It’s partially Glee‘s fault. I’ve had my ups and downs with the show over the past two years, but I cannot deny the catchiness of its best songs. And ever since the “Rumours” episode, I’ve been listening to the real deal non-stop.
It really is amazing how one 11-track album can convey such a clear, complex message——and while I’m sure that the tension between the bandmates have since dissipated, there’s no denying that the emotions they felt were preserved perfectly in the recording studio. Each song on the album has this certain angst to it, but instead of putting those conflicts into loud, abrasive songs, Fleetwood Mac somehow translated them into beautiful harmonies and melodic guitar solos and strong drumbeats and everything in-between. The result is an album with not one filler. Every song is a hit.
I gravitate towards the popular tracks, of course, like “The Chain,” “Don’t Stop,” “You Make Loving Fun,” and “Go Your Own Way,” which has THE MOST fun beat to steering-wheel drum on your way to work. But I’ve also grown attached to the lesser known “Secondhand News” and “Never Going Back Again,” which demonstrate Lindsey Buckingham’s incredible range. On the former track, he is loud, wailing, and electric; on the latter, he is reserved, melancholy, and acoustic. Both are gorgeous. “Gold Dust Woman” might be better than “The Chain” for Stevie Nicks, in terms of showing off her vocal prowess. And then there’s “Songbird,” which can bring tears to my eyes in an instant. Christine McVie’s heartbreaking ballad strikes some sort of unspeakable emotional chord in me.
Listening to Rumours, one gets an incredibly lucid view of how art imitates life, and how, unfortunately, the best art comes from the most tumultuous lives. Out of the ashes of the band’s disintegrating romantic relationships came the phoenix that is Rumours, and I can only hope that the success and beauty of the album provided the bandmembers some sort of calm after the storm of their tumultuous personal lives. I’m guessing that President Clinton’s decision to use “Dont Stop” as his campaign song in ’92 didn’t hurt, either.