Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Logo for The Western Front

OPINION: Amateur Album Reviews: ‘Rumours’

Seven things that will add to your perspective on ‘Rumours’

A group gossips at a table where Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” takes centerfold. They speculate that this might be the last album review – could it be true? // Photo by Eli Voorhies

I absolutely, positively, do not want to review Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours.” 

Regrettably, I am giving the cold shoulder to The Front’s readers. You explicitly told us to review  “Rumours” on our Instagram poll. However, I do not think you want this album review as much as you think you do.

In my eyes, a traditional album review of “Rumours” can go one of two ways. First, I could repeat everything you know and love about this album. Second, I could reluctantly hate on it just to stir up a reaction. 

Essentially that is a choice between being boring or being rude. What do any of us get out of that? I’ll say it again – I do not want to review “Rumours.” 

Instead, I am making you an offer you can’t refuse, a gift-wrapped compromise. That sounds nice, right? Here it is: I will provide my brief thoughts, the cliffs notes, on “Rumours.” Then I will fire off two fun facts, as well as five hot takes about the album. 

Cliffs Notes: “Rumours” was released in 1977. It’s a fantastic album. 

And without further ado… 

Fun Fact #1: “Rumours” has a dramatic backstory

The recording studio during “Rumours” was a war zone.

Bass guitarist John McVie and pianist Christine McVie had just called off their seven-year marriage. Now in the recording studio, they weren’t on speaking terms, according to What’s worse, Christine McVie began dating the band’s lighting director, Curry Grant.

The frontman and woman, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, also broke up. They had met in high school nearly 10 years prior, though hadn’t been dating for nearly as long. In the studio for “Rumours,” they allegedly got into shouting matches, only interrupted by the need to record. That’s not all – Nicks and drummer Mick Fleetwood would have a love affair before 1977 was over. 

On “Rumours,” band members aired out their dirty laundry, shooting brutally honest messages at each other. Buckingham’s “Never Going Back Again” was pointed at Nicks. Christine’s “You Make Loving Fun” was about the lighting director she began dating. 

However, this heated environment was needed to produce something as emotionally raw as “Rumours.” The songs can get accusatory – Nicks basically says that Buckingham will never do better. Or they can be both hopeful and taunting – Buckingham calls Nicks “second-hand news” and says he’s “never going back again.”

Can you imagine making an emotional song about a breakup and then having to play it with your ex over and over again in front of huge audiences? That is a testament to the lengths Fleetwood Mac were willing to go to for the art, the music.

Fun Fact #2: Fleetwood Mac inspired a recent book and TV show adaptation

Last year, I was reading Taylor Jenkins Reid’s “Daisy Jones and the Six,” a fictional story about a ‘70s rock band, when I started to draw parallels between the group and Fleetwood Mac. Two lead singers with a strained romantic relationship who are always writing songs about each other? Another tumultuous relationship between the bass guitarist and pianist?

The story sounded too familiar. I channeled my inner Sherlock Holmes and rummaged around Google, finding that the author drew inspiration from Fleetwood Mac. 

On X, formerly Twitter, Nicks said the TV adaptation “brought back memories that made me feel like a ghost watching my own story.”

I highly recommend the book, but the recent TV show adaptation on Amazon Prime was mediocre. In the book, there were colorful descriptions of the music, though it was mostly left to my imagination. The TV show on the other hand…. all I can say is I wish they had left it to my imagination.

Hot Take #1: This is the best pop album ever 

Most pop follows the “pop-music formula.” The formula includes a short run time, a song title embedded in the lyrics and a repeated chorus, according to The Washington Post. I would add catchy rhythms and simple lyrics to the list. 

Consider the albums of our favorite pop artists, such as Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga or even Michael Jackson. They fit into this formula. Pop music is straightforward and easy to get into. “Rumours” brings life to this formula. 

Fleetwood Mac gets experimental with songs like “The Chain.” These mad scientists concocted this song in their laboratory – better known as the production booth, where acidic spills of messy tears and the broken beakers of relationships were rampant.  

“The Chain” is a Frankenstein’s monster composed of bits and pieces of recordings of other songs by the band members. It is also the only Fleetwood Mac song that has ever been credited to all five musicians of the group, according to The Rolling Stone

Hot Take #2: The best Fleetwood Mac singles aren’t even on “Rumours” 

I love the songs on “Rumours,” but come on, “Landslide” and “Rhiannon” are untouched. They are seasoned actors accustomed to the attention and hoarding of Oscars, like Denzel Washington or Meryl Streep. The songs on “Rumours” are new stars making a few waves, like Anya Taylor-Joy or Barry Keoghan.

Don’t forget the song “Gypsy” on their 1982 album “Mirage.” It is the dark horse, Fleetwood Mac’s Robert Pattinson. 

Hot Take #3: “Dreams” gets a spot on the funeral playlist I began in an earlier review 

“Dreams” is perhaps the only single that can compete with “Landslide” and “Rhiannon.” I crumble before the beginning of the song. Nicks sings “Now here you go again, you say you want your freedom. Well, who am I to keep you down?” with a perfectly timed whine of Lindsey Buckingham’s electric guitar. 

Everlasting sleep here I come. 

Hot Take #4: “Silver Springs” should have been included in “Rumours”

Back in the day, vinyl restricted the length of an album. You could only fit about 40 minutes of music onto a disc. Fleetwood Mac wanted to maintain a fast tempo in the limited space they had. After all, this was to be a pop album. So, they cut “Silver Springs,” a slower song by Nicks, to make room for “I Don’t Want to Know,” a quicker stint, according to Rolling Stone.

Nicks was upset and I would be too. This song is too good to have been relegated to the B-side (another version of the record that comes later and is not expected to do as well). I hope the band regrets their decision.

Hot Take #5: Why was pianist Christine McVie given so much leeway on “Rumours”?

McVie has the most uninspiring songs on this album. “Songbird” is pretty…pretty boring. “Oh Daddy” is just boring. It’s not that I am a speed freak, I enjoy Nick’s slower songs. It’s just that McVie’s sound is dry.

“Songbird” has its place as a palate cleanser, a simple song in the middle of chaos, but I don’t know what she was thinking with “Oh Daddy.” We get it McVie; you know how to hit soft notes on the piano! Where’s the tension, the stuff that wrenches guts?

Final Words

Two hot takes, five fun facts – that’s all I can do for you guys. And if that’s not enough, here is Stevie Nicks singing “Silver Springs” to Lindsey Buckingham – bring the popcorn and skip to minute four for the drama.


Influence: 6/10 

I have to hold this album to the standard of the other albums I reviewed. I gave albums like “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” or “Kind of Blue” close to perfect scores because they brought completely new forms of music to audiences or even played a part in breaking down racial boundaries or paving a path for women in the music industry. “Rumours” didn’t have a groundbreaking impact in the same way. 

Still, it has an excellent repertoire as an incredible pop and breakup album. It has gone platinum over 20 times in America, is consistently ranked among the best albums ever made and won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1978. 

Longevity: 5/5 spotlights

In the U.K., “Rumours” has stood its ground on the top charts for 1,034 weeks – just shy of 20 years – as of March 2, 2024. Let’s not forget that this was the highest voted in The Front’s polls and was the only album that our staff doubled up on as their album pick.

Eli Voorhies

Eli Voorhies (he/him) is the opinions editor this quarter. Previously, he was a city life reporter and editor. In his free time, he climbs, photographs and spends more time messing around than working at Legendary Vinyl Records. You can reach him at 

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Western Front