Similar artists

Albums

£15.74
£13.64

Rock - Released April 30, 2013 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Hi-Res

Rock - Released February 4, 1977 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Rumours is the kind of album that transcends its origins and reputation, entering the realm of legend -- it's an album that simply exists outside of criticism and outside of its time, even if it thoroughly captures its era. Prior to this LP, Fleetwood Mac were moderately successful, but here they turned into a full-fledged phenomenon, with Rumours becoming the biggest-selling pop album to date. While its chart success was historic, much of the legend surrounding the record is born from the group's internal turmoil. Unlike most bands, Fleetwood Mac in the mid-'70s were professionally and romantically intertwined, with no less than two couples in the band, but as their professional career took off, the personal side unraveled. Bassist John McVie and his keyboardist/singer wife Christine McVie filed for divorce as guitarist/vocalist Lindsey Buckingham and vocalist Stevie Nicks split, with Stevie running to drummer Mick Fleetwood, unbeknown to the rest of the band. These personal tensions fueled nearly every song on Rumours, which makes listening to the album a nearly voyeuristic experience. You're eavesdropping on the bandmates singing painful truths about each other, spreading nasty lies and rumors and wallowing in their grief, all in the presence of the person who caused the heartache. Everybody loves gawking at a good public breakup, but if that was all that it took to sell a record, Richard and Linda Thompson's Shoot Out the Lights would be multi-platinum. No, what made Rumours an unparalleled blockbuster is the quality of the music. Once again masterminded by producer/songwriter/guitarist Buckingham, Rumours is an exceptionally musical piece of work -- he toughens Christine McVie and softens Nicks, adding weird turns to accessibly melodic works, which gives the universal themes of the songs haunting resonance. It also cloaks the raw emotion of the lyrics in deceptively palatable arrangements that made a tune as wrecked and tortured as "Go Your Own Way" an anthemic hit. But that's what makes Rumours such an enduring achievement -- it turns private pain into something universal. Some of these songs may be too familiar, whether through their repeated exposure on FM radio or their use in presidential campaigns, but in the context of the album, each tune, each phrase regains its raw, immediate emotional power -- which is why Rumours touched a nerve upon its 1977 release, and has since transcended its era to be one of the greatest, most compelling pop albums of all time. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Rock - Released February 5, 2013 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Pop - Released September 1, 1977 | Warner Bros.

It's unfair to say that Fleetwood Mac had no pop pretensions prior to the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks to the lineup in 1975. When they were led by Bob Welch they often flirted with pop, even recording the first version of the unabashedly smooth and sappy "Sentimental Lady," which would later be one of the defining soft rock hits of the late '70s. Still, there's no denying that 1975's Fleetwood Mac represents not just the rebirth of the band, but in effect a second debut for the group -- the introduction of a band that would dominate the sound of American and British mainstream pop for the next seven years. In fact, in retrospect, it's rather stunning how thoroughly Buckingham and Nicks, who had previously recorded as a duo and were romantically entangled in the past, overtook the British blues band. As soon as the Californian duo came onboard, Fleetwood Mac turned into a West Coast pop/rock band, transforming the very identity of the band and pushing the band's other songwriter, keyboardist Christine McVie, to a kindred soft rock sound. It could have all been too mellow if it weren't for the nervy, restless spirit of Buckingham, whose insistent opener, "Monday Morning," sets the tone for the rest of the album, as well the next few years of the group's career. Surging with a pushily melodic chorus and a breezy Californian feel, the song has little to do with anything the Mac had done before this, and it is a positively brilliant slice of pop songwriting, simultaneously urgent and timeless. After that barnstorming opener, Buckingham lies back a bit, contributing only two other songs -- a cover of Richard Curtis' "Blue Letter," the second best up-tempo song here, and the closer, "I'm So Afraid" -- while the rest of the album is given over to the wily spirits of Nicks and McVie, whose singles "Rhiannon," "Say You Love Me," and "Over My Head" deservedly made this into a blockbuster. But a bandmember's contribution can never be reduced to his own tracks, and Buckingham not only gives the production depth, he motivates the rest of the band, particularly Nicks and McVie, to do great work, not just on the hit singles but the album tracks that give this record depth. It was diverse without being forced, percolating with innovative ideas, all filtered through an accessible yet sophisticated sensibility. While Rumours had more hits and Tusk was an inspired work of mad genius, Fleetwood Mac wrote the blueprint for Californian soft rock of the late '70s and was the standard the rest were judged by. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Pop - Released November 21, 1988 | Warner Bros.

Pop/Rock - Released November 22, 2010 | Sony Music UK

For reasons that no one seems to recall in detail -- but for which we can be grateful -- when it was time to release a second Fleetwood Mac LP in America, producer Mike Vernon and the band didn't just send the existing Mr. Wonderful album across the Atlantic -- a little fine-tuning and retooling was in order. The band had just expanded by one member, to a quintet -- with the addition of guitarist Danny Kirwan -- by the end of 1968, whereas Mr. Wonderful represented them as a four-piece outfit. Additionally, the group had just toured the U.S. for the first time, as a quintet, playing to very enthusiastic audiences, and so there was some point to sending U.S. licensee Epic Records something extra, representing who they were at the start of 1969. And that became the English Rose album, offering three Kirwan-authored instrumentals, plus the hit U.K. single "Albatross," and also their previous single, "Black Magic Woman," which had been a British Top 40 hit (though it was unknown in the U.S., and preceded Santana's hit recording of it by almost two years). Half of Mr. Wonderful was still there, including the opener, "Stop Messin' Round" and "I've Lost My Baby," representing the stronger tracks from that record. Between the paring down of Mr. Wonderful and the addition of the single tracks, English Rose ended up being a stronger album than its predecessor, though without a hit single in America to drive sales and get it exposure, it barely brushed the Top 200 LP listings in the U.S. Strangely enough, despite the overlap with Mr. Wonderful, English Rose was released in England about six months later, probably to help make up for the loss of the group's contract (due to an oversight) by Blue Horizon. ~ Bruce Eder

Pop - Released April 6, 1990 | Warner Bros.

Fleetwood Mac's only full-length album with a lineup of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Billy Burnette, and Rick Vito proved an artistic and commercial disappointment not so much because Lindsey Buckingham was missing as songwriter/guitarist/singer/ producer as because the group's other writers, Nicks and Christine McVie, didn't pick up the slack, relying on Burnette and Vito to come up with material. They tried: Burnette's "Hard Feelings," written with Jeff Silbar, was a worthy effort. But Nicks's four contributions (three of them co-written) weren't up to her usual standard, and while McVie proved more dependable, turning in the Top 40 pop hit "Save Me" and the Top Ten Adult Contemporary hit "Skies The Limit," her light, romantic efforts needed sturdier work to play off of. Behind The Mask was never less than pleasant, but never of the calibre of the work of the previous lineup, either. Though it went gold, it was Fleetwood Mac's least successful new album in 15 years. ~ William Ruhlmann

Rock - Released July 12, 2004 | Columbia

Rock - Released July 12, 2004 | Columbia

Rock - Released July 12, 2004 | Columbia

As far as odds and ends packages go, Original Fleetwood Mac (1971) is an undeniably strong collection culled primarily from the band's first incarnation, featuring John McVie (bass/guitar), Mick Fleetwood (drums), Peter Green (guitar/vocals), and Jeremy Spencer (guitar/piano/vocals). As evidenced by the material, this quartet are an unmistakably blues-based combo. Early on they distinguished themselves as not only interpreters of traditional fare, but skilled composers, especially Green, who penned the vast majority of these selections. While their entire output during this era can be found on the six-disc Complete Blue Horizon Sessions: 1967-1969 (1999), the best of those secondary sides are contained within this disc. Green's total envelopment of the blues, coupled with equally inspired guitar craft, illuminate the traditional "Drifting" and "First Train Home," as well as an adventurous, hopped-up cover of Muddy Waters' "Rollin' and Tumblin'," titled "Rambling Pony No. 2." "Watch Out" reveals Fleetwood Mac's decidedly jazzier visage. While the driving upbeat rhythm is deeply rooted in a Chicago-style delivery, Green's fretwork is undeniably fresh, giving the outing fuel for the combo's fiery contributions. "A Fool No More" is another notable variation and possible harbinger of their later psychedelic ventures. The instrumental "Fleetwood Mac" sounds as if it may have been taken from a jam session already in progress. The adaptation of Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "Mean Old Fireman" offers an acoustic pseudo-slide lead from Green, but ultimately it fails to truly ignite. B.B. King's "Worried Dream" is an interesting choice that would show up later in the band's concurrent concert repertoire. ~ Lindsay Planer

Rock - Released July 12, 2004 | Columbia

With songs taken from Fleetwood Mac and Mr. Wonderful, Pious Bird of Good Omen serves as a worthy 12-track compilation of the band's early Peter Green days. Climbing to number 18 in the U.K., the album managed to catapult Fleetwood Mac's version of Little Willie John's "Need Your Love So Bad" into the English charts for the third time, resting at number 42. The album itself was released by Blue Horizon after the group's contract with them had expired, making it one of the best routes in which to explore their mingling of Chicago and British blues. "Albatross," "Black Magic Woman," and "I Believe My Time Ain't Long" are timeless Fleetwood Mac standards, representing some of the band's best pre-Rumours work. Anyone who isn't familiar with Fleetwood Mac's origins should use Pious Bird of Good Omen as a starting point in investigating the first wave of the band, which will almost certainly lead to further interests into albums such as English Rose, Then Play On, and Kiln House, and then into later albums like Bare Trees and Penguin, which reveal subtle yet effective changes in the band's blues sound. But even aside from its purpose as a collection, Pious Bird of Good Omen makes for a terrific laid-back stroll through some of the best British blues music ever made. ~ Mike DeGagne

Pop/Rock - Released April 11, 2011 | Sony Music UK

In 1998, Columbia released Fleetwood Mac/Mr. Wonderful/Pious Bird of Good Omen, which contained three complete albums -- Fleetwood Mac, Mr. Wonderful (1968, originally released on Blue Horizon), and Pious Bird of Good Omen (1969, also originally released on Blue Horizon ) -- by the Fleetwood Mac on one compact disc. ~ Tim Sendra

Pop - Released August 19, 1997 | Warner Bros.

Two years after the Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks/Christine McVie-less incarnation of Fleetwood Mac crashed and burned, their classic '70s lineup reunited for an MTV Unplugged session and an accompanying tour. Although it's likely that the reunion was for monetary purposes, it made creative sense as well -- no members were as compelling solo as they were with the group. Despite this, the Unplugged-styled setting wasn't ideal for a reunion, since the group decided to devote nearly a quarter of The Dance to new material, inevitably resulting in unfair comparisons to their warhorses. Since there's so much new material, The Dance can't be a truly nostalgic experience either, because the new songs interrupt the flow. Not that they're bad -- both Buckingham's gentle "Bleed to Love Her" and nervy "My Little Demon" are first-rate -- but they aren't given the full-fledged production they deserve. Similarly, the older songs suffer from the slightly hollow unplugged production. All the hits are performed in nearly identical arrangements to the originals, with the exception of Buckingham's solo "Big Love" (an improvement on the original) and the addition of Tusk's marching band to "Don't Stop," which makes the differences all too apparent. Much is the same -- McVie and Nicks sound terrific, and the band is tight and professional -- but Buckingham has lost some of his range, which undercuts some of his songs. Still, that isn't enough to prevent The Dance from being an entertaining listen; it just isn't a substantial one. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Pop/Rock - Released September 29, 2008 | Columbia

Pop - Released May 12, 2009 | Warner Bros.

Artist

Fleetwood Mac in the magazine
  • The Qobuz Studio: Episode #4
    The Qobuz Studio: Episode #4 This week featuring albums from Fleetwood Mac, UCD Choral Scholars, Coldplay, Kneebody & Daedelus, Andy Compton, and a retrospective on Sam Cooke.