RECORD OF THE MONTH

I figured I’d do a monthly ‘what I’m listening to’ kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it’s my blog! So there!

These may or may not be newly released disks. They might not even be a good disk – just what is been in heavy rotation in my car (as usually the iPod is playing anywhere else).

30 yrs old!!! Can you frickin‘ believe it?

Rumours is 3 decades old this month. Arguably it is one of the best recordings in rock and/or roll. Inarguably, it is one of the most successful – spending 31 weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 and selling more than 8 million copies in 1977 alone and 18 million to date. It was, I believe, the first pop album to have four top 10 singles. In my lifetime I’ve owned three vinyl copies and am now on my second compact disk version. I played this record to death!!

Regardless of its age, the disk holds up. And well! People will say that there isn’t a bad song on it….but I would disagree. I continually, and always have, skipped right over “Don’t Stop”. This was a pain in the ass with pre-laser technology. Pick up the needle and set down on the the next song – ugh! Though voting for Clinton in 1992 was never not an option, I loathed the fact that he used it as his campaign song.

The songs are very band driven (save basically solo efforts by Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie on “Never Going Back Again” and “Songbird” respectively) – though in reality most were pieced together over a year’s time. The vocals are good and the harmonies tight. I’m still a huge fan of “The Chain”, “Dreams”, “Oh Daddy” and “Gold Dust Woman”.

In 1985, Warner Bros. rushed out a very inferior CD version of the disk. I bought it because, well, I rarely used my turntable. Vinyl actually held more highs and lows, sonically, than the compact disk. Finally in 2004 a remastered copy appeared on the market (hence my second CD copy). The sound is so much better, but naturally they couldn’t leave well enough alone.

The album is now two disks long. The second disk is mostly outtakes, demos and alternate versions. Honestly, I think I’ve played this once. Though somewhat interesting, there isn’t much fully formed that one would want to hear over and over. The almost acoustic version of “Gold Dust Woman” isn’t bad, nor is the outtake from “Oh Daddy”.

But they even fiddled with the main disk. Back in the day, I loved “Silver Springs”. It was a track that was deleted from the vinyl disk because of time constraints (remember when records could only hold 45 minutes or so of music?) and slapped it on the b-side of “Go Your Own Way”. So ‘they’ inserted it here – taking the disk out of original sequence. And they had to mess with the song itself and remix the hell out of it. You’re better off hearing that song on The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac, which is even different than The Chain: 25 Years of Fleetwood Mac.

Oddly enough, as much as I loved this disk, it wouldn’t be a Desert Island Disk for me – even though I pretty much financed their coke habits with the number of copies I have purchased over the years. If I had to pick a Fleetwood Mac disk as a DID, it would be Tusk.

30 years. Do you feel old now?

But if for nothing else, the cover of Rumours has brought us this:

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