It's hard to recall, but I'm pretty sure I'd written Fleetwood Mac off as soft-rock fluff - passively enjoyable, but altogether unworthy of investigation - until I stumbled onto Whiskeytown's terrific cover of "Dreams" a few years back. I'd heard the original before, I'm sure (it's a little hard to miss if you've spent any significant amount of time listening to mainstream radio), but for some reason it was that version - which I recognize now as inferior - that gave me the kick in the ass I needed to re-evaluate the band. And I'm glad I did, because they ended up becoming one of my favorite discoveries of the past few years.
But if I'm honest - and I know this is supposed to be about Rumours, so I'll try to avoid excessive gushing - it's really Tusk that won me over. Maybe it's because I've never had much of a taste for really veneered pop music, with a few notable exceptions. Or maybe it's because I'm just naturally drawn to all things dark, weird, and thematically bleak, especially within this medium. But, whatever the case, I never really loved Fleetwood Mac until I heard Tusk. And I'd encourage anyone who's struggling to appreciate this album like I was (particularly Chris, since we tend to be pretty simpatico musically) to give the follow-up a shot and see if it fares any better in your estimation.
I did end up coming back to Rumours later, after I'd listened to Tusk a dozen times or so and found myself looking for a similar fix. And - surprise, surprise - it clicked. I started to appreciate it as more than just a collection of radio-friendly pop songs - at the heart of it, I realized, there's a lot of that same turmoil that's so readily apparent on Tusk. They're just doing their best to tuck it away behind the gloss. And, in a way, that makes it even more captivating. To paraphrase what Craig said about "Go Your Own Way," at times it's positively nail-biting. So, yeah, the songs are catchy as all get-out. But they're not sacrificing any depth, either. And that's in large part, for me, what makes the album such a titan in the pop realm.
Anyway, great write-up once again, guys. I always look forward to these.
Dude, me too. The first time I ever truly wanted to pick up an instrument was after watching The Dance. I played my dad's bass every day for months trying to learn that.
Figured I'd just ask you in here: what are the essential Stevie Nicks solo albums, if any, besides Bella Donna? I haven't even heard that one yet (just ordered it from Amazon), but I have a good feeling about it based on "Edge of Seventeen" and "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around."
Also, I just heard "Silver Springs" for the first time and WOW. Why in the world was this cut? I might like it more than half the album. Haha. And, no surprise, it's Stevie's. She's definitely my favorite songwriter in the band.
She was apparently devastated when Mick told her they were cutting it for "I Don't Wanna Know."
Maybe I have and just forgot about it. It's perfect, though. I'm baffled that they didn't use it. Listened to it a few more times, and I honestly think it's the best Nicks-penned song from those sessions besides "Dreams."
I remember hearing something about it being a length thing. Just about what they could fit on an album side. Which is so rough. It's one of her best songs. And the bitter counterpart to "Go Your Own Way" that the record really needed.
They've had to have kicked themselves at some point, looking back. Haha. Do they have any other b-sides that are that essential?
I haven't done much real investigation. I know I like "As Long As You Follow" which was recorded for the greatest hits. I imagine there's a handful of stuff from the vaults on 25 Years: The Chain, too, but I haven't really looked into it.
I suspect a lot of their unused material went into the solo records.
Makes sense. I've got a lot of investigating to do myself. I have a feeling that they're going to end up being one of those bands where I only really love a small chunk of their material. But I'm kind of hoping that's not the case.