Me” having moved them beyond the British-blues roots espoused by departed member Peter Green. And yet listening to some tracks on this set’s third disc, More From The Recording Sessions, reveals an unmistakable blues influence. The included demo of “The Chain,” most notably, finds Nicks summoning a feral, sobering vocal accompanied only by Buckingham’s stark, acoustic guitar. Comparably, Ms. McVie leads the band through a brooding take of “Oh Daddy,” her slinky keyboard riffs against a thick-and-sultry rhythm giving the song a heavier vibe than the light-string-embellished version on the finished album.

In fact the third disc is what makes this entire set essential—the first disc comprises the album proper (which, if you’re interested in this collection, you likely already own) while the second disc is a solid but nevertheless straightforward live performance from the Rumours tour—because it offers perspectives of songs that are, at times, drastically different than the ones to which we’ve been accustomed. Sometimes, as with early, scaled-down takes of “Dreams” and the B-side “Silver Springs,” they’re as good and, arguably, better than their most familiar versions.

Tall Stories

2013-0401-classic-rock-mick-fleetwood-300On the eve of Fleetwood Mac’s UK tour to celebrate the 35th anniversary of their astonishing 40-million-selling album Rumours, we catch up with drummer Mick Fleetwood to find out how the band survived drink, drugs and affairs to record it. “We were all fucked up,” he says.

By Max Bell
Classic Rock
April 2013

First impressions of Mick Fleetwood are usually something like (to paraphrase the Harry Nilsson song): “Jesus Christ, you’re tall.” Fleetwood doesn’t so much inhabit his swanky Berkeley Hotel suite as loom across the available space. From head toe, he’s immaculately groomed: the silver hair, the Maui suntan, the crisp striped shirt and hand-stitched brown brogues are evidence of his post-psychedelic dandyism. His socks are box fresh and match his scarf. His trademark headwear — today it’s a burnt orange cap — lies on the table underneath a CD copy of his band Fleetwood Mac’s reissued Rumours — the elephant in the room. His ponytail, a reminder of longer-haired days, is constantly teased, as are the opulent Native American bangles on his wrists. He offers water. “Usually I’d have got through half a bottle of good wine by now, but since we’re about to go on tour I’m trying to stay fit.”

Mick Fleetwood has been an American citizen since 2006. He’s lived in California and Hawaii for 40 years, and understandably speaks with a transatlantic accent. Pleasingly, there’s a detectable trace of West Country burr. He was born in Cornwall in 1947 and educated at a public school in Gloucestershire, at one of those institutions where six-of-the-best corporal punishment was the norm — the bat and the cane. No wonder he became a drummer — taken out on those tom-toms.

Suggestions of a whistle-stop tour his life are met with: “Go ahead. I’ll talk about anything. As long as I can get through the jet-lag.”

Does he still see the old gang?

“Peter Green? Once in a while I’ll ring him. I may do once you’ve left. He doesn’t know it and won’t be expecting it.”

Fleetwood smiles as if to imply that maybe it won’t be a pleasant surprise for Green. Mick once tried to manage his old Bluesbreakers and Fleetwood Mac bandmate in 1977, but was flummoxed by the guitarist’s insistence that both his past and the music business in general had destroyed his life and sent him to psychiatric hell.

“It was hard to convince him he wasn’t dealing with the devil.”

Fleetwood Mac’s second guitarist from their early days, Jeremy Spencer, the joker in the pack who used to decorate the band’s equipment with sex toys, remains in touch. “He lives in Ireland and he’s making music again. His journey is well known. He’s not with the Children Of God anymore but some other sect [The Family International]. He’s in good humour, much like the old Jeremy before he got very strange.”

One-time teenage whizz-kid slide guitarist Danny Kirwan also fell off the rails. Just as Spencer flipped after taking mescaline in Los Angeles in 1971, Kirwan and Green are said to have taken dodgy acid at a commune in Munich a year earlier, although Danny’s problems lay in the bottle.

“I have no contact with Danny. I’m supposed to have fired him in 1972 [after Kirwan smashed his guitar in the dressing room and refused to perform], but I just told him: ‘Enough is enough. You can’t keep on destroying the soundboard and then watch your fellow band members dying the death.’ We didn’t realise Danny wasn’t suited to this business. That wasn’t obvious in the late-60s when he recorded with us but he became very unpredictable. We should have said no to him joining, because he was already an alcoholic. I don’t know if that’s ever been fixed. I hear from his ex-wife, and it’s not good.”

Kirwan ended up thing in the St Mungo’s hostel for homeless men in Endell Street in Central London. He wasn’t the only casualty. Kirwan’s replacement, Bob Weston, who played on the Mac albums Penguin and Mystery To Me, was famously sacked by Fleetwood in Nebraska after the drummer’s discovery that Bob was having an affair with his then wife Jenny Boyd. He was found dead in a grubby flat in Brent Cross in January 2012.

Mac’s American guitarist Bob Welch whose resignation in 1984 facilitated the arrival of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, committed suicide six months later, shooting himself through the chest.

Viewed in black and white, all of this makes the relationship break-up saga of Rumours seem pretty tepid. It’s a depressing past punctuated with sublime moments like Man Of The World, Albatross and the classic albums — Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Mr Wonderful and Then Play On. Mick prefers to accentuate the positive.

“That old band came out of the hatch and we were immediately successful. We were very diverse, playing all that Elmore James blues and having hit singles. John McVie and me always welcomed the new people. We never told that they had to conform to any formula. It was amazing that we kept our audience. Peter was generous too. Even on his last album with us [Then Play On] he gave Danny half the album to write. He didn’t need to do that.”

The original Fleetwood Mac severed ties with Britain when they decamped to the USA in the early 70s. “In England we fell off the map, and a few years on we lost our identity with the massive mismanagement fiasco.”

He’s referring to the bogus Fleetwood Mac of 1974, put together by then-manager Clifford Davis when the band were at an all-time low. Fleetwood has always denied any involvement with this outfit formed from the blues hand Stretch. “We suddenly found we were no longer in our own band!”

The faux Fleetwoods didn’t survive a lawsuit, however, and Mick was amazed that “Warner’s didn’t drop us. There were lots of ifs-and-buts. If Peter hadn’t left and he’d been emotionally on track. I honestly believe we’d have been up there with Led Zeppelin and that thing that happened in America at the time. We were a funny-looking bunch of guys, but we were a phenomenally fucking good band.”

Lovers of the old Mac might say that here was the real tragedy — if that’s not too strong a word.

“They were tough times. It’s funny how things happen. If Bob Welch hadn’t left, we’d never have made the next jump. But Danny was influential too; before him there was no melody and no harmony. And then there’s this…” Mick gestures to the Rumours package, the 40-million-selling gift that just keeps on giving. Now available in various permutations of CD, DVD and vinyl, the recorded stop opera that accompanied the splits between John and Christine McVie and Buckingham-Nicks refuses to go away. Here it is again, shipping 40,000 copies in the UK and forming the basis for a 50-date tour of America, followed by an autumn visit to European stages that will see an estimated box office and merchandise revenue pumping well in excess of $70 million into the group. Where did it all go wrong?

“It’s part of our legacy. We’ve nurtured talent and they’ve all left their mark, some more important than others. It’s a big story, should you delve into how we got here. This album is interesting for us, if not a little frightening. How did we survive making it with all these ex-lovers blowing up in each other’s faces? It was emotionally charged — cause and effect. We don’t complain any more, and shouldn’t, but dreadful things were happening. There were tragedies everywhere, with Peter and Danny, and then this album, where everyone is miserable.”

2013-0401-classic-rock-mick-fleetwood2-300A band waging war with itself may be deemed a vicarious pleasure, although the often physical nature of Lindsey and Stevie’s disagreements were hard for Fleetwood to witness. During early rehearsals for Rumours at the Producer’s Workshop in LA, Mick saw his band disintegrating. Christine McVie was having an affair with the band’s lighting director, Curry Grant. John McVie was perma-sozzle, and everyone was imbibing vast amounts of pharmaceutical cocaine dished out by the mirror-load. Meanwhile, Mick recited the lines of poet Robert Frost: “The woods are dark and deep… And miles to go before we sleep.”

The drummer still felt impelled to rally the troops, and was heard to implore: “Hey, guys, why don’t we chill out here and do some transcending and just write music about all this hassle.”

These days Mick takes a more sanguine view.

“We were only like every other band of that era. I’ve given up all that now. John and Christine were… hmmm. Well, the whole band was at it. We weren’t misjudged; we were in with the worst of them. But when I talk war stories with other bands, I think we weren’t so bad. ‘You did what?’ We were lightweights compared to many. Look at the Stones or Johnny Cash, the stuff they took. We didn’t do that, we were just boozers and mounds of cocaine. I thank God we didn’t go to the opiate place. Cocaine eventually is bad, but we were still young kids. It didn’t hamper us, it just meant we stayed up for three or four days and did some good music.”

The lingering aftermath saw them all go their own way into rehab and therapy, because there’s no such thing as an ex-alcoholic or ex-drug addict. McVie eventually gave up drinking in the 1990s. Mick and Stevie Nicks both faced other battles. “Fifteen years after Rumours, we were still going strong. And that wasn’t fun. It turned out boring, and impossible for health reasons.”

Mick developed diabetes and thought he was dying of a brain tumour. Despite the apparent wealth generated by Rumours,Tusk et al, he declared himself bankrupt thanks to some disastrous property deals and failed restaurant endeavours.

“Did all that affect me? Yes it did. Stevie says she doesn’t remember a whole 10 years of her life because she was doing weird stuff — she battled with tranquilliser dependency — but us rock’n’rollers have strong constitutions. We were lucky. Enough was enough.”

From a position of great health and wealth, Fleetwood is prepared to be candid. “The romance of it all is voyeuristic. People want to hear it, and I can talk about it. But looking back? No, it wasn’t a great thing to have done. I’m torn between not talking about it, which is defensive and stupid, or do I answer? We could cope because we were young. Is that the reason why we spent over a year making Rumours? No, it wasn’t. People said, ‘Oh you’re so indulgent.’ But it was our money, our waste, and our drugs.”

“On a creative level we were thrilled because we were blessed to pay for studio time. We could have made a quick album — get the fuck out and hope they buy it anyway. People assume we were a depraved, drug-crazed group pissing money down the studio sink. No. We worked hard. The money was our advance — which we never saw again.”

In Mac’s defence, it wasn’t their fault Rumours became a behemoth. “We had no idea. We lived in a focused world of five individuals. We weren’t super-unique, but we were fairly unique because we forced ourselves into a one-on-one, 24/7, pressing creative world. That’s a lot to ask when every time you look at someone your heart is in your mouth, or you’re feeling so hurt you just want to get a dagger and stick it in his or her back. That’s what we were doing.”

Though often cast as the calming influence, Fleetwood felt as rotten as everyone else.

“I was miserable because my wife left me for my best friend [Weston] but I had to be the piggy in the middle. We were all fucked up. But you know my history: got to keep this band going at all costs. Someone had to do it, and it’s in my nature. Maybe I’m insecure. I get that from my dad.”

Fleetwood Mac isn’t Mick’s only family. He’s the father of four daughters, two of them grown-up children from his 1970 marriage to Jenny Boyd, sister of Pattie Boyd, who was married to George Harrison and later Eric Clapton. Being George Harrison’s brother-in-law gave him a unique insight into the extraordinary world of The Beatles circa 1969. He knew the Dutch hippie designers The Fool, who designed The Beatles’ Apple shop and decorated stage sets for The Move, Cream and Procol Harum, and he’d hear about the Beatles’ trip to Rishikesh first-hand from Jenny, since she’d sat at the Maharishi’s feet with John, Paul, George and Ringo when she was with Donovan, who wrote Jennifer Juniper in her honour.

“I had a vicarious window into the greatest talent pool I’ll ever know. I went to the Abbey Road album sessions. I saw them doing Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, using the anvil and the horseshoes, and I spent a lot of time hanging by default in their Rolls-Royces or sitting down at tables in the Scotch Of St James. London was cooking then. I was just a little blues musician. To this day, Paul McCartney always calls me ‘young Michael’, and to George I was ‘little Mick’. Just before I got on the plane to come here, Jenny sent me a note George once gave her which had his Indian squiggle on it and a P.S: ‘Don’t forget to tell Mick that I love him.”

Given the overarching success of Rumours, it’s sometimes hard to remember that beneath the trappings, cosmic minstrel Mick Fleetwood is but a humble drummer, mentioned in dispatches rather than at the front line.

“My reputation? I get checked a lot by fellow players. John Bonham’s sister [Deborah] told me I was one of his favourite drummers. I thought he’d think I was a piece of shit! Apparently not. The Fleetwood Mac rhythm section is better than we think, so I get kudos. I’m a feel-meister, like Charlie Watts; I’m not a technician. I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. But without puffing up, I’m not an unknown personality. I’m not the world’s forgotten drummer. John McVie couldn’t give a shit whether anyone likes him. He doesn’t care about me as Mick the drama queen or Mick the flag-waver. His attitude is: ‘How do you do all that? I couldn’t give a shit. Phone me when they’ve all stopped crying. It’s pissing me off.’”

McVie lives near Fleetwood on Maui and remains his friend and ally. They don’t socialise that much, but the bass player will order him to take it easy, “Why are you operating another restaurant? Stop stressing out. Stop selling your soul for this thing.”

“I tell him: ‘Why should you complain? I’ve kept you in a band for 45years!’” Fleetwood says. “He appreciates that. My main function is creating the stage for me and John, so he’d better.”

He bangs the drums: "I'm not the world's forgotten drummer," reckons Mick.

If Fleetwood Mac are now a nostalgia act, at least they didn’t end up in Las Vegas. Christine McVic says she’ll never come back, but there are three new tracks in the pipeline created by Fleetwood, Buckingham and Nicks — the latter pair being permanent road fixtures thanks to Stevie’s touring schedule and Lindsey’s One Man Show. Making a band album is probably a thing of the past.

“It’s all about the tour — a humongous tour that’s gone ballistic. We’re in good fettle. Stevie’s in voice. Lindsey’s fighting fit. I play a lot on Maui but I need to step it up. John only has to move his fingers.”

Ask him what his favorite Mac albums are and the man whose name is on the tin cites Tusk — “More ground-breaking than Rumours, and I know because I was managing the band at the time — and 1969’s Then Play On. I came up with the title, and it was a lovely creative mix. That album is the signpost of what could have been; a vision of the band if Peter hadn’t been ill.”

He owns the original of the artwork used for the album. The painting, which features a naked man on a horse, is called Domesticated Mural Painting and is by the artist Maxwell Armfield. It was originally designed for a London mansion. Fleetwood admits that he misses the old days. “They were good times. Playing the Nag’s Head in Battersea or out-of-town pubs in High Wycombe was like a fantastic boot camp. There’s something about the slog that helps the creative ethic. Doing this tour is only plugging into a muscle memory; it’s a psychic recollection of what I’ve done my whole fucking life. Too many bands come out of nowhere and become rich and famous and unpleasant. They buy into the bullshit. I say: ‘You need to go and set up an amplifier, jacko! Then drive to fucking Scotland and back for five quid.’ I sound like an old fuddy duddy.”

While he’s dishing out advice, Fleetwood mentions something that keeps him going. “In 1971, Tom Johnston, from the Doobie Brothers, and Steve Miller both told me: ‘Play the colleges, whatever you do. Even if it’s for peanuts.’ That’s what kept the band afloat in America in the early ‘70s. If we didn’t draw a great crowd, I’d pay the money back. Before that, in England, I learnt from Peter Green. He had Jewish blood so he knew how to tell people to fuck off — and give me the fucking money, you fucking liar. I went with him to die counting house after the gig, so I knew how tough he could be. But on a bad night Peter would give the guarantee back.

“A lot of my shit about running Fleetwood Mac comes from Peter Green. He taught how to recognise talent. He was the king of that band. All these individuals who turned up along the way were welcomed because Peter let me into the secret. Welcome to the realms of madness.’

And then play on.

Rumours: The 35th Anniversary Edition it out now via Warner Bros.

Watch the Rosebud Film in its entirety

Watch director Michael Collin’s Rosebud Film in its entirety. Warner Bros. restored the 1977 film for the Deluxe Edition of Rumours. The film includes footage of Fleetwood Mac performing in concert at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in May 1976.

Chart Watch Britain: Fleetwood Mac thrives while Jimi Hendrix disappoints

2013_rumours_1024x929Vintage Vinyl News (UK)
Sunday, March 30, 2013

Michael Ball, remains the king of the veteran artists in the U.K. as his Both Sides Now only drops from 8 to 13 in its second week.

The biggest of the new albums by veteran artists belongs to Jimi Hendrix’s People, Hell and Angels which premiers at 39. While the album is tearing up the U.S. charts with what will be a number 2 debut this week, the 39 is the worst that a Hendrix album has done in the U.K.

The other new album is Old Yellow Moon by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, which starts at 42 on the Albums and number 1 on the country Albums.

The artist that is really thriving for the week is doing it with decades old material. Fleetwood Mac’s deluxe edition of Rumours is as 19 on the Album and tops the Catalog (Heritage) Album chart while the single “Everywhere,” which was their last top 40 hit in the U.K. back in 1988, has reemerged and risen to number 15 on the Singles and Digital Singles and 3 on the Catalog Singles charts.

Spring forward with Fleetwood Mac in 2013

Get TicketsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FLEETWOOD MAC LAUNCHES 2013 WORLD TOUR ON APRIL 4 AT NATIONWIDE ARENA IN COLUMBUS, OHIO

Thursday, March 7, 2013 9:54 a.m. PST

San Francisco, CA — SPRING FORWARD with Fleetwood Mac as it embarks on a high-anticipated North American concert tour on April 4 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The band will play more than 40 shows in the United States and Canada in the spring and summer and will travel to Europe for a two-month fall engagement, starting in September.

The tour commemorates the 35th anniversary of the release of Rumours, the band’s iconic 1977 recording. On January 29, Reprise Records issued the expanded and deluxe editions of the number one, 40-million-seller Rumours, which produced the hit singles “Don’t Stop,” “You Make Loving Fun,” and “Go Your Own Way.” The milestone album also includes Fleetwood Mac’s only number one single in the U.S., the Stevie Nicks-penned “Dreams.” The band will perform all the standout tracks from Rumours and many classic songs from their impressive body of work.

Fueled by broken relationships and personal turmoil within the band, the Rumours recording sessions are now legendary. Despite the dramatic circumstances that charged these sessions, guitarist and singer Lindsey Buckingham feels that the group dynamic has evolved.

“The worst personal circumstances…made the dynamic between us a bit elusive and convoluted at times. Over time, that has become sort of more refined and more clear. It’s something that keeps evolving in a good way,” says Lindsey Buckingham.

Singer Stevie Nicks adds that the notorious drama remains the band’s enduring and enticing legacy when it performs in concert.

“All those feelings that you have do come out on stage because you’re telling the stories when you sing the song. So you are, in a way, reenacting what happened. We get to be the people that we were.”

The band is also looking forward to playing its classic songs for a new generation of listeners.

“They’re going to be people in that audience, most definitely, that totally got into listening to this stuff in recent years and have not seen these creatures do their thing. It’s fantastic,” said band leader and drummer Mick Fleetwood.

Tickets for most shows are available through Ticketmaster (US) and Live Nation (UK). Visit the band’s official website for more tour information and peruse Stevie Nicks Info for Fleetwood Mac news, media articles, and exclusive contest giveaways for the expanded and deluxe editions of Rumours.

Fleetwood Mac: Super deluxe edition of Rumours box set

2013_rumours_1024x929By Paul Sinclair
Super Deluxe Edition (UK)
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album was the first major ‘super deluxe’ release of 2013 and was issued just over a month ago. We have previously posted a photo gallery of the box, but here we take a more in-depth look at the content within.

The 12-inch square slipcase is of high quality and quite sturdy. Within this resides a gatefold jacket which contains the vinyl and the five optical discs (four CDs and a DVD).

The large format 20-page booklet contains the same essay and quotes from the band that’s in the smaller booklet supplied with the three-disc set, but also has a ‘Rumours: Song by Song’ commentary which the cheaper version is denied. This is Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham talking specifically about each track (presumably separately) in October 2012. VERY interesting! Of course the larger format booklet also makes the most of all the great photos.

The CDs and DVD come in card jackets which slot into a gap on the right panel of the 12-inch gatefold wallet. Although these card wallets never exactly exude ‘deluxe’, at least having them allows you to store the discs separately, with protection. Many book-based super deluxe sets just have unprotected discs slotting straight into a back page.

Overall, the Rumours super deluxe box can be described as well designed, and unlike bulkier sets, is quite slim and easy to handle. If you have a vinyl collection of any significance, it will also slot in with your other records rather nicely.

Disc One / The Album

The actual album on disc one isn’t remastered, so if you own the 2CD deluxe edition from 2004 then you’ll have an identical mastering. What has changed is the position of non-album track Silver Springs. In 2004 it was inserted into the running order between Songbird and The Chain. Here it simply gets appended to the album proper, becoming track 12.

Disc Two / 1977 Rumours World Tour

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Fleetwood Mac!” – so begins this fantastic live CD which contains most of the Rumours album (no You Make Loving Fun, or I Don’t Want To Know) but actually starts with Lindsey Buckingham’s Monday Morning from the previous Fleetwood Mac album. The performances throughout are excellent, with a good balance of crowd reaction to music – the second part of “The Chain” is a good example of this as Buckingham’s ferocious guitar and Christine McVie’s Hammond Organ complement the rhythm section superbly.

The audio is crystal clear, with renowned engineer Bill Inglot involved in the mixing and mastering of this archive live material (and the demos – see below). Stevie Nicks’ voice on “Dreams” (like McVie’s on “Oh Daddy”) is pretty much faultless and what comes across most of all throughout the 12 tracks included on this disc is the personality of the band and a seemingly assured, relaxed approach they had to reproducing this material on the stage. This is obviously not a full show, and it’s just a pity more wasn’t included.

Disc Three / The Rosebud Film (DVD)

This DVD is the one element of the super deluxe edition that you cannot get anywhere else. Rosebud is a promotional film made at the time, which follows the band through rehearsals for the 1977 tour and includes snippets of interviews with band members, and some performance footage of them on stage. Although widely bootlegged, this is the first time it’s been available commercially.

What is a pleasant surprise is the fact that the audio has been mixed to 5.1 surround, which just adds to the enjoyment of this documentary. Christine McVie’s “Say You Love Me” and “You Make Loving Fun” are both played in full as the band rehearse, as is “Rhiannon.” Although there are six performances in this film, only two of them are actually from the album, “Go Your Own Way” and “You Make Loving Fun.” Regular tour closer “I’m Not Afraid” (from the previous FM album) is a suitably impressive end to Rosebud.

However great the film is, it’s just 30 minutes long, and it is the only thing on this DVD. There should be so much more on this DVD rather than just this content rattling around like a pea in a tin can, albeit a gold-plated pea. How Warners could have failed to find anything else of worth to put on this disc is incredible. Everyone knows a 5.1 surround version is readily available, and was indeed released by the very same label in Japan on SACD in 2011. Even a hi-res stereo mix would have been better than nothing.

Disc Four / More From The Recording Sessions

Disc five in this box set repeats the bonus disc of outtakes and demos in 2004′s 2CD deluxe edition of Rumours, but this CD is a further set of previously unreleased demos, early takes and instrumentals.

If that sounds like a barrel-scraping exercise, surprisingly it doesn’t turn out that way. In many ways this disc is much better than what was previously issued. “Dreams” (Take 2) makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, with Stevie Nicks singing sweetly to a minimal backing of just keyboard and guitar. It’s much better than the rather flat outtake that was previously issued. Likewise, a five minute demo of “The Chain” is very different from the final track, but is hauntingly good. This somehow wasn’t considered for the bonus disc in 2004, despite there being a section called ‘Early Demos’ on that CD.

“Roll the tape, we’ll just see what happens..” says Christine McVie before launching into a loose version of “Oh Daddy.” It’s a fascinating listen as she shouts instructions to the band throughout “Chorus!”… “keep it going to the B-flat..”, “repeat!” etc. Unlike the version on the other disc, her vocal is nice and high in this mix. Definitely work-in-progress, but really interesting.

Disc Five / Recording Sessions, Roughs and Outtakes

This is the disc from 2004, added here for the completists. As mentioned above, some of the stuff here is not great, including the dreaded ‘Jam Session’. Apart from the demos, the tracks here tend to resemble their finished studio counterparts a little bit more than on disc four.

Disc Six / Rumours on Vinyl

This LP version doesn’t include “Silver Springs” and is pressed on ‘heavyweight’ 140g vinyl. The pressing sounds reasonably good though and the only real letdown is a horrible, cheap plain white inner sleeve that shouts ‘budget’ at you. If this box is truly supposed to be a ‘super deluxe edition’ why did Warners not include the ‘deluxe’ 45RPM double vinyl version that is available separately, rather than the cheaper one disc alternative?

Summary

At around £50 (or equivalent) this set represents reasonable value. Warners appear to have rejected certain content elements, either due to time considerations (this box was released to coincide with a FM tour) or because it would have resulted in a higher retail price, which they presumably feared would put people off buying it. The almost empty DVD and lack of surround or hi-res are omissions that suggest a tight grip on the purse strings but also a blind spot for what the audience who buy these sets might want.

It is also still questionable whether your ‘average’ box set buyer actually wants a vinyl record in his or her super deluxe edition. Leaving that out and including a hi-res or surround DVD may have made the box even more appealing but kept the price the same.

One thing that isn’t really up for debate is the quality of the music on offer. Coupling the album proper with a live disc and the outtakes, really does make for an outstanding package, but of course that version exists for around £13 or $13. Because of this the three-disc set manages to demonstrate outstanding value. Whether the addition of a half hour promotional film on DVD, a vinyl record (that you may have no use for) and a further CD of previously released outtakes (that you may already own), is worth the extra cost is up for debate, and it will likely come down to how much the Rumours album means to you and/or whether you can spare the disposable income.

• UK – Order: Rumours (Deluxe Edition)

• USA – Order: Rumours (Deluxe Edition)

• CANADA – Order: Rumours (Deluxe Edition)

• GERMANY – Order: Rumours (Deluxe Edition)

Album review: Fleetwood Mac Rumours

By Tony Nielsen
Northern Advocate (New Zealand)
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 6:00 AM

Fleetwood Mac Rumours was their most unforgettable album.

February 1977 saw the release of what was to become Fleetwood Mac’s most unforgettable and best-selling album, Rumours.

In the 36 years since, Rumours has notched up a remarkable 45 million sales, placing it in the top 10 best sellers of all time.

The 35-year anniversary release package is a goldmine — not only does it deliver the original and remarkable Rumours album, it also includes an extra song, plus two additional CDs. One of them features live material from their 1977 world tour, the other has alternative takes from the Rumours recording sessions. Mick Fleetwood, John and Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks have all made no secret that the songs on Rumours came directly from the complex and painful state of the individual and collective relationships they were all going through.

The music that grew from their troubles is simply outstanding.

Rumours kicks off with “Second Hand News,” then on to “Dreams,” “Don’t Stop,” “Go Your Own Way,” “The Chain,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Oh Daddy” and other tracks which are now household names.

There are few albums in rock history about which you can say there is not one inferior song.

Every single one here is wonderfully crafted, and they sound just as fresh today as when they first landed on turntables.

You can’t go wrong if you don’t already have a copy of Rumours, and if you do, it’s time to update with the two extra CDs in the package. Even though five stars is my top measure, Rumours almost demands a ranking of its own.

Fleetwood Mac
Rumours [Anniversary Edition]
Rating: 5 / 5

Rumours still strong after 35 years

 

Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)
Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)

By Doug Gallant 
The Guardian (Canada)
Friday, March 2, 2013

When Fleetwood Mac released Rumours in 1977, the band was already moderately successful, having reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard album charts with its self-titled album a year earlier.

That record, the first to feature new band members Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, had produced three major singles for them, “Rhiannon,” “Say You Love Me” and “Over My Head.”

While the success of that record must certainly have been gratifying for a band that until that point had been struggling with who and what it was, it paled in comparison to the success Rumours would achieve.

Powered by monster hits like “Dreams,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Don’t Stop” and “Go Your Own Way,” the Rumours album became a milestone recording for the band.

The critics loved it, the music buying public loved it and the industry loved it.

Rumours won that year’s Grammy Award for album of the year and found its way into the record collections of literally millions of people.

And it’s still selling.

Some people, myself included, re-purchased the album every time it was released in a new format, going from vinyl to cassette to CD. If I’d seen it in DVD-audio I likely would have bought that, too.

With sales of 40 million copies worldwide, Rumours currently ranks as the ninth best- selling record of all time, one notch behind the Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever and one notch ahead of Shania Twain’s Come On Over.

So why the musical history lesson?

It’s because Fleetwood Mac has chosen to celebrate Rumours’ 35th anniversary by re-releasing it.

And not only have they re-released the original Rumours CD the world has embraced all these years, they’ve released both an expanded version and a deluxe version of the album.

The expanded version, which I was fortunate enough to find in my inbox, is a three-disc set.

Included in that package are the original album, the B-side “Silver Springs,” a dozen unreleased live recordings from the group’s 1977 world tour and an entire disc filled with unreleased takes from the Rumours recording sessions.

The deluxe edition, which sells for just under $100, features all the material from the expanded edition plus an additional disc of outtakes, a DVD and a vinyl copy of the record.

The DVD features The Rosebud Film, a 1977 documentary about the album.

Listening again to Rumours, I could not help but be amazed at how consistently good this record was.

The writing was brilliant, the performances were almost flawless and the production was gorgeous.

There are so many beautifully melodic pop/rock songs here that I can still sit down and listen to over and over again, despite the amount of exposure they’ve received since this record first saw the light of day.

What’s even more amazing, perhaps, is the fact that this record got made at all.

When Rumours was being recorded the band, internally, was a mess.

The two couples in the band — John and Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks — had essentially split, and Nicks had gravitated, so the story goes, towards drummer Mick Fleetwood.

That kind of emotional turmoil might have caused some bands to call the whole thing off, but instead the members incorporated what they were going through into songs like Go Your Own Way and Dreams.

The expanded version of Rumours is really worth having if you have a soft spot for the band.

The live disc for example, in addition to including versions of some of Rumours’ best material, also features songs from the eponymous album that preceded it, most notably versions of “Rhiannon” and “World Turning.”

The unreleased recordings culled from the studio sessions feature demos and early takes.

Some are particularly interesting because the changes from these versions to the final album versions are so dramatic.

A case in point is “I Don’t Want to Know” which went from being somewhat rough around the edges to a being a wonderfully poppy thing with great harmony vocals.

There’s a lot to absorb here, and most of it is worth your time.

If you’re really high on this record and are prepared to travel, you can also hear them do this material live again.

The original Fleetwood Mac Rumours lineup, with the exception of Christine McVie, is touring for the next three months. There are several dates in Canada, but the closest, sadly, is in Toronto.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Doug Gallant, a reporter with The Guardian, writes his music review column for The Guardian every week. He welcomes comments from readers at dgallant@theguardian.pe.ca or 629-6000, ext. 6057.