39 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours began a long run at the top of the Billboard 200 chart, where it would stay for a (nonconsecutive) 31 weeks. The only brief interruptions in the number one spot were from The Eagles Hotel California and a live Barry Manilow album. No thanks. Since its release, Rumours has sold over 40 million copies worldwide—behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller (makes sense), and, for some reason, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell.
Anyway, Rumours is flawless—don’t listen to this guy. And not only is it flawless in and of itself (Robert Christgau wrote that it “it jumps right out of the speakers at you”) but the tales of its recording are notoriously batshit crazy, too.
Up-and-coming recording artist Ryan Beatty has covered Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 #1 single “Dreams.” Beatty’s offers a stripped down, soulful rendition of the Stevie Nicks-penned classic. Have a listen below:
“It really was the beginning of the dream…” says the band’s Stevie Nicks.
The arrival of Lindsey Buckingham and his then-girlfriend Stevie Nicks to Fleetwood Mac in 1974 kicked the band’s commercial fortunes into serious high gear. Although the group was founded in 1967 and had already released nine studio albums, they had never visited the top 20 of the Billboard 200 chart. In contrast, the Mac’s first album with Buckingham and Nicks, the 1975 self-titled set, shot to No. 1 and sold five million in the U.S., according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
But even bigger success was on the horizon with 1977’s blockbuster Rumours, which spent 31 weeks atop the list and has shifted 20 million.
Its second single, the Nicks-penned “Dreams,” became the band’s first (and so far only) No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (on the list dated June 18, 1977) and was their first gold-certified single by the RIAA.
“My small pink 45 gold record of ‘Dreams’ hangs in my ocean apartment [in Santa Monica, Calif.] as we speak,” Nicks recalls to Billboard. “It has hung in every house I have lived in since the day I first received it. When I pass by it, I reach out and touch it. It really was the beginning of the dream …”
“Dreams” is one of 25 entries on the Hot 100 for the band, who also visited the top 10 eight other times with such hits as “Little Lies” and “Don’t Stop.”
The dreamy Rumours-era lineup of the band (Buckingham, Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie and John McVie) released three more top 10 studio albums before fracturing in 1987 after the departure of Buckingham. The quintet reconvened in 1997 for that year’s No. 1 live album The Dance and once more in 2014 for the On With the Show world tour. That trek continues through Europe, Australia and New Zealand this year. A new studio album is also in the works – and would be the first from the Mac’s fab five since 1987’s Tango in the Night.
Keith Caulfield / Billboard / Thursday, June 18, 2015
There are countless breakup songs across the musical landscape, but Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours is much more than that; it’s a breakup album that happens to be dripping with the band’s coked-out excess.
Personal lives absolutely falling apart have never sounded so catty and catchy at once as they do on Rumours. Between the divorce filing of John McVie and Christine McVie, the breakup of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham (and Nicks’ eventual “shacking up” with Mick Fleetwood), the band weren’t exactly hurting for material.
…And did we mention the coke? It’s heavy use by the band has been well documented and was so prolific, Fleetwood reportedly wanted to thank his dealer in the album’s credits.
All 11 tracks that make up Rumours could easily be singles, which could be why it has sold a staggering 40 million copies worldwide, with 20 million copies sold in the U.S. alone.
In short, it’s a pop-rock masterpiece, and it’s likely one of the few times it’s okay to be thankful for the pain and heartache of five individuals.
Winner: Fleetwood Mac, Rumours
Eagles, Hotel California
Steely Dan, Aja
James Taylor, JT
John Williams, Star Wars — Motion Picture Soundtrack
In a race between five albums that climbed the top of the Billboard 200 in 1977, Fleetwood Mac took home Album Of The Year gold as the Grammys turned 20. Rumours soared to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and garnered the group two additional nominations in 1977, including Best Arrangement For Voices for “Go Your Own Way.” Fellow West Coasters the Eagles and Steely Dan also gained nods — the latter would win for Album Of The Year for Two Against Nature in 2001. Taylor didn’t leave empty-handed that year as his cover of Jimmy Jones’ 1959 “Handy Man,” from JT, won for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male. The force was with Williams, who garnered his first award two years prior for the soundtrack to Jaws and has won an impressive 21 Grammys to date.
Late last year, a packed audience at London’s O2 Arena went wild as Fleetwood Mac welcomed Christine McVie on stage – completing the line-up of the band that produced one of the biggest selling albums of all times, Rumours.
The success of Fleetwood Mac is without precedent considering the varying line ups. However, the constants include their remarkable drummer and ‘big daddy’ of the group, Mick Fleetwood, and the ‘quiet man’, bassist John McVie. Which is fortunate as that’s how the band’s name came about, combining their two surnames way back in 1967.
Across two hours, Johnnie speaks to Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and features a rare interview with pianist and singer-songwriter Christine McVie. Listeners will get to hear how they all had their part to play in the jigsaw puzzle of Fleetwood Mac’s enduring success. Despite the sometimes hedonistic lifestyle, divorces and ego clashes they couldn’t have produced decades of hit records without love and friendship.
Presenter/ Johnnie Walker, Producer/ Julie Newman for the BBC
Unilever brand Dove has used Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Don’t Stop (Thinking about Tomorrow)’ for its global campaign focused on young females’ perceptions of beauty. The ad, which targets young women and their mothers, is voiced by a choir of young women singing Fleetwood Mac’s optimistic hit song from 1977’s blockbuster album Rumours.
Unilever brand Dove has adapted its ”Let’s Make Girls Unstoppable” ad for the Australian market, as part of a global campaign focused on young females’ perceptions of beauty.
The ad, which targets young women and their mothers, is voiced by a choir of young women singing Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)” and is taglined: “Mums let’s make girls unstoppable.”
The television commercial was originally created by Ogilvy in Canada and was repurposed for Australia by creative agency JWT.
Before their performance at last year’s Grammy Celebration, The Lumineers stopped by a private performance area for a special web series that would be released months later.
Today, Grammy.com officially launched the ReImagined Series, an interview and performance-based series that highlights how contemporary artists were influenced by past Grammy winners.
Covers range from The Shins taking on Bukka White to TJ Stafford covering the Beastie Boys. In the first installment, The Lumineers take on Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way,” a cut from their legendary album Rumours. Check out the video above.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra continues its bold, symphonic reinterpretations of contemporary rock music, this time revisiting the ‘70s melodic rock favourite Rumours by Fleetwood Mac in its entirety. Recorded at the historic Abbey Road studios, this release marks the first time the RPO have taken on an entire album, from opening note to closing refrain.
London’s royal philharmonic scores Fleetwood Mac’s classic album Rumours with guest appearance by Peter Frampton.
One of the world’s most storied and esteemed orchestras, The Royal Philharmonic, continues its bold, symphonic reinterpretations of contemporary rock music, this time revisiting the ‘70s melodic rock favourite Rumours by Fleetwood Mac in its entirety. Recorded at the historic Abbey Road studios, this release marks the first time the RPO have taken on an entire album, from opening note to closing refrain. The roughly 50+ musicians who comprise the orchestra were aided in their quest by the guiding hands of arrangers James Graydon and Richard Cottle as well as very special guest appearances by the legendary Peter Frampton and steel guitarist Sarah Jory.
The RPO couldn’t have selected a better album to recreate. Released in 1977 and considered the high water mark not only of Fleetwood Mac’s extraordinary career but of ‘70s rock in general, Rumours produced a string of hits including “Go Your Own Way,” “Don’t Stop,” “The Chain,” and “Gold Dust Woman.” Graydon comments, “Rumours was such an important album in terms of both songwriting and production. Although we were mindful of the fact that these songs are very well known, we decided to approach the arrangements from a slightly different perspective to make it work in the orchestral world.” Executive producer Anthony Klein remarks, “It was a privilege to work with the Royal Philharmonic, and to have them play and record those classic songs in such an iconic room as Studio 2 at Abbey Road made the whole project even more epic. We now have a fantastic album and hope that it will appeal to all generations.”
Experience this classic album like you’ve never experienced it before. (Samples of all tracks can be heard at Amazon or iTunes.)
1. Second Hand News
3. Never Going Back Again
4. Don’t Stop
5. Go Your Own Way
7. The Chain
8. You Make Loving Fun
9. I Don’t Want To Know
10. Oh Daddy
11. Gold Dust Woman feat. Peter Frampton
Order The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays Fleetwood Mac’s RumoursCD or MP3 at Amazon or on iTunes.
Listen to an advance preview of “Gold Dust Woman” featuring guitarist Peter Frampton (Something Else Reviews).