It was perhaps the greatest break- up record of all time, reports Kathy McCabe
MORE than 35 years ago, Fleetwood Mac forged Rumours in the grips of relationship implosions medicated by substance abuse.
As the anniversary is marked by the requisite reissue, even band founder Mick Fleetwood shakes his head at how the band managed to write and record one of the greatest break- up albums of all time in the midst of such heartache.
These days, as they prepare to embark on a world tour, the lanky drummer and his bandmates Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and John McVie share that comfortable affection which comes with the survival of such a long marriage.
Fleetwood says it is has been bittersweet at times to cast his mind back to the recording of Rumours as the relationships of McVie and wife Christine, and Nicks and Buckingham disintegrated.
‘‘ That was life. It wouldn’t have been the same album,’’ he says. ‘‘ The songs wouldn’t have resonated the way they still do – we were all sad. We weren’t in hate and loathing.
‘‘ This was a bunch of people who adored each other, who grew out of love, who couldn’t live with each other, who have this funny hangover of that time still in their lives.’’
Fleetwood knew the record would never get made unless the five musicians could find a way to co- exist. So he booked the Record Plant studios in Sausalito, California, and shut the band away for a good part of 1976.
‘‘ We were five people who were hopelessly sad and joined at the hip. Stevie and Lindsey were on the rocks and Lindsey especially was having a hard time extricating himself from the relationship and working and being a musical partner to the love of his life,’’ Fleetwood recalls.
‘‘ My wife then went off with one of my best friends; at least I was spared having to work with her.
‘‘ Our manager would call each week asking if we were still in business. He was waiting for me to say it was all over. But there, all we had was the music.’’
The 35th anniversary edition of Rumours is looking likely to head back into the top 10 charts worldwide. Many claim it to be the perfect collection of pop- rock songs with a darkly melancholic underbelly.
News of a Fleetwood Mac world tour sent their fans into an online frenzy late last year with an Australian leg likely for late this year or early 2014.
RUMOURS, THE 35TH ANNIVERSARY Out now MAC DADDY: Fleetwood Mac drummer and founder Mick Fleetwood and ( inset) the band in their prime, from left, John McVie, Christine
McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and