Saturday, March 06, 2004

#52) Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (released in 1977, I bought it on used vinyl at Arboria sometime in 2002 for two bucks)

Unlike most of what's on this list, Rumours makes the most sense when it's bright outside. It's an irony befitting an album of oddly arranged, subconciously frazzled art-pop that still sells kajillions today. At night the sound feels curio-like and fragmented, but when the suns out everything feels spacious and free. For the longest time I considered Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks the reason these guys were the only El Lay studio cats I could stomach. "Second Hand News" and "Go Your Own Way" make their sonic novelties infectious with jangle and "b'gow gow gow"'s, expressing bitter heartbreak through terse, honest lyrics and searing solos that impress without an ounce of unnecessary showboating. "Dreams" and "Gold Dust Woman" are powerful works from a woman bewitching enough for someone like Buckingham to get hung up over (I still can't figure out how full of shit she actually is, and he probably can't/couldn't either).

While their songs still move me, it's Christine McVie, who I once found laughably mundane, who is my favorite Macperson today. I might be able to identify with Buckingham's hostile hurt (when recording a cover of "Go Your Own Way" on my four-track I got in such a weird headspace that I recorded the only successful hammer-on guitar solo of my life. Normally I can't get my fingers to move fast enough), but of the three it's McVie who sounds like she's most interested in getting past her troubles. "Don't Stop" has enough pained determination in it that I'm still surprised boomers from Bill Clinton on down like to dance to it, and "You Make Loving Fun" might be my favorite Fleetwood Mac song ever (competing with McVie's later classics "Everywhere" and "Hold Me"). I love the gentle joy in her voice as Nicks and Buckingham sigh in harmony behind her on the chorus. Her gratitude and serenity sounds so earned and likable, especially compared to Buckingham's obsessiveness and Nicks' pretentious poetry. After hearing her focus on tomorrow, it's comforting to hear her enjoy an actual moment.

No comments: