Fleetwood Mac's Rumours at 35

I'm a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac's California cocaine trilogy of Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, and Tusk. It's amazing that this year Rumours turns 35. Ken Caillat, who co-produced and engineered the record, has just written a new book that I'm really looking forward to reading titled "Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album." From a CNN interview with Caillat:

 Up-N-Adam Wp-Content Uploads 2012 04 Fleetwood-Mac-Book At the time they were recording the album, all five band mates were going through painful breakups: (John and Chrstine McVie) were divorcing, (Lindsey) Buckingham and (Stevie) Nicks' long-term relationship was coming to a bitter end and Fleetwood's wife was about to leave him for his best friend. It's all personal drama that Caillat chronicles in his book.

"In retrospect, it's a miracle that we were able to finish 'Rumours,' " he said. "But later, I came to understand that 'Rumours' probably succeeded because it was brilliant group therapy.

"Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album" (Amazon)

"Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' at 35: Still the 'perfect album'" (CNN)


  1. Absolutely a treasured classic, but the album cover photo with the dangling castanet testicles still weirds me out.

  2. Man, I LOVE this era of Fleetwood Mac!  Recently discovered this amazing version of Rhiannon from the Midnight Special 1976.  The live version of this song is vastly superior to the studio cut (rocks out much harder at the end); well worth checking out if you haven’t seen it:

  3. Heh, just found Rumors on vinyl for $1 at an antique store the other day.  Guess I know what I’m putting on when I get home.

  4. I dragged out all of my FM records a few weeks ago and gave them a wash and a spin.  So much musical goodness from one band in a short period.  Personal conflicts aside, this is how legends are made.

  5. While I don’t care too much about the big hits on the album, I’ve always loved “The Chain” like few other songs ever.  Then recently I gave the record another spin after many years, and “Second Hand News” stood out magnificently.

  6. If you love Rumours, you’ll like Schlong’s Tumours, which is a punk cover of the full album.  Here is but one gem:

    1. Now that you mention it, let’s also not forget Camper Van Beethoven’s full album cover of “Tusk”.  Here’s “I Know I’m Not Wrong”:

      Which is going full circle in a way, as during the recording of “Tusk”, Lindsay Buckingham was listening to a lot of stuff like Throbbing Gristle and the like.

    2. Schlong did a cover of the soundtrack to West Side Story called “Punk Side Story”, and i’m quite fond of it, much to my partner’s confusion. he thinks it’s just terrible, but i giggle every time.

  7. All of fleetwood macs greatest albums were produced by Richard Dashut.  If you like that sound you should check out his current project – a young country singer from Canada Kalsey Kulyk:  

    The deep dynamic atmosphere that made Rumors and Tusk great is all in Dahsut’s production style, and you can really hear it in her stuff.

  8. Wow, that means that around 35 years ago, out of curiosity, I bought an album called “Buckingham Nicks”, which Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks had made before being invited to join Fleetwood Mac.  It ended up being one of my favorite records, but it’s long since disappeared (along with all my other vinyl albums).  As far as I know, it has never been released on CD or any other medium.  I think they owe it to the world to let us hear it again.

    1.  This *was* just re-released recently, and is floating around out there. I listened to it and you can certainly hear the… gestation or whatever of their sound, but I really didn’t think the songs were as strong as their later Fleetwood Mac stuff. Or maybe it’s those high-gloss production values.

  9. I just don’t see what is great about this album or this band, and I guess I never will. And I’m okay with that.

  10. There really aren’t too many albums where you can honestly say everything came together in exactly the right way at exactly the right time, and the results are damned close to perfection. Rumours, though, is one of these gems. The sound production alone is a master class in studio engineering.

    35 year old? It’s older than my children. Wow.

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