35thRumoursWith several distinctive eras of Fleetwood Mac on the board, one as revered as another by different listeners, it is hard to deny the greatness of Rumours.  Released in 1977 by the third (and most famous) lineup, which featured mainstays Mick Fleetwood, and John McVie as well as Christine McVie and—the difference in the mix—Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, Rumours was the followup to that lineup’s eponymous first release, itself doing well in the charts.

What separated Rumours from that lineup’s “debut” was the emotionally charged string of biographical songs, that and a meshing together of superior talent that gelled quickly, benefiting from the songwriting prowess of nearly every member in the band.  But it was Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks’ tested skills as a previously recorded duo that brought the lyrics and music to a different place than Fleetwood Mac had traveled to before.

It can be argued that the  Kirwin/Welch years edged Fleetwood Mac toward a softer, more pop-oriented style than the Green years (which were nasty short).  Certainly the albums that were created during that era were beautiful in their own right, if not as much as anything that came after. But the progression that led to the Buckingham/Nicks era can certainly be felt.

Still, Rumours is the one that everyone remembers, the one album that touched a soft spot in more than 20+ million listeners.  It is not surprising that one of the most important albums of the rock era would, soon enough, be released in a definitive package that would update the sound.  But more importantly, the added bonus music that is part of the entire album experience is also represented.

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But first, the remastered album.  It brings the music to a more contemporary standard in sound, providing an excellent audio update that will be pleasing to fans of the classic set.  The main album includes the B-side outtake “Silver Springs,” a song that must have been extremely difficult to cut from the original album. (One can only imagine the heated discussions over its inclusion/exclusion.)

This 2013 reissued Deluxe Edition, some 36 years after its initial release, also provides a second disc of 11 song performances from the album’s support tour in 1977, pieced together from several US shows. The live collection also brings in songs from the famous lineup’s first album like “”Rhiannon” and “World Turning.”

But what brings immense value is the third disc found in the Deluxe Edition, with its rich collection of instrumentals, demos, takes, both early and album-directed, and a pair of acoustic duets, all closely attached to Rumours‘ making. While some may find the addition of this set tedious and unnecessary, obsessed fans of the album will pore over the constructs of the album with delight as each song, used or not, reveals the history of these songs’ intents and their eventual formation into the classics that they have grown to love.

The three CDs are housed in a tri-fold “wallet” with the expected booklet.  The booklet, all 20 pages of it, is filled with a David Wild essay, Rumours-era photos, lyrics, complex track-listings, and a page of credits for ANYTHING Rumours, old and new.

If you are on the fence about the album, I’d have to ask why, especially if you were a Fleetwood Mac fan. For some, the band’s earlier works, which may never get the same lavish treatment as this album (and they should), were best. But for the larger crowd, Rumours was essential. Personally, I have greater love for earlier Fleetwood Mac, especially Bare Trees and Heroes Are Hard to Find, but I have a strong love for Rumours as well.

This three-disc Deluxe Edition will be an essential acquisition for many fans.

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Release Date:  January 25, 2013
Label: Warners/Rhino

Reviewed by:  Matt Rowe

 

By MARowe

8 thoughts on “Review: Rumours – Fleetwood Mac (3CD Deluxe 2013 Edition)”
  1. Hey Matt
    Everything I’ve read about the Rumours reissue states that the music for the album disc is the same remaster used in the previous release some years ago. That doesn’t necessarily means it sounds the same. Have you done a comparison of the two discs to see? I for one, despite the extra stuff, didn’t want to spend the money unless the sound has been upgraded. I thought the sound was pretty good the last time.

  2. One reason I was disappointed in this Expanded edition is that it is the same remastering as in 2004’s (then) Deluxe Edition… which I guess now is not so deluxe… which included 2/3 of what is here. Been quadrupled-dipped on this one enough! Instead of putting out a CD with the same remastering as 9 years ago, how about a remastering of Bare Trees or Mystery to Me?

    1. I so, SO agree with a remastering of the pre-Buckingham-Nicks catalogue. But I’m afraid those may never happen. Do you think that there is a market for those?

  3. I’m definitely on the fence. Mainly because I have the dvd-audio and I can’t imagine the sound being any better. Also not sure I am that interested in the additional discs. Maybe if I can find one on sale after it’s been out a while.

  4. I think there is a market for the older Mac releases. It is always a question of how many can be sold. A box set of the Warner years by Rhino at a reasonable price could be the answer. I find it hard to believe that with the popularity still of the Buckingham Nicks era, that more hasn’t been done to promote albums like Bare Trees. So many other older bands have had their time in the sun (Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, Climax Blues Band, Steve Miller, etc.) – it makes me wonder what’s up with ignoring a healthy back catalogue like Fleetwood Mac?

  5. The recent Japanese import SACD 5.1 version is well worth the $31.08 from CDJapan and I would bet beats this box set in sound quality. When I bought this SACD (having previously owned the DVD-A) last year, I played “Dreams” a song which was MASSIVELY overplayed in the 70’s – and it was a revelation. The bass, the silky groove, the background vocals, the unique voice that is Stevie – YIKES! It was like hearing it for the first time.

    I fully, FULLY recommend this SACD. Having said that, I would love to listen to Disc 3 that has the demo’s and instrumentals. I love that stuff.

  6. While not based on audiophile equipment, I think the new disc (as opposed to the 2004 version) sounds better. The 2013 “album” is also sequenced differently so it’s not exactly the same in any event. Silver Spings is track 7 on the 2004 version and track 12 on the 2013. Also, the Bonus discs (disc 2 in 2004 and disc 3 in 2013) are different. I can’t find any repetition across them. Even where the same song is included (e.g. Songbird, Second Hand News, Gold Dust Woman) they are different versions. However, the “World Tour 1977” disc is the real gem in this release. I think the 2004 and 2013 versions complement each other more than a lot of other ‘re-re-releases’ of the past, and I’ll be keeping both.

    However, in spite of the fact that I don’t feel quite as ripped off as with some other multiple release albums (anniversary, expanded, deluxe, etc.) I have to agree…I’d rather have Bare Trees, Heroes are Hard to Find and Mystery to Me! They’re long overdue for some type of improvment. But what I’d really like to see is an expansion and re-mastering of Then Play On, I know there’s a lot of bonus material available (Show Biz Blues anyone?) and the albume certainly deserves it.

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