Fleetwood Mac – One More Rumours (Mainstream SBR Collection MSBR-49A/B)

One More Rumours (Mainstream SBR Collection MSBR-49A/B)

Disc 1 (76:28):  Second Hand News, Dreams, Never Going Back Again, Don’t Stop, Go Your Own Way, Songbird, The Chain, You Make Loving Fun, I Don’t Want To Know, Oh Daddy, Gold Dust Woman (alternate mix and backing track).  Second Hand News, Dreams, Never Going Back Again, Don’t Stop, Go Your Own Way, Silver Springs, The Chain, You Make Loving Fun, I Don’t Want To Know, Oh Daddy, Gold Dust Woman, Songbird (instrumental backing tracks)

Disc 2 (76:54):  Second Hand News, Dreams, Never Going Back Again, Don’t Stop, Go Your Own Way, Silver Springs, The Chain, You Make Loving Fun, I Don’t Want To Know, Oh Daddy, Gold Dust Woman, Songbird (demos).  The Chain (instrumental), Gold Dust Woman (different take), Silver Springs (extended version), The Dealer (Mistress Of My Fate), Think About Me, Silver Springs (different take)

Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album Rumours helped defined the seventies.  The slick harmonies and catchy hooks were a radio staple at the time, helping to create the decade’s form of commercial rock.  The meaning of the songs and even their back-story defined the aura of “decadence” and “malaise” in the late seventies.

It has since become a cultural signifier.  The songs are shorthand for late seventies depression which form that deep association.  In the 1994 film Forrest Gump, for example, it’s when you hear “Go Your Own Way” when you really feel that the film’s narrative has truly progressed into the decade.

About the time of their reunions in 1993 for Bill Clinton’s campaign and in 1997, there were thirty years of reflection upon the merits of the album and a closer look demonstrates their artistry and beauty as well-crafted songs confirmed by the popularity of the VH1 production Classic Albums: Fleetwood Mac – Rumours.

Warner Brothers released a deluxe edition of Rumours in 2004, a remastered and expanded release with “Silver Spring” restored to the album sequence and a second disc of demos and alternate takes.  Soon after Mainstream released One More Rumours

This is the label’s second stab at a Rumours outtake release following the single disc Rumours Are Rampant (Mainstream-023).  But One More Rumours obviously contains more tracks and sounds much better than the old title.  There is some overlap with the official release and some other tracks that are unique.

Mainstream organize their release similarly to the Warner Brothers.  They offer an “alternate” take of the album followed by a disc and a half of outtakes and demos.  It makes following the progression of music hard to follow and requires much jumping around to hear the songs.

The first disc starts off with an alternate take of “Second Hand News.”  The rhythm and Stevie Nicks’ backing vocals are the same as the final version.  Lindsey Buckingham’s vocals are slightly different, and the electric guitars are also different.  The second take on disc one is simply the final version of the song without either lead or backing vocals.  The acoustic guitars actually sound much more happy.

The third take of “Second Hand News,” which leads off disc two, is an alternate mix of the commercial version of the song.  The vocals, rhythm and acoustic guitars are the same but lacks the electric guitar leads.  This also appears on disc two of the deluxe edition of Rumours in much better sound quality.

“Dreams” exists in three different forms.  The first take on disc one sounds like the final version except that Stevie Nicks’ vocals are pushed deep into the mix and treated with deep echo.  Percussion is also louder, loud bongos and louder organ.  The second take is the final version but instrumental. The third and final take of “Dreams” is a rough run-thtouth of Nicks  laying down the vocals over the rhythm section.  The backing vocals and guitars are missing.  This is the same take that appears on the second disc of the deluxe edition in much better sound quality.

“Never Going Back” is a simple solo acoustic ditty with Buckingham accompanying himself on guitar. The first take on disc one emphasizes the vocals over the guitar.  The lead vocals are very loud.  In the middle of the song there is a strange little interlude with snare drum and electric slide guitar which isn’t in the commercial version.  the second take on disc one is a thirty-six second fragment of the closing measures on acoustic guitar only.  

The third track, found on disc two, sounds indistinguisable from the studio recording.  It’s missing about ten seconds from the instrumental nterlude in the middle. 

The expanded edition of Rumours of course contains two more takes of the song not found on any unofifical release.  “Brushes (Never Going Back Again)” is a polished alternate take of the song with a dreamy, surreal and unsed introduction.  Finally, “Never Going Back Again” is an early demo of the song played at a much quicker tempo than the final recording.

“Don’t Stop” is one of the more important songs on the album.  Not just because it’s one of Christine McVie’s most glorious creations, but for the role it played in reasserting their work in public consciousenss in connection with Bill Clinton’s campaign and for their reunion. 

The first take on disc one starts off with a strange organ figure before going into the well-known melody.  The instruments are very low while both Buckingham’s and McVie’s vocals are very loud.  Loud also is Buckingham’s guitar, as if he’s singing and playing along to the backing track. 

The second starts off with some words from the engineer before the instrumental track.  The organ is very prominent in the mix.  The first “Don’t Stop” on disc two is close to the commerical version.  There are a few differences in the mix at the very end, the organ is mixed a bit louder, and it ends with short giggles (and someone saying “whaddaya think???”)  This alternate mix is also found on disc two of the expanded 2004 Rumours in much better sound quality. 

“Go Your Own Way” on disc one is very similar to “Don’t Stop.”  The rhythm section is very low while Buckingham’s vocals are very loud, as if he’s singing along to the backing track.  The second version on disc one is straight instumental runthough of the rhythm and backing instruments.  Neither lead or backing vocals are present.  It’s interesting to hear the instruments that are not audible like the Hammond organ and the role of the acoustic guitars. 

“Go Your Own Way” on disc two is an alternate mix sounding much rougher than the commerical version.  The acoustic guitars are taken out and the electric guitar sounds more abrasive.  This is also found on disc two of the expanded Rumours in better sound quality

Christine McVie’s “Songbird” has only three tracks in this collection.  It was recored, not at The Record Plant in Sausalito like the others, but at Zellerbach Auditorium at U.C. Berkeley.  With only McVie at grand piano and Buckingham strumming along on acoustic guitar, it is the most sparce arrangement.  The first track on disc one sounds like a rough mix of the commerical version.  McVie hums a bit the very beginning and her vocals have more echo. 

The second “Songbird” on the disc one is the instrumental track of the final record and mixed version.  The third and final “Songbird” track is found on disc three and is an initial play-through.  Scored for piano and guitar, the acoustics suggests it also was recorded at Zellerbach Auditorium. 

The music is the same, but there is an additional two lines in the third verse which were omitted form the final mix.  She sings “You smile and you make me feel good inside / It’s a feeling and it’s so hard to hide” before continuing with what is left:  ” And I wish you all love in the world / But most of all, I wish it for myself.” 

This composition by Stevie Nicks is haunting (a word that came up many times during the discussions) and ethereal, with its lovely chorus and lilting melody. However, the song has slightly dark underpinnings, as many contributors noted. The song was originally written for the Rumours album, but was dumped for a number of reasons for the song “I Don’t Want to Know .” This event proved to be a sensitive issue among the band members, especially the author, as she had given the song to her mother, Barbara Nicks, as a gift.

One More Rumours serves as an excellent compliment to the official 2CD expanded edition released by Warner Brothers.  

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