on June 1, 2004
In a way, the remastering seems like a marketing ploy to make more money, to promote the second leg of their national tour (it amazes me that they could still be touring- it's like trying to imagine my parents running around the country from city to city playing rock music every night. I can't.).
Yet, I think it's also an effort to present the music to their fans on CD as it was originally recorded. The pre-existing CD versions are definitely sub-optimal- the transfer from the analog recording is flat and smoothed over. When I heard Rumours remastered, I almost started crying- in fact, I might have. It was clear and vibrant, the vocals had so much more depth, and the instruments stand out from one other- and the singing rises from the music rather than being plastered to it. This is the way it was meant to be listened to. This is the reason Fleetwood Mac is a blues/folk/*rock*- and not pop- band. I can hear vocals and sounds that I never ever heard before- it's just so intense. Definitely worth it
on June 13, 2011
First of all, here's a "head's up" for anyone looking for the Hoffman & Grey remaster. Amazon only carries the H&G remaster in 33 1/2 rpm. I originally bought the double 45 rpm from Amazon and IT WAS NOT THE HOFFMAN/GREY REMASTER. It was a "mystery meat" remaster, which sounded "OK" in itself but not nearly as good as the H&G 33.3.
On to the review!
The cover and inner sleeve reproductions are top notch. I have the the original LP and they match exactly.
The vinyl, although not 180g which seems to be today's standard, is hefty in weight, was not warped and plays very quietly.
The master itself is awesome...exactly what you expect from Hoffman/Grey. Excellent sonics and tonality. A perfectly cut laquer. And as an added bonus, H&G included the original countdown leading into Gold Dust Woman.
From what I can tell in my web searcing, this remaster is the same as the 2004 one. That may answer any questions owners of that release have. As I don't have that release, I was surprisingly delighted by the sound of disc 1, the studio release with 'Silver Springs' moved to position #12 to close the album.
Silver Springs is for me the best song Stevie Nicks has ever done and of all the 'Rumours' lyrics about the personal lives of the band at the time, SS goes deepest and most beautfully.
"I'll follow you down 'til the sound of my voice will haunt you.
You'll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you."
I wonder what it is like for her to still sing those lines? And for Lindsey to hear them?
Leaving it off the original album is a travesty for me that is only corrected in the 2004 set, the DVD-A, the live "The Dance" and now this 2013 series that restores it. There is no leaving it off anymore!
Normally I prefer vinyl and I do have the latest greatest repress of this iconic Fleetwood Mac album. Sadly, there is no vinyl version of 'Rumours' that has 'Silver Springs' included. A shame that it didn't fit the 45 rpm re-release. So, I give this 3 cd box a '5 surprising stars' because I bought it mostly for the 1977 live disc as well as having a copy of Rumours that has the beautiful 'Silver Springs' integrated in the studio disc and those 2 discs at this price are great value.
If this is in fact the same remaster as 2004, they were wise not to tinker further. When I hear things for the first time in a familiar recording, I know something has been done very well. Case in point, 'Oh Daddy' has a big gong from Mick Fleetwood that I have never picked out before. This was a very well recorded album but it sparkles with the remastering for cd. 'Go Your Own Way' is clearer sounding, 'Songbird' sounds more sweetly fragile, not as distant as it originally did and 'Dreams' has a vibe that transcends the repetitive bass line and better reveals how rock solid the Fleetwood/McVie rhythm section was, one of the best combinations ever in Classic Rock!
As mentioned, the original running order is restored with SS added at the end. Too bad there wasn't more of a sense of adventure in this packaging. There have been enough versions of the 11 song version - imagine a version of 'Rumours' where SS was placed between Lyndsey's attacking 'Go Your Own Way', SS as Stevie's response and 'The Chain' as the bond that must not be broken? The album could close with 'Songbird' as the last track following the fury of 'Gold Dust Woman'. That would be a better, more powerful album I think and while I am not a fan of tampering with the past, this would have been the exception and it would have been worth it! It even could have been a separate, additonal disc called 'The Alternate Rumours'! (For example, see the new deluxe version of the first ELP album where there is a second disc with a remix and different track order, bonus tracks included in an 'Alternate' version.)
However, I will be very happy with this set. Disc two is an excellent concert that captures the band in fine form, even if still a little fresh as a live band. I was never that impressed with the 1980 'Live' though it had some interesting selections. Even a gem like 'Station Man' that the band played with Buckingham and Nicks in it would have been a great nod to the past, not unlike 'Oh Well' on the 'Live' recording. The best Mac live album remains 'The Dance' but this 1977 concert is a great addition to remembering the Rumours era which is the spirit of this 2013 batch of releases.
Disc 3 is a mixed bag with a few great moments for completists while managing not to be a total copy of the bonus disc of 2004. Do you need this version if you have the 2004? Probably not unless you are an aforementioned completist.
The real story here for me comes down to:
1. improved sound - as good as any version of Rumours I have ever heard.
2. Silver Springs being a part of Rumours again which now makes it permanent I say!
3. a great document of the touring Mac of the day
I will play this cd more than the most recent vinyl, simply to have Silver Springs included without any loss of audio quality. At the price it is going for, this 3 disc set is a bargain.
P.S. After writing this review I bought the bonus tracks from the 2004 remaster and combining with this edition, I have created my own "Alternate Rumours" playlist. Great fun, highly recommend you make your own.
Here is mine. It has a very different feel than the studio, a little darker and in some ways more true to the personal challenges documented by the band, especially with the 'demo' of 'The Chain' being SO different.
BTW, I may have cheated by adding the last 3 tracks from "Live" but it is just too much fun not to have those 3 rarely heard Mac tracks on this disc. 'Farmer's Daughter' is another one of the Mac's hidden gems!
An 'Alternate Rumours' playlist:
Legend of sources - A: 2004 edition bonus disc. B: 2013 bonus disc #3. C: Fleetwood Mac Live 1980.
1. Second Hand News (A)
2. Never Going Back (B)
3. Planets of the Universe (A)
4. Don't Stop (A)
5. Go Your Own Way (A)
6. Silver Springs (B)
7. The Chain (B)
8. You Make Loving Fun (A)
9. Doesn't Anything Last (A)
10. Oh Daddy (A)
11. Gold Dust Woman #1 (A)
12. Songbird (A)
My 'bonus tracks' - all from (C)
14. Don't Let Me Down Again (live)
15. Farmer's Daughter
on March 19, 2008
I have owned Rumours before, both in the LP format and the original CD format. Obviously this album has been a favourite of mine for a long time, with a slight more understanding of the tension involved in making it as the years have passed by.
What struck me, however, by hearing this new re-mastered version was the immense sound quality. Listening to Dreams the bass becomes so vibrant and alive with Stevie Nick's voice backed up with incredible harmonies with the addition of crisp guitar sounds and thumping drumming. On the next track, Never Going Back Again the guitar is spread in the mix giving the listener a feeling of actually being involved with the playing. Much of the same can be described by most of the other songs on the album, making me for my part re-discovering it again. Never before had I noticed how great the production was, not only in regards of the sound quality but also how it was mixed, both simple but yet innovative.
I took my old CD to compare the two versions, the hypothesis being that maybe this great sound had simply eluded me some years ago. The difference was, however, similar to hearing a worn cassette tape and a regular CD. The separation of instruments was not to be heard, a lack of depth was evident and the mix was muffled as if one were listening to a worn LP.
There is also added material. Silver Springs, a single not included on the original version, has been tacked between what before was side A and B. A fine song and its odd inclusion actually does keep the flow of the album intact (I believe having it at the end would spoil the fine ending of the original). There is also a bonus disk consisting of demos of the songs. It is interesting hearing these demos, one can hear how good the simple versions are but yet how delicately Fleetwood Mac improved them in the studio. Of particular note is Brushes which is only the guitar playing of what became Never Going Back Again. One must, however, make sure to press the stop button before some jam session at the end of the disc begin, those are only for the most devoted.
Thus from the standpoint of sound quality, this re-mastered version of Rumours is in my view a great buy. The bonus CD is a welcome addition and the artwork accompanying this version does this great album justice.
on May 14, 1998
Every American kid of the 70's needs to have this album, just for the pure pleasure of hearing Stevie Nicks singing "Dreams", a clear-eyed, sexy little song that is probably the best of 70's pop. The next song, however, is delightfully smart and gratifying and worth the price of the whole cd. It is Lindsey Buckingham's "Never Going Back Again". Sprightly acoustic guitar and Lindsey's moaning will make you melt.
Everything's already been said about Fleetwood Mac's « Rumours »: the partying, the fights, the torn romances, the intra-band affairs, the drug abuse... Even the music itself has been discussed in quite a few books and in many interviews by the band itself and by select members of their entourage; it has also been remastered a few times, most notably on Rhino's 2004 edition (which featured an entire CD of demos, unreleased cuts and alternative takes). Given all of this, even a diehard Fleetwood Mac fan such as myself has a right to be wary about this 35th anniversary edition of the band's classic album - and let's face it, the diehards are the ones targeted here. However, as skeptical as I was, I have to admit that this deluxe edition has turned out to be a mouth-watering gem.
Asides from the album itself - a classic in every sense of the word -, the two bonus CDs are the real deal here. First comes a live CD featuring twelve live performances culled during the "Rumours" tour; it's especially nice to have official live versions of "Gold Dust Woman", "Songbird" and "Oh Daddy". The other bonus CD, which features demos and outtakes from the "Rumours" sessions, is the most fascinating of them all. Whereas most of the demos of the 2004 edition often sounded like the final versions, what you get here are mostly work-in-progress polaroids of the songs' early beginnings, striking in their emotional authenticity and stark intimacy. Christine McVie's "Songbird" and "Oh daddy" feature slightly different melodies and lyrics, while Stevie Nicks' "Dreams" is presented in an etheral, keyboard-driven format. Best of all, we finally get to hear how "The Chain" was pieced together from different songs, mostly from Christine McVie's "Keep Me There" (which formed the song's musical basis, including the classic John McVie bass line and Lindsey Buckingham's soaring guitar solo), and a Stevie Nicks demo also called "The Chain", which provided the finished song's legendary chorus. Although a snippet of "Keep Me There" was included on the 2004 edition, we finally get the entire demo here (ditto for the piano and vocal demo of Stevie's "Planets of the Universe").
The more casual fans won't necessarily need this amazing set, but the diehards would be wise not to let this baby go its own way.
This along with the Eagles "Hotel California" are the two records that sum up the laid back California sound of the late 70's. This is a perfect record. Not a dud on it and in the Case of this SACD you even get the out take "Silver Springs" and only on an album this good would a song as good as that be dropped. I don't know where it's ranked but this is one of the best selling records in music history. Unless you never listen to rock radio or you just live under a rock odds are you have heard most of this record.
As for the SACD it's brilliant. The mix was originally done for the long out of print DVD- Audio so if you have it you don't really need this. But the sound is really incredible. Especially For a band like Fleetwood Mac that were known to be major perfectionist. The story about the follow up to this record "Tusk" was that they spent $1,000,000 just to find the right mic for the bass drum. who knows if it's true but it's a great story. Actually at the time of this record Stevie Nicks was dating Don Henly from the Eagles who were also riding high from their Hotel California album. Apparently they use to send private jets to pick each other up after shows. The amount of money these Band's made and spent was astonishing. So the story is very believable. I have owned this record on multiple formats and this is by far the best. The clarity of the vocals is really impressive for a 30 plus year analog recording. The separation of the instruments is perfect for the format. I have heard sweeteners (bits of instrumentation that fill in the musical landscape) on this version that I did not even know they were there with the other versions.
Like Carol King's "Tapestry" this album falls dangerously to MOR (Middle of the Road) music. But like Carol King the great song writing makes both this and her record a must for any serious collector of rock or pop music.
on November 5, 2005
"rumours" has to be one of the best albums ever.
i never previously managed to own a copy on cd, so when this extended version was released, i thought, what the hell!
i am glad i purchased it, i've always loved the song "silver spring" also my favourite "gold dust woman" here in 3 versions, as is "dreams, though i must say, it would have been nice to have a bit more diversity between the versions, as i found i was listening & waiting for that twist, but did not happen.
also, "planets of the universe" i love this version, it is very moving & folky, as compared to the rock version on "shangri-la"
"butter cookie" i also love the classic blues sound.
"screecher's blues" i can't quite make out, but the guitars sound good, so i guess that's what it's all about.
"think about it" i'm not a big fan of this song, either this version or on "belladonna",
i think it would have been nice to see a bit more diversity on this album as i'm sure 'mac have scope for this in the archives,
but i guess their saving it for some time in the future & we're all eagerly anticipating this!?
on June 17, 2004
For Stevie Nicks fans, this Rumours DVD-Audio disc is mandatory!!
I recently purchased a Toshiba DVD-A player, a JVC Receiver designed for DVD-A, Monster audio cables designed for SACD/DVD-Audio, and I added one Infinity Beta Center speaker (designed for SACD/DVD-A) to my old stereo speakers. (I still need Beta Surround speakers).
A set-up similar to that results in the best reproduction of the the Fleetwood Mac "Rumours DVD-A" & others such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer's DVD-A.
The Rumours DVD-A sounds much better than the Rumours CD...
I played them both and obvserved that the sound is clearer, has better tones, and is much more impressive, (and worth the DVD-A electonic equipment costs). On the song - The Chain - McVie's solo bass notes have outstanding tone on the DVD-A as compared to the CD!!! Just like he is in my living room. Overall, the sound on the DVD-A is outstanding. Good work Fleetwood Mac & Warner Brothers!!!
When playing the DVD-A in Pro Logic, Enhanced Stereo, or in PCM, it also sounds very good. I haven't tried DTS yet.
Stevie's "Gold Dust Woman" is the best I have ever heard. And, Stevie's delicate voice comes through brilliantly on her famous "Silver Springs" as well as on the "Gold Dust Woman" along with the powerful band music in the background.
You also get many pictures with each song you can click on. You can play another section where there is no singing - only the instrumentals with Stevie, Lindsey, Mick & John explaining how they wrote or recorded each song.
on May 14, 2004
After their breakthrough success with their self-titled album, Fleetwood Mac should have been on top of the world. Instead, success led to tensions in the band that would result in the two couples, Buckingham-Nicks & the McVie's, dissolving their relationships. There was tremendous friction when the band entered the studio to record the follow up album. It was those frictions and breakups that fueled the album and turned it into one of the classic albums of the 70's and in rock history. Rumours contains 11 songs in which many deal with the breakups. To hear Lindsay Buckingham & Stevie Nicks sing the searing "Go Your Own Way" together when you know that the song was written about their situation adds an extra edge to the song that can't be created if the song was about someone else. "The Chain" has a dark and ironic urgency to it and the bouncy beats of "Second Hand News" mask angry and bitter lyrics. "Dreams" is a bittersweet song that captures the essence of Stevie Nicks. It has a mystical, ethereal sound with deep lyrics and it has the witchy feel that made Ms. Nicks the high priestess of rock. The song became the album's and the band's only number one single. Ms. Nicks also shines on the eerie "Gold Dust Woman" that is a thinly veiled song about her cocaine abuse. The song dips and dives with stinging guitars and dirge like Hammond organ. Not every song is downcast; "Don't Stop" is a classic anthem of optimism and hope in which Christine McVie & Mr. Buckingham's vocals intertwine perfectly to capture the feeling that tomorrow will soon be here. "You Make Loving Fun" is a bouncy song that must have burned John McVie as Christine McVie wrote it about her new lover. "Songbird" is an elegantly beautiful song that is just Ms. McVie on vocals and piano and its position right in the middle of the album provides a respite from the album's high tensions. Rumours not only capitalized on the success of their prior album, but it was so big that it became a cultural touchstone. The album spent a staggering 31 weeks at number one in 1977, became the first album to spawn four top ten hits and ranks as one of the five biggest selling albums in history with over 20 million in sales and won the 1977 Grammy for Album of the Year. The original album is altered to include "Silver Springs" which was originally a b-side to "Go Your Own Way", but was revived in popularity with its inclusion on their comeback album, "The Dance". It is placed between "Songbird" and "The Chain" the songs that end side one and start side two respectively on the original album. Disk two is full of demo takes of the album's songs as well as jam sessions and other miscellaneous tracks.