Remembering Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumors’

by Paige Ardill

Remembering Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumors’

Fleetwood Mac

Warner Bros. · February 1977

It was hot outside, sticky, the air heavy with the kind of humidity that left everything it touched damp with the anticipation of rain. The sun beat down on our skin, on the uncut grass, on the steaming pavement covered in sidewalk chalk left over from a game of hopscotch that had been long forgotten. The small suburban town lay quiet, the only perceptible sound from the rustle of leaves as the forgiving breeze drifted through. It was the perfect summer of melted ice cream and endless days that seemed to blend into one another. As the afternoon progressed, a single cloud began to float into sight. Then another. And another. The harsh sun had been cut by the shade of the dark clouds above, and all at once the skies opened up into a downpour. Grabbing our towels to use as cover, we ran into the little wooden shack filled with Capri-Sun and aged pool toys. We sat silently, watching the rain revive the grass and the colourful chalk melt into a puddle of pink and purple. ‘Dreams’ began to play. Stevie Nicks’ voice filled the shack, harmonizing with the sound of rain bouncing off of the roof, the leaves, and hitting the pavement.

Music is not only a form of expression, but also of remembrance. A single note can bring back waves of emotions and vivid visions that encapsulate the human experience. Music is emotive, evocative, but it is only the great’s that stand the test of time, soaring over generations and allowing each and every person to not only enjoy but feel the song just as it was during its creation.

In the mid-winter of 1977, Fleetwood Mac released their critically acclaimed album ​Rumors​. Over the next 41 years, mothers, fathers, daughters and sons swayed to the haunting voice of Stevie Nicks – often referred to as the Queen of Rock and Roll – and on the brink of a final tour, their soft rock melodies continue to fill the air.

Although not Fleetwood Mac’s first time around the block, ​Rumors​ being their eleventh studio album, it was this particular collection of songs (and the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks) that allowed for their name to skyrocket. Originally released as separate singles a year prior, ‘Dreams,’ ‘Go Your Own Way,’ ‘You Make Loving Fun,’ and most notably, ‘Rhiannon’ – #488 ​in​ ​Rolling Stone’s​ “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” – allowed the album to gain immense commercial success, cultivating credibility and fans before the album was even released. Inspired by early pop rock, the album relied on acoustic and electric instruments highlighted by a trio of harmonized vocals to bring about their soft, unique sound, combining campfire-folk and new age pop-rock.

Fleetwood Mac reached their height of popularity just after ​Rumors​ was released; the album had created four US Top 10 singles, remaining at number one on both American and international album charts for 31 weeks. ​Rumors​ remains the eighth highest selling album of all time, selling over 40 million copies worldwide. Between 1975 and 1987, Fleetwood Mac pushed their way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inspiring many a campfire dance and healing many a broken heart. That is, of course, until the band split up in 1987 after Nicks and Buckingham decided to go their own ways (solo). What spiraled was a series of reunions, new releases, breakups, and more reunions. Despite odd yet successful later songs, Fleetwood Mac’s golden age remains with ​Rumors​.

But fear not! Announced in June of 2017 by Stevie Nicks herself, Fleetwood Mac will be going on a final reunion tour in the summer of 2018. When exactly? Although dates have not been released due to Nicks’ desire to make it as spontaneous as possible, the dates of the LA and New York locations have been recently released: July 15-16 at Los Angeles’ Dodgers Stadium and July 29-30 at New York’s Citi Field. Further locations will be released as the year goes on.

It isn’t reviews that prove the timeless success of ​Rumors, ​but countless memories and perennial effect that each individual song has left with generations of listeners; it is the consolidation of moments, embodiment of memories, manifestation of nostalgia and moments caught in the rain, that prove Fleetwood Mac’s ​Rumors​ to be one of the greatest rock records of all time.

Listen to Rumors here: