This month in 1977, Fleetwood Mac released Rumours. The album went on to sell more than 30 million copies and spent 31 weeks at #1 in the US, where it debuted. This collection of catchy pop tunes offered a voyeuristic view into the hedonistic lifestyle and the fractured interpersonal relationships of the group. Affairs and break-ups had affected every member of the band, and communication were severely strained during the album’s recording sessions. At the time, Fleetwood Mac’s line-up consisted of guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham, drummer Mick Fleetwood, keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie, bassist John McVie, and vocalist Stevie Nicks. I saw them play their last show on the world tour supporting this record and you could cut the tension with a knife.
Recorded with a range of microphones and amplifiers in Sausalito’s Record Plant (among others), the production values and sonics of the Grammy Award winning LP have achieved legendary status. There have been rumors of a 45 RPM audiophile release of this record for years. Test pressings were produced in 2006, and I was fortunate enough to hear one played back on a world class audio system. To say the reproduced music was mind-blowing would be an understatemet. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Chad Kassem at Acoustic Sounds and a record executive at Warner Brothers, this special double album looks like it will finally become a reality. It is scheduled to be released April 15th.
UPDATE 4/20/11: After this 45 RPM double LP was released on 4/16 (and quickly sold out) it was discovered that two versions exist. One is a US release that is all analog and mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray (the one I heard in 2006). The other is a European mastering cut from digital that reportedly does not sound as good. The only differences visible from the outside when looking at the right hand bottom of the back cover is a “manufactured in the EU” as opposed to “made in the USA.” Buyer beware. Acoustic Sounds is reportedly receiving a second press run of the US 45s. All 33 1/3 pressings of this 2011 release are the SH/KG mastering and sound great.
(Cover Photograph: Herbert Worthington)