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

Distinctions Album du mois Magic - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
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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 February 4, 1977 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Released October 12, 1979 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Released September 23, 2016 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Hi-Res Distinctions Best New Reissue
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Rock - Released April 30, 2013 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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

Distinctions Best New Reissue
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Rock - Released January 19, 2018 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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Rock - Released October 12, 2002 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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Rock - Released March 31, 2017 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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Pop - Released November 21, 1988 | Warner Bros.

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Rock - Released December 4, 2015 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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Rock - Released March 31, 2017 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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Rock - Released March 31, 2017 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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Rock - Released September 12, 2011 | Columbia

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Rock - Released July 11, 1975 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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Rock - Released January 19, 2018 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

Their second eponymous album, Fleetwood Mac, of 1975, allowed the group to redefine an evolving identity. Everything had changed since the debut work, which had come out seven years earlier. The British group had lost three guitarists. Addled by LSD, disgusted by money, Peter Green, a pure blues spirit, deserted. Jeremy Spencer joined the Children of God, and the very young Danny Kirwan was sacked for alcohol troubles and poor mental health. All that remained were Fleetwood and McVie. In California Mick Fleetwood came across the couple Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, while John McVie recruited his future wife to the keyboards. English blues born from the ashes of the Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mac, hitched to the Nicks-Buckingham team, passed over into rock bearing the Californian "FM" stamp. Mainstream radios never received such good vibrations. Before Rumours which would inundate a whole generation, the group was already nurturing that quality which would propel them up the charts. Nicks's raw sensuality on Rhiannon, Buckingham's nascent leadership on I’m So Afraid, the dulcet pop of Over My Head and Say You Love Me. But also singular beauties such as Landslide, more known for its cover by the Smashing Pumpkins or Crystal. Between a hippie dusk raging against the rising tide of punk and remnants of the blues (World Turning), Fleetwood Mac, whose earlier versions and live recordings are offered up for discovery in this Deluxe edition, set out on a lightning ascent under a narcotic spell as winning as it was tragic. © CS/Qobuz
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Rock - Released February 5, 2013 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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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
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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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