Songs from Fleetwood Mac’s masterpiece ‘Rumours’ ranked best to worst
Fleetwood Mac are a band synonymous with in-fighting and sexual mischievousness. It’s a synergy which was largely founded in their 1977 LP Rumours. The album is not only a commercial success unlike any other (45 million copies sold and growing every year) but a masterpiece born out of chaos.
At the time of recording the band couldn’t have been further apart in their personal relationships. The two couples of the group, John and Christine McVie as well as Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, were both crumbling before their very eyes while Mick Fleetwood was also going through a divorce. Things at Camp Fleetwood were far from good.
This holistic heartbreak coupled with the group’s insatiable appetite for cocaine meant that the recording process would go down in history as one of the most dysfunctional in rock and roll folklore. It makes the parallel tone of the record feel all the more amazing as the group wrap the dark truth in a sunshining sonic duvet.
It is a record that is chock full of personal songs, barbed attacks at fellow bandmembers, and anthemic sing-your-heart-out belters. Below we rank the song of Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours from best to worst:
‘Go Your Own Way’
Okay, okay. You can all groan all at once. Of course, the best song on Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours is the Lindsey Buckingham penned arrow with Stevie Nicks’ name on. While Fleetwood’s drumming is impeccable and the song’s subject matter is honest and raw, it is Lindsey Buckhingham’s incredible vocal that takes this song over the edge.
One of the most uplifting numbers on the record, Christine McVie turns the idea of moving on and getting on with your life (assumingly after a divorce?) into an undeniable toe-tapper.
Built on Fleetwood’s driving percussion and McVie’s bar-pleasing piano the track is a kaleidoscopic view of the future we can all get behind.
A patchwork song built out of several different pieces from different members of the band, the track remains one of the most unifying moments on the album. Moving effortlessly across the seventies spectrum the group show their mettle on this one and announce themselves as patrons of music in every form.
While not a direct attack on his character, this track was squarely pointed at Nicks’ former boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham. A Nicks composition sees a simple rhythm from Fleetwood and McVie is flecked with the Buckingham’s smooth guitar.
All of that adds extra weight to Nicks’ lyrics which hint that the grass may not always be greener on the other side for Buckingham. “Thunder only happens when it’s raining / Players only love you when they’re playing”
A simply gorgeous track is next up from Christine McVie as she delicately sings about her love for another. The awkward moment of comes when you remember that she was singing this about a man other than her recently divorced husband, who just so happens to be playing bass across from you.
McVie avoids being too sloppy, and instead, nails the juxtaposing feeling of the loneliness of love.
‘You Make Loving Fun’
Another McVie triumph sees the funky notes of ‘You Make Loving Fun’ take the next spot. An unstoppably infectious groove is only trumped by Buckingham’s expert use of the guitar. It’s a mark of the band’s undying best quality—their converging talents go together with sumptuous ease.
‘Second Hand News’
The opening notes of one of the best selling albums ever will always last long in the memories of its audience. Rumours is no different as ‘Second Hand News’ and Buckingham’s chugging guitar set the pace for the album ahead. It’s another shining example of a jaunty and joy filled tune hiding the personal loss of another heartening relationship.
This one is certainly from this side of the pond. Christine McVie does some of her best work as she offers up a deeply emotional cut in ‘Oh Daddy’. Dark and unfiltered the track eventually brightens into an Americana anthem.
‘Gold Dust Woman’
‘Gold Dust Woman’ marks Stevie Nicks out as the future solo star she was destined to be. A track about the duality of taking cocaine and finding love in all the wrong places is expertly delivered with Nicks’ dulcet tone as she hides the sadness of the track in a golden sheen.
‘Never Going Back Again’
Buckingham’s songwriting is so widely applauded that it often overshadows his wonderful ability with the guitar. Here, Buckingham not only gets to do his best work, offering a technicality and musical prowess often overlooked but gets to go back in time as he works his way up and down the fretboard in a tribute to yesteryear.
‘I Don’t Want To Know’
A blast from the past as this country rock anthem’s birthplace can be charted to Nicks’ early career. It was a track that Nicks didn’t want to be included on Rumours but the band insisted. Perhaps they picked up on the song’s acceptance of wandering eyes or perhaps it was Nicks’ belting vocal that convinced them.