FLEETWOOD MAC > Rumours
The band was imploding under a romantic coil that saw two couples-newcomers Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, core John and Christine McVie-coming apart and drummer Mick Fleetwood having his own marital dissolution and flirtation with Nicks. But in the what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, the British blues band that found new life with the shimmering California singer/songwriters on Fleetwood Mac emerged with a near perfect pop album about romantic hope, failure and the wreckage.
Acrimony stained “The Chain” with its terse “If you don’t love me now, you will never love me again…” accusation and Nicks’ “I Don’t Wanna Know” was denial aggressively plead for. Buckingham got dismissively vitrolic as “Go Your Own Way” splattered he said/she saids everywhere, then drew the line on the acoustic guitar-staccato-noted “Never Going Back Back Again.”
Still there was hope among the ruins. Largely from keyboardist Christine McVie, who brought brooding slow blues “Oh Daddy,” the whirling pop “You Make Loving Fun” and the keyboard-driven “Songbird,” which is a lullabye reminder of finding calm in the storm.
“Don’t Stop” was the FM staple that cheered listeners on and up, embracing an this too shall pass ethos with its synth chords and irrepressible hook. Long before Bill Clinton used it at his inauguration, McVie’s song was the rallying cry for the strugglers who wouldn’t wallow.
At the other end of the spectrum, the late night FM nugget was Nicks searing “Gold Dust Woman,” a chilling song about Hollywood gold diggers ultimately consumed by their own hungers. Admonishing “Take your silver spoon, dig your grave…,” it was a more Bohemian “Gossip Girl” vortex of coke ‘n’ feathered earrings.
Still, no song embodied the tangle so fully as “Dreams,” a to-thine-own-self-be-true churner that whirled and swirled as only Nicks could. That voice, a mixture of Night Train and velvet, was a wide-open cry of regret that the thing wanted and gained destroyed the very thing that bound the seekers together. It was a hypnotic siren pouring out of car radios, drawing you close to something ultimately shattering.