As much as the record lives on for the lore of the drugs and tangled-web heartbreak that fueled its writing and recording sessions, it's the unnervingly raw emotion and performance -- and the peerlessly immaculate composition and production -- that the album's soap-opera surroundings inspired that makes it still worth writing about in Generations later, the songs on Rumours remain nearly as omnipresent on radio and in popular culture as they were in the Carter era, but the set remains exhilarating and inscrutable, because so few songs of love, faith and addiction have ever been this bloody or brilliant.
Here are the album's 11 tracks, ranked from worst to best. And include an asterisk around No. The only one of the album's original megahits -- peaking at No. Bill Clinton didn't help , of course, but the fact that the song was co-optable for sloganeering purposes in the first place simply means that it was a cut more basic than the rest of Rumours to begin with.
Apologies to Christine McVie, who ends up with the three lowest-ranked songs on the album -- she makes up for it with her fourth song on the set, which we'll get to much higher up -- and no hate meant for "Songbird," an entirely lovely piano-and-guitar ballad that makes an exquisite end to the album's A-side.
But Fleetwood Mac only have one truly timeless, unforgettable acoustic anthem, and this isn't it. For one of classic rock's definitive albums, it remains a little jarring what a red-herring the set opens with: Lindsey Bukcingham's rollicking "Second Hand News," a sort of "Monday Morning" redux that points towards little of the intrigue and brutality of the rest of the album.
Another of the set's folkier numbers, propelled ever forward by some antsy handclaps and a tempo that feels set about 10 bpm faster than it should, creating a nervous energy that would set the tone for much of the album's controversial follow-up, 's Tusk. Not Rumours ' best song but arguably its most definitive, and certainly the greatest team effort -- it's the album's only track in which all five members receive writing credits, and also the only one in which McVie, Buckingham and Nicks all contribute to the lead vocal.
And with all the gorgeously frayed vocals of betrayal and broken promise, "The Chain" might still be most memorable for Mick Fleetwood's heartbeat-like bass drum, and the slithering John McVie low-end that introduces the song's inspired, not-getting-away-that-easy coda. Release Date: Producer: Richard Dashut, Ken Caillat.
Monday Morning 2. Warm Ways 3. Blue Letter 4.
Rhiannon 5. Over My Head 6. Crystal 7. Say You Love Me 8.
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Landslide 9. World Turning Sugar Daddy I'm So Afraid.
Big Love 2. Seven Wonders 3.
Everywhere 4. Caroline 5. Tango in the Night 6.
Mystified 7. Little Lies 8. Family Man 9.
Welcome to the Room Sara Isn't It Midnight When I See You Again You and I, Part II. Producer: Richard Dashut.
The Ledge 3. Think About Me 4. Save Me a Place 5.
Sara 6. Storms 8. That's All for Everyone 9.