Fleetwood Mac - Classic Albums: Rumours (11.11.1998)

Part of a series titled 'Classic Albums' on BBC Radio 2, hosted by Rick Wakeman.

RW: Secondhand News, a Buckingham Nicks song from the Rumours album. This was the second record the new lineup had recorded. Their first album together, simply titled Fleetwood Mac, had reached the top of the American charts.

SN: It was like, great! It was like having a brand new great job! We were getting paid, we had money, we were having fun, we were meeting people! We were somebody all of a sudden, you know. We were nobody before. So it was great! It was incredible! That was the best time of all ... when we didn't know we were going to be that famous and we didn't know that Rumours was going to sell 100 million albums and we didn't know any of that! There was only that one reason that we were doing it was because it seemed to be working out and it seemed to be fun for everybody, and everybody had a place and everybody had something incredible to do and we went from, you know, wandering minstrels to having a gig ... having a real job!

Snippet of Go Your Own Way.

SN: Lindsey writes Go Your Own Way and I write Dreams! I write philosophically, he writes angry! So yes, a lot of the stuff that, you know, little sentences or stuff that he would say would upset me! However, as a songwriter, I have to respect that he's gonna write about what's happening to him, and so am I. So I could never say to him, you know, back off! ... stop writing songs about me, because that was his life then and that's when the best songs are written and it doesn't really matter who breaks up with who at that point, that's when everybody writes the best songs ... and that's what happened on Rumours! I mean, maybe we would have killed each other if we hadn't have been able to write those songs, you know ... if we hadn't have been able to put that energy into the music and rise above it that way, then maybe we would have just gone totally freaked out on each other!

Snippet of Dreams.

LB: It was incredibly difficult, you know. You had ... Stevie and I were writing songs about each other ... as Christine was about John, and there were just these dialogues shooting from member to member, which really crackled on the record and was part of the appeal that i think went beyond the music itself. You know, you just had to get on with it. You had your feelings ... like, say my feelings for Stevie and vice versa and just cram them over here into this corner of the room and get on with what you were doing in the rest of the room, and it was ... a challenge!

RW: The Rumours album was recorded under difficult circumstances to say the least! Drummer, Mick Fleetwood, was going through an awkward divorce, bassist, John McVie and keyboard player, Chris' seven year old marriage was on the rocks and Lindsey and Stevie were breaking up after four years of living together. This emotional turmoil would find its way into the groove of the record.

LB: In some ways, it was a ten year lesson in denial! I didn't really get over some of the issues with Stevie until I left the band in '87 because, my God, you break up with someone in '77 or '78 ... usually, you don't see them, you don't have to work with them seven days a week for the next ten years! I mean, it was just ... there was no mourning period, there was no time to be away before you got back, but there were times in that era when I actually wanted not to help her, and I would somehow have to watch myself doing that and say, "I'm not going there."