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Vinyl, Import, 28 January 2013
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Top international reviews
Whilst older fans of the band still like to complain about the disturbing change in style for the band. They surely cannot deny the excellence that is present in these songs. From the brilliant guitar work on "The Chain" to the emotional tale of "Songbird".
Personally speaking the opening song "Second Hand News" does a marvellous job of reminding me of simpler times as a child. Listening to the album on vinyl and cassette with my parents. To put this record on and just forget about the troubles of life is the kind of moments a truly brilliant record like "Rumours" can create. You always remember the first time you heard "Rumours".
Of course to create such an album the production has to be spot on and there is not one complaint about the sound at all. The record has always sounded warm and graceful as it ever did. The original vinyl is a classic that should be treasured however the recent 3 CD remaster is an absolute belter. Not only does it house demo's and rarities but it also comes with an hour long live album. It captures the band on tour in 1977 and is a must have for fans of this period of the bands career.
What else can you say about this album? "Rumours" should be in the collection of every house hold and deservingly so. It is a masterpiece of the 1970's rock scene that has never been bested.
The Album is like a greatest hits! Every song is perfection, it needs to be played from start to finish.
A must have for any vinyl collection.
I am not always a fan of repackaging albums, playing with the mastering etc, but they have done their work on this with skill. It is cleaner, a bit sharper, but the songs remain the stars. I love the live second cd, proof that there was no recording studio trickery. Steve Nicks has a stunning voice, Christine McVie has a raw emotional quality, Lindsey is an underrated guitarist, and Mick and John provide such a solid foundation for the others to paint their songs on.
It's not difficult to see why fans are divided: the original Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac were among the best of the raw British Blues bands. Green and fellow guitarists Kirwan and Spencer each had their demons, simultaneously adding to the passion of their music and ultimately destroying the band. Fan affection for these troubled souls and the thought of what might have been has resulted in vitriolic scorn for their 70's counterparts.
After treading water for a few years, Fleetwood and (John) McVie - now with fellow 60's Blues artist (and John's wife) Christine in the band - recruited Americans Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. A new beginning was signalled with their eponymously titled first album which reached no. 1 in the US album chart. It was far removed from the earlier albums both musically and lyrically: replacing the typically masculine "My woman done me wrong" style of the Blues with two female songwriters to one male opened up the group to a wider female audience for the first time; the softer rock sound also appealed to those who don't normally like rock music.
Finally it was time to record the eagerly awaited follow-up, Rumours. The signs weren't good, with personal divisions in the band and far too many months in the studio over-dubbing (the booklet tells an interesting story that there were so many overdubs, the original master tape began to wear thin!). That the resulting album has gone on to become one of the biggest selling of all time, and the album most associated with the term AOR is held as an example by both camps. Fans of the newer incarnation hold up its success as testament to its quality, while fans of the Peter Green line-up hate its mass-market "sell-out" appeal.
As a blues/hard rock fan I was in the Peter Green camp so I hadn't bought this album until one day in the 80's I finally got round to finding out what the theme music was to the BBC's old Formula 1 programme. Discovering it's the final section of The Chain, I bought the album. Initially I didn't like it, too soft to be rock but not commercial enough for pop, but it did sound good (on vinyl) so I played it and eventually learned to love it. Lindsey Buckingham is a hugely under-rated guitarist and his work on this album is understated but impressive. Unfortunately he'd left the band before I got to see them in 1987 but their live performance added a raw edge to these songs.
When CD appeared, I did buy this album but I've hardly listened to it since. I now know why - reading some of the earlier reviews of the remastered edition, and having heard how much better the Led Zeppelin remasters sound - I ordered this one. In the early days of CD, studios rushed to cash in by releasing albums mastered from late generation master and even vinyl editions. The Led Zeppelin original CD issues sound very similar to the original Rumours release: flat and dated. The re-mastered edition sounds dramatically better. The acoustic guitar at the beginning of Second Hand News now sounds like fingers on strings, not a sample of a guitar. The drums on the intro to Dreams now have real snap and there is a bottom-end to the sound that gets your foot tapping.
The second disc of bonus material is better than we might expect. The rough and outtake versions of the songs have their own appeal, less polished but rawer and more emotive. To pick an example, Don't Stop features just Christine McVie's piano plus bass and drums, with her and Lindsey duetting. It has a wonderfully spontaneous feel to it. Of the two jam sessions, Mic The Screecher you'll only listen to once, while For Duster (a reference presumably to tragic fellow Blues artist Duster Bennett) is interesting only for Lindsey showing his guitar chops for once.
To sum up, in these days of minimally talented production line cash cows, any fan of real music, written and performed by people of great talent should be buying albums like these. The difference in sound quality alone makes it worthwhile buying.