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Posted Aug 20th, 2015 (2:33 pm) by Heather Starks
Fleetwood Mac Rumours
Fleetwood Mac Rumours

This is the first installment of our new #TBT Albums, where we will take at look at the history behind some of music's most memorable albums. To get things kicked off, we chose the timeless Fleetwood Mac record, Rumours.

For those not in the know, the story behind the making of Rumours is a doozie. The saying, "if you can’t keep it in your pants, keep it in the family" perfectly applies to the lover's paradox that was happening in the band. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks had long been an item, and John and Christine McVie had been married for 8 years. By the time the band made it to the studio to record what would become Rumours, all of this had changed. Buckingham and Nicks were no longer together, and the McVies had split due to the immense pressure of constant touring, John's steadily increasing drinking and drug habits, and because Christine McVie was sleeping with the band's sound engineer. To make matters worse, drummer Mick Fleetwood discovered his wife had been cheating on him with his best friend and former Fleetwood Mac guitarist, Bob Weston.

As if all of this disjointedness wasn't enough to give Fleetwood Mac a free pass to dismiss the idea of recording another album, things got messier when Mick Fleetwood started up an affair with Nicks. But the cherry on top of this fucked up sundae, is the song "You Make Lovin' Fun." One of the band's best and most easily recognizable tracks was written by McVie about the man she was having an affair with. When she wrote the song, she told her then still husband John that the song was about their dog, to avoid any further flare ups. According to McVie: "I was aware of it being irresponsible. But I had to do it for my sanity. It was either that or me ending up in a lunatic asylum."

You can hear the anger and heartache on many of the tracks, like the Lindsey Buckingham penned number, "Never Going Back Again."

"She broke down and let me in
Made me see where I've been
Been down one time
Been down two times
I'm never going back again"

Or the Stevie Nicks heartbreaker, "I Don't Want To Know."

"You say you love me, but you don't know
You got me rocking and a-reeling
I don't want to know the reasons why
Love keeps right on walking down the line
I don't want to stand between you and love
Honey, take a little time."

What sounds like a recipe for disaster turned into one of the most influential records in rock n' roll. Hole covered the cautionary cocaine tale "Gold Dust Woman," Wilco's 2007 album Sky Blue Sky has heavy elements of the trademark Rumours sound, and even The Go-Go's "Fading Fast" borrows the slippery guitar licks of Buckingham and the trapped in a relationship themed lyrics from "The Chain." Upon it's release in 1977, it became the fastest selling LP in history, moving over 800,000 copies a week. Rumours has been certified 20x platinum, sat atop the Billboard 200 for 31 non-consecutive weeks, and in May 2011 it re-entered the Billboard 200 chart at number 11 after "Glee" featured several of the songs in an episode. The staying power of this album is undeniable.

Fleetwood Mac chose to lay their souls bare and share their deepest insecurities and secrets with the world, making for an album that is both incredibly personal and overwhelmingly powerful. Check out the album in its entirety below, and come back next Thursday for another installment of #TBT Albums.

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