Fleetwood Mac, ‘Rumours (Expanded Edition)’ — Album Review
Breakup albums donât get much better than âRumours,â Fleetwood Macâs 1977 blockbuster that was recorded as band members went through various stages of relationship adjustment. When they made their breakthrough self-titled album in 1975, Fleetwood Mac included two couples, one married; by the time âRumoursâ was released, they were broken up. Listen to the record, and youâll get an idea what happened.
The âExpanded Editionâ of âRumoursâ â which includes a disc of live tracks and a CD of outtakes and alternate versions â makes things even more clear. In an early take of Lindsey Buckinghamâs âGo Your Own Way,â he sings âYou can roll like thunder,â a direct reference to former girlfriend Stevie Nicksâ lyric in âDreamsâ — âThunder only happens when itâs raining.â The additional line makes a bitchy breakup song even bitchier.
And thatâs where this âExpanded Edition,â which tacks on 29 songs to the original âRumours,â earns its price tag (thereâs also a new deluxe that includes a DVD, vinyl copy of âRumoursâ and a CD of outtakes that was included in the 2004 reissue). The early, sometimes raw versions of these familiar tracks are occasionally revealing, especially Buckinghamâs sketchier cuts, like early takes of âSecond Hand Newsâ and âI Donât Want to Know,â where heâs finding universal footing on deeply personal songs.
Nicksâ tracks, on the other hand, are mostly fully formed here. In fact, an early take of âSilver Springsâ â one of her best songs, initially left off âRumoursâ but reinstated here and on the 2004 reissue as part of the original album â is better than the released version. A handful of other leftovers (including one from the bandâs other singer-songwriter, Christine McVie) were wisely left off the 1977 masterpiece.
The live cuts, taken from a few different shows on the 1977 tour, donât stray far from the studio versions. Most are âRumoursâ songs, with a few from âFleetwood Macâ (âMonday Morning,â âRhiannonâ and a rumbling âWorld Turningâ) tossed in. The heart of the reissue â besides the original album, of course, which still sounds like one of the most perfect records ever made â is the new sides of old favorites. Theyâre the scars that âRumoursâ tried to cover.