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Q Magazine (Spring 2004), The Music That Changed the World, 1970-1979 < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Q Magazine (Spring 2004), The Music That Changed the World, 1970-1979

Q Magazine (special edition), From Zeppelin to the Pistols, The '70s
Spring 2004

The Music That Changed the World

The Albums

#1 The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers
#2 The Clash - London Calling
#3 Led Zeppelin - IV
#4 Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
#5 Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
#6 David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars
#7 Television - Marquee Moon
#8 Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Marital discord + hip easy listening = megabucks

Even with hindsight, it's one hell of a tall story. By the early '70s, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac were a commercial irrelevance, having shed the guitar heroes who'd earned their reputation as Britain's hottest R&B band. Their status dipped so low that a bunch of impostors toured the States using their name, and most people couldn't tell the difference.

Enter a failed West Coast duo, Lindsay [sic] Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Their cunningly subtle AOR tunes converted an old banger into a sleek California limousine, and took the Fleetwood Mac album to Number 1 in the US. The band celebrated by indulging in every sensual pleasure possible, including adultery. Buckingham and Nicks parted company; so too did bassist John McVie and his wife, singer Christine McVie, while drummer Mick Fleetwood split from his spouse for good measure.

The resulting turmoil, smoothed into deliciously adult pop songs, propelled Rumours into the commercial stratosphere. Until Michael Jackson's Thriller, this was the best-selling album of all time -- aided by the US Top 10 success of its four singles, Go Your Own Way, Dreams, Don't Stop and You Make Loving Fun. But Rumours' ultra-smooth sound didn't equate to slickness. In retrospect, the record is most notable for its refreshingly oddball touches -- Mick Fleetwood's defiantly across-the-beat rhythm on Go Your Own Way, for example, or the nonsensical lyrics of Buckingham's Second Hand News.

Rumours duly garnered admirers in the most unlikely of places. Bill Clinton adopted Don't Stop during his 1992 presidential campaign -- the perfect choice for a candidate with his own take on the meaning of a marriage contract. And Hole's Celebrity Skin album revealed just how closely Courtney Love had been listening to this paragon of uneasy listening. Joyously melodic yet slyly subversive, Rumours turned an entire generation of Top 40 listeners into marital voyeurs. -- Peter Doggett

#9 Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures
#10 The Who - Who's Next
#11 Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run
#12 The Wailers - Catch a Fire
#13 Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bullocks, Here's the Sex Pistols
#14 Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks
#15 Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life
#16 Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell
#17 Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
#18 Carole King - Tapestry
#19 Neil Young - After the Goldrush
#20 Lou Reed - Transformer

 

 


Date: 2004-04-30         Number of views: 3091

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