You say, you want your freedom
Well, who am I to keep you down
It's only right that you should
Play the way you feel it
But listen carefully, to the sound
Of your loneliness
Like a heartbeat, drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering what you had
And what you lost
And what you had
And what you lost
Rumours is the eleventh studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac. It was released through Warner Bros. Records on 4 February 1977 in the United States, and the next week in the United Kingdom.
Riding off the smash success of their self-titled tenth album, an extensive six months of touring started to tear the band apart at the seams.
John and Christine McVie were ending their eight-year marriage. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks had broken up with fiery animosity. And Mick Fleetwood's wife was having an affair with his best friend.note And everyone was in thrall to truly heroic amounts of cocaine. However, the only constant that kept these bandmates together was the music they would create.
The band started producing their next album in February 1976 under the working title of Yesterday's Gone, which Buckingham took charge of to create a "pop album." He and Christine McVie laid out the foundations of many the tracks upon guitar and piano, and the band would see what worked and what didn't, splicing portions of songs onto other songs and beyond. However, cocaine and sleepless nights dragged the recording onward, where they would come in at seven at night and wouldn't record until two in the morning. All the while rumors circulated about the band breaking up, replacing members, and other scandals.
In spite of the tumultuous recording sessions, Rumours was essentially all Fleetwood Mac wanted.
Nicks' "Silver Springs" was cut in favor of "I Don't Want to Know" because the latter was shorter and jauntier. But "Silver Springs" became enormous following its inclusion in the Live Album The Dance in 1997, and was added to the album in releases from 2004 onward.
Rumours would ultimately go twenty-times Platinum in the United States—upgraded to double-Diamond when the RIAA launched the Diamond certification in 1999—and 14-times Platinum in the United Kingdom. It has sold 45 million copies worldwide, making it one of the ten best-selling albums of all time. It's currently #5 all-time in the United States.
Four singles were released from the album: "Go Your Own Way", "Dreams", "Don't Stop", and "You Make Loving Fun". All four were Top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, with "Dreams" being their first #1. Many other songs would become famous without singles releases, most notably "The Chain", "Second Hand News", and "Songbird".
The record won the 1978 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. An episode about the creative process behind this album was featured in the documentary TV series Classic Albums. Both the album and the song "Dreams" ended up returning to the American charts after a TikTok video was released showing someone riding a skateboard while drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail out of the bottle. It would ultimately hit #12, the band's highest chart appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1988.
- "Second Hand News" (2:43)
- "Dreams" (4:14)
- "Never Going Back Again" (2:02)
- "Don't Stop" (3:11)
- "Go Your Own Way" (3:38)
- "Songbird" (3:20)
- "The Chain" (4:28)
- "You Make Loving Fun" (3:31)
- "I Don't Want to Know" (3:11)
- "Oh Daddy" (3:54)
- "Gold Dust Woman" (4:51)
CD-only bonus track (2004 onward)
- "Silver Springs" (4:29)
- Lindsey Buckingham - lead vocals on tracks 1, 3-5, 7, 9, guitar, dobro, bass, percussion
- Mick Fleetwood - drums, percussion, harpsichord, congas, maracas, cymbals, cowbell, sound effects
- Christine McVie - lead vocals on tracks 4, 6-8, and 10, keyboard, piano, organ, clavinet
- John McVie - bass
- Stevie Nicks - lead vocals on tracks 2, 7, 9, and 11, tambourine
We're just second hand tropes, we're just second hand troooooooooooooopes...:
- Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: "Dreams."When the rain waSHES you clean you'll know.
- B-Side: Though cut from the album, Nicks' "Silver Springs" stands as one of the band's most famous songs. It was only released on the back of Buckingham's "Go Your Own Way", to which it served as an Answer Song, but proved popular enough to appear on a later Boxed Set. The live version from The Dance was a hit. It was eventually added to the album proper on the 2004 reissue as the closer.
- Break-Up Song: Actually, a whole breakup album:
- "Go Your Own Way", which Buckingham wrote about his breakup with Nicks, the protagonist angrily rants at their former lover about their infidelity.Loving you isn't the right thing to do
How can I ever change things that I feel?
If I could, maybe I'd give you my world
How can I when you won't take it from me?
- "Silver Springs" is Nicks's Answer Song.Time cast a spell on you, but you won't forget me
I know I could have loved you, but you would not let me
I'll follow you down til' the sound of my voice will haunt you
You'll never get away from the sound of the woman that loved you
- In both "Second Hand News" and "The Chain", the lover hasn't gotten over it, but in "I Don't Want to Know", the protagonist accepts that his former girlfriend now has a new partner.I don't want to stand between you and love
Honey, I just want you to feel fine
- "Go Your Own Way", which Buckingham wrote about his breakup with Nicks, the protagonist angrily rants at their former lover about their infidelity.
- Cover Version: Glee's Rumours.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The album cover is shot in black-and-white.
- Despair Event Horizon: "Never Going Back Again":You don't know what it means to win
Come on down and see me again
Been down one time
Been down two time
Mmm, never going back again
- Face on the Cover: Fleetwood and Nicks are posed in profile on the front.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Mick and Stevie, pictured on the cover. They were in the midst of an affair at the time.
- Line-of-Sight Name: Stevie got the title to "Silver Springs" after seeing a highway sign for Silver Spring, Maryland, on tour and liking the name.
- Love Hurts: Half the songs on the album.
- Love Redeems: The other half of the songs on the album.
- Love Ruins the Realm: "Gold Dust Woman".Well, did she make you cry, make you break down, shatter your illusions of love?
- Obsession Song: Both "Go Your Own Way", and its B-side "Silver Springs".
- One-Man Song: "Oh Daddy".
- One-Woman Song: "Gold Dust Woman".
- One-Word Title: "Songbird", "Dreams" and the album title itself, "Rumours".
- Pep-Talk Song:
- "Don't Stop":Why not think about times to come
And not about the things that you've done
If your life was bad to you
Just think what tomorrow will do
- "Gold Dust Woman":Well, did she make you cry, make you break down, shatter your illusions of love?
And is it over now? Do you know how to pick up the pieces and go home?
- "Don't Stop":
- The Power of Love: "Oh Daddy", which praises the protagonist as the "best thing in my life". "You Make Loving Fun" and "Songbird", which express delight with the desired partner and the things he/she does.
- Precision F-Strike: Listen very carefully at the start of "The Chain" on the 2015 remaster, and you can hear Lindsey Buckingham sigh "fuck" before beginning the guitar riff — likely a result of the legendarily difficult and unpleasant recording sessions.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: "You Make Loving Fun" was inspired by the affair that ended the McVie marriage. Christine was describing how her paramour, the band's lighting director during the tour to promote the previous album, made her feel.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Buckingham and Nicks' lyrics mainly consist of these toward each other. See Take That! below for some examples.
- Re-Cut: Cassette copies swapped the positions of "Second Hand News" and "I Don't Want to Know" in order to even out the lengths of each side. This was ironic since an early selling point of prerecorded cassettes over 8-tracks was that cassettes could duplicate the LP tracklisting exactly. Uneven side length was apparently an issue back then, but many releases simply put a disclaimer on the cover advising listeners that one side may be longer than the other and that they should fast-forward after the last track before flipping the tape over.
- Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: "Gold Dust Woman" is a swipe at both oversexed groupies and cocaine addiction, which makes it an odd cover choice for Courtney Love of the band Hole in the soundtrack for The Crow: City of Angels.
- Shout-Out: A line in the first verse of "Dreams" references the classic Edgar Allan Poe story The Tell-Tale Heart.
- Take That!: This album is absolutely loaded with these from one band-member towards the other.
- Lead single "Go Your Own Way"'s probably the most obvious - the "Packing up, shacking up is all you want to do" line is Buckingham insulting Nicks.note Nicks responded with the single's B-side "Silver Springs" - which features the line "I'll follow you down 'till the sound of my voice will haunt you/you'll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you". The last-named song was, for many years, one of the rarest and most sought-after of Fleetwood Mac tracks because it appeared only on the B-side of the single of "Go Your Own Way"; it had been left off the album because of lack of space, much to Nicks' displeasure, and wasn't officially released on a Mac album until their 1992 retrospective box-set. It's also been added to the reissued and remastered editions of this album, for what that's worth.note
- "Gold Dust Woman", which did make the final cut, is a Take That! at the groupies who hung around the male members of the band, particularly Mick and Lindsey.
- Updated Re-release: Reissues from 2004 have "Silver Springs" added to the running order.
- Visual Innuendo: The clackers very conspicuously hanging from Mick Fleetwood's crotch.
- White Void Room: The band members stand in one on the album cover.
- Working with the Ex: Around the time of this album, the band consisted of two broken relationships and a divorced drummer (who had a fling with the singer).
- Yandere: Some of the lines in "Silver Springs" come off like this:I'll follow you down 'til the sound of my voice will haunt you