Wednesday, 2 March 2016

"Rumours: 35th Anniversary Edition" by FLEETWOOD MAC (2013 Warner Brothers 3-CD Expanded Edition) - A Review by Mark Barry...






"…Wrapped Around Your Dreams…"

Pitched as a 35th Anniversary Edition (they were a year late) - you could argue that this 2013 'Expanded Edition' of Fleetwood Mac's love/hate opus "Rumours" is just another excuse to extract hard-earned readies from fans. And with Disc 1 sporting the same remaster as the last Anniversary issue in 2004 - then why bother? The two answers are a 65-minute slew of staggeringly raw and revealing outtakes on Disc 3 (all previously unreleased) and a frankly better than expected live fest on Disc 2 recorded on the "Rumours" World Tour in 1977. Here are the chains that can't be broken, dreams of oh daddy and the ways you should go (as long you go on your own)...

Released January 2013 - "Rumours" 'Expanded Edition' on Warner Brothers 8122-79709-4 (Barcode 081227970949) is a 3CD reissue and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (44:54 minutes):
1. Second Hand News
2. Dreams
3. Never Going Back Again
4. Don't Stop
5. Go Your Own Way
6. Songbird
7. The Chain [Side 2]
8. You Make Loving Fun
9. I Don't Want To Know
10. Oh Daddy
11. Gold Dust Woman
Tracks 1 to 11 are the album "Rumours" - released February 1977 in the UK on Warner Brothers K 56344 and Warner Brothers BSK 3010. It reached Number 1 on both the UK and USA charts and is one the biggest selling albums of all time.

Track 12 is "Silver Springs" - the non-album B-side to "Go Your Own Way" - released as a 7" single January 1977 in the UK on Warner Brothers K 16872 and Warner Brothers 8304 in the USA

Disc 2 "Live, 1977 "Rumours" World Tour (55:39 minutes):
1. Intro
2. Monday Morning
3. Dreams
4. Don't Stop
5. The Chain
6. Oh Daddy
7. Rhiannon
8. Never Going Back Again
9. Gold Dust Woman
10. World Turning
11. Go Your Own Way
12. Songbird

Disc 3 "More From The Rumours Sessions" (65:00 minutes):
1. Second Hand News (Early Take)
2. Dreams (Take 2)
3. Never Going Back Again (Acoustic Duet)
4. Go Your Own Way (Early Take)
5. Songbird (Demo)
6. Songbird (Instrumental, Take 10)
7. I Don't Want To Know (Early Take)
8. Keep Me There (Instrumental)
9. The Chain (Demo)
10. Keep Me There (With Vocal)
11. Gold Dust Woman (Early Take)
12. Oh Daddy (Early Take)
13. Silver Springs (Early Take)
14. Planets Of The Universe (Demo)
15. Doesn't Anything Last (Acoustic Duet)
16. Never Going Back Again (Instrumental)

It's presented in a three-way foldout card digipak - the four inner flaps have outtake photos from that famous shot of the band playing about in front of the camera - while the other flaps sport live shots from some vast American football stadium. Each of the three CDs has different photos - "Rumours" a cropped version of the cover, the other two with outtake photos. The 20-page booklet has an essay called "The Truth About Rumours" by DAVID WILD, reproductions of the albums insert with the photo spread and lyrics as well as detailed reissue credits. It's all very tastefully done.

The album itself was remastered for the March 2004 reissue to perfection by long-standing Rhino tape engineers BILL INGLOT and DAN HERSCH who have had their hands on more important master tapes than we've had hot dinners. Their remastering credits probably run into thousands between them - and the sound on Disc 1 is truly gorgeous - amazing clarity and power. Unfortunately fans will notice that the 9 bonus tracks on the 2004 reissue aren't here - neither are the Alternate Mixes of "The Chain" and "Dreams" that turned up on "The Chain" 4CD Box Set in 1992 - so don't sell those just yet. However what you do get as bonuses are excellent...

Hersch and Inglot did the vault research and transfers for Disc 2 and 3 too - and the results are heavily dependent on the source material. The live disc sounds huge and has warmth ("Dreams" sounds fab with the crowd loving it) and even live "Never Going Back Again" is delightful with Buckingham going solo on the vocals. Nicks lets rip on "Gold Dust Woman" that a fantastic slow power to it live. Buckingham gets the crowd going with two guitar rippers - "World Turning" from 1975's "Fleetwood Mac" and the ass-kicking "Go Your Own Way". The live set is far better than I had expected - the band tight and playing tremendous new material.

The demos and outtakes on Disc 3 are a mixture of polish versus rough and ready - but they are all a revelation in a way Mac fans haven't heard before. The band's inner dynamics and toxic love affairs are well documented and many have said its 'the' reason why the album is so good - flitting from love highs to relationship lows and the rage that often follows. Never is this more obvious than on these 'demos' - the Stevie Nicks stuff in particular having an edge to it that is almost like an open wound. It imbibes these early takes with a sense of truth that was hidden under all that production-polish the final album mix received.

Disc 3 opens badly with a ramshackle short early take of "Second Hand News" where Buckingham hasn't even got the lyrics down and he just mumbles through - easy to see why it's been left in the can until now. Far better is Take 2 of "Dreams" which even at this rough stage has magic written all over it - although the lyrics are there verbatim - the looseness of the keys and the guitars in the background are in direct contrast to the hugely polished finished take. And Nicks sounds so young - and truth be told - so emotionally raw - a feature that will crop up again and again in this deeply personal outtakes. The truly gorgeous "Never Going Back Again" gets a rougher `duet' vocal and a different guitar refrain as a solo. It's a fascinating insight into Buckingham's fantastic and stylistic type of guitar playing - others would have kept the clever runs - but he dropped them (less is more). Then the meanness comes with a counted-in "Go Your Own Way" - it has that menace pending - but while the band rock - his vocal is awful. Even at this early stage you see it's going to be a barnstormer when its finished (and it is).

You then get a very hissy and delicate "Songbird" - lovely and aching at the same time. McVie also plays some gorgeous piano runs that aren't in the album version on the Instrumental Take 10 where she's feeling out how the song should go - it may not be audiophile standard (you can tape clicking) but it's bare in a real way and moving because of it. "Keep Me There" turns out to be an early working on "The Chain" but as a different song. That famous bass run in "The Chain" turns up here and is electrifying. The "Planets Of The Universe" demo is simply Stevie Nicks at the piano. "I will never love again the way I loved you...you will never rule again the way you ruled..." - the words are painfully honest and perhaps the reason it was kept in the can all these years is precisely because its so revealing. The short duet "Doesn't Anything Last" sounds like Fleetwood Mac does The Everlys (only lasts a minute) and it finishes on something akin to "Brushes" - the "Never Going Back Again" outtake that turned up on the bonus tracks on the 2004 CD.  I've been playing this disc a lot more than the album...

"Roll the tape...we'll just see what happens..." Christine McVie says at the beginning of "Oh Daddy". I for one am glad someone in the control room kept those boxes for posterity...

This review is part of my SOUNDS GOOD Music Book Series. One of those titles is CLASSIC 1970s ROCK - an E-Book with over 260 entries and 2450 e-Pages - purchase on Amazon and search any artist or song (click the link below). Huge amounts of info taken directly from the discs (no cut and paste crap). 


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