Rumours -- Fleetwood Mac, April 2, 1977
Producers: Fleetwood Mac, Richard Dashut, and Ken Coillat
Track listing: Second Hand News / Never Going Back Again / Don't Stop / Go Your Own Way / Songbird / The Chain / You Make Loving Fun / I Don't Want to Know / Oh Daddy / Gold Dust Woman
April 2, 1977
31 weeks (nonconsecutive)
With Fleetwood Mac, the veteran band finally found success in America but entered a world of chaos in the process. The newfound fame put pressure on the personal lives of the band's members. Before the band entered the studio to begin recording Rumours, all the band members' personal relationships hit the skids. Christine and John McVie divorced, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham broke up, and Mick Fleetwood and his wife Jenny (not a member of the band) split. "It was a complete disaster zone," says Fleetwood of the 1976 period during which the album was written and recorded. "It was emotional hell laced with musical pleasure. A lot of people on the outside of the band felt that we were never going to make it through."
The naysayers had their reasons. "Those days were crazy," says Fleetwood. "It's no secret that we were definitely abusing drugs in those days. It was one major lunatic party."
The sessions for Rumours began in February 1976 at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California, at a time when some of the band members were hardly speaking to each other. After nine weeks of insanity, the band returned to Los Angeles, where they continued recording at Wally Heider Recording Studio for three more months of work. After a break for a summer tour, the band returned to the studio in the fall to complete the project.
The songs written for the album were deeply personal. "If you listen to the words, you can see there was a lot of pain in songs like 'Go Your Own Way.' Chris wrote 'Oh Daddy' for me," says Fleetwood. "I was the father of two children and my wife had gone off with someone we both knew very well. I was in pieces."
While some tracks were overdubbed so much that the master tapes began to wear thin, others were kept simple. Christine McVie's "Songbird" was recorded live at the vacant Zellerback Auditorium at the University of California at Berkeley. With Fleetwood Mac hitting the top spot on September 4, 1976, the band had added incentive to finally complete the follow-up album, and John McVie had a perfect title to replace the tentative Yesterday's Gone, which was taken from a line in the track "Don't Stop." Says Fleetwood, "John McVie had the best phrase. He said it was literally like living through a musical soap opera, and that's why we called the album Rumours. You couldn't have written a better plot and you wouldn't believe it if you watched it happening."
Fleetwood Mac not only survived, but thrived. Rumours shot to the summit of the Top LPs & Tapes chart in a mere six weeks, displacing longtime rivals the Eagles from the top spot. The album spawned the top 10 hits "Go You Own Way," "Don't Stop," and "You Make Loving Fun," as well as the group's first Number One single, "Dreams." Rumors also picked up a Grammy in 1977 for Album of the Year.
THE TOP FIVE
Week of April 2, 1977
1. Rumours, Fleetwood Mac
2. Hotel California, Eagles
3. Songs in the Key of Life, Stevie Wonder
4. A Star Is Born, Barbra Streisand
5. Leftoverture, Kansas