In times of stress, we all have our vices we turn to. Mine include Snyder’s of Hanover Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzel bites (the “crack pretzels”), oversized flannel shirts I tend to wear on a daily basis, expensive cappuccinos from Think Coffee, watching The Graduate, and Fleetwood Mac. Yes, that’s right. Most people associate Fleetwood Mac with flowy skirts and that classic rock station the grocery store likes to play. And yes, some of their later stuff is a little bit of an epic fail. But 1977’s Rumours is a perfect piece of blues-inflected rock and roll wonder. Come on, any album where everyone in the band is writing about everyone else in the band’s failed relationships is bound to have some good stuff on it.
One of the joys of Fleetwood Mac’s catalogue is the diversity of songwriting styles that each of the different members brought to the group. Stevie Nicks made her name off of her witch-woman pop with her ethereal voice. Lindsey Buckingham brought the bluegrass meets power chord element. And Christine McVie wrote some incredibly smooth tracks that brought a little bit more of the funk. Mix it all together and what do you get? No, not a disjointed effort as one might expect, but a fully-realized album that brings together a diversity of musical styles to create a comprehensively listenable work.
There’s the positivity and piano jangle of “Don’t Stop”:
There’s the ultimate drivingly catchy pop anthem about independence and love’s loss that captures the sentiment of “I’ve Been Up For Forty Eight Hours Writing A Paper About Proto-Feminism In Shakespeare, My Personal Life Is Falling Apart, I Have No Idea What I’m Doing With My Future, But I’m Going To Be Fine” (and one of my favorite Guitar Hero levels!):
There’s the underrated acoustic gem “Never Going Back Again” with an almost melancholic guitar twang that gets me every time:
And, okay, this last one might not be from Rumours, but come on, it is Stevie at her most Stevie-esque, flowy skirts and smooth as butter voice and references to nostalgic gypsydom and all. I like to turn it on loud and walk around the East Village late at night while wearing my big vintage faux fur coat:
And let’s not kid ourselves, we all know Lindsey Buckingham definitely deserves a spot in the highly competitive Seventies White Boy Afro Hall of Fame:
Procrastination is so much better with the right soundtrack.