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£18.49

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

Distinctions Album du mois Magic - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
£13.99

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

Distinctions Album du mois Magic - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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
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Rock - Released April 30, 2013 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Rock - Released September 23, 2016 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Distinctions Best New Reissue
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£22.99

Rock - Released September 23, 2016 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Hi-Res Distinctions Best New Reissue
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£15.49

Rock - Released October 12, 1979 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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£15.49

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

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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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
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Pop - Released November 21, 1988 | Warner Bros.

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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
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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
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Rock - Released July 12, 2004 | Columbia

£12.99

Rock - Released July 12, 2004 | Columbia

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Pop - Released June 8, 2004 | Warner Bros.

SAY YOU WILL provided a particularly intriguing chapter in the Fleetwood Mac saga, with Christine McVie leaving and Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham rejoining the band. LIVE IN BOSTON is the concert document that reflects this dramatic shift in the group. Not to be confused with a similarly titled disc that presents a 1970 show with Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green-led lineup, this recording was taken from a 2003 performance at Boston's Fleet Center. The release is more of a visual than an aural offering--the two DVDs here include footage originally taped for the PBS series SOUNDSTAGE. Aided by a coterie of back-up musicians and featuring the rock-solid rhythm section of John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, the Mac once again proves it can shake the loss of yet another important member. The audio portion naturally consists of the band's biggest hits, which come across vibrantly. Buckingham's guitar playing finds this underrated maestro in impressive form, whether he's rocking out on "Eyes of the World" or nimbly picking his way through "Big Love." Buckingham's former paramour Nicks also makes her distinctive presence felt on the poignant "Landslide" and her solo tour de force "Stand Back."
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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

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Fleetwood Mac in the magazine
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