Rumours took a moderately successful band into the limelight becoming the top selling pop album to date. Their chart success was historic, while the actual legend surrounding the record is born from the group's internal turmoil. Members of Fleetwood Mac had been involved together in marriage and romance, which fell apart during work on this record, these personal tensions fueled nearly every song on Rumours.
But it is not their personal lives that makes this album so rich, rather an unparalleled quality of the music and recording quality. Once again songwriter/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham masterminded this release adding interesting turns to this accessibly melodic works. Also cloaked here is the raw emotion of the lyrics in deceptively palatable arrangements that made a tune as tortured as "Go Your Own Way" an incredible hit. Listeners will find it turns private pain into something universal. Many of the songs have been well treaded, with plenty of radio airtime since its release in 1977.
The digital transfer is taken from the original analog quad mix, which is well balanced, especially for the era of the recording. Like many current day multi-channel music mixes, backing vocals are placed in the rear speakers, along with secondary guitars and keyboards. The spread provides distinct separation of the multiple layers added for harmony and embellishments. However, long time listeners will be surprised with the insertion of "Silber Springs", which replaces "Songbird" in the original album order. Instead, Songbird closes the album, which is a great touch. But Silber Springs really is not up to snuff for this multi-platinum album, and really feels out of place after more than three decades of listening. Another surprise is a solo during the acoustic guitar break on "Never Going Back Again." For this listener, the solo does not fit, while the empty space really did work well, along with the removed harmony Oo's and Ah's that led back into the vocal melody. Changes aside, the sound quality is superior to all other versions I have heard to date and should be in every music lover’s collection, especially advocates of multi-channel mixes.
Multi-Channel 4.0 Hybrid Japanese SACD, Also released as a Super Deluxe Edition containing a 5.1 mix on DVD. Additionally, available on CD and Vinyl.
Get your copy here: