Fleetwood Mac

Rumours [Expanded]

(CD - Reprise / Warner Bros. #8122738822)

Review by

In the spring of 2004, Warner Strategic Marketing reissued as remastered expanded editions Fleetwood Mac's first three albums with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Rumours is not only given an 18-track bonus disc, but the B-side "Silver Springs" is added to the original album, between "Songbird" and "The Chain" -- which may be a controversial move for some since it upsets the original running order (even though it was added to the previously released DVD Audio version of the record, albeit in a different place on the album, but that whole release scrambles the track listing on the second side, anyway). Nevertheless, it's very nice to have the original "Silver Springs" on CD, and the bonus disc is quite impressive, even though it isn't necessarily the kind of disc that will get played all that frequently. The biggest discovery are the previously unreleased songs -- two by Stevie Nicks, the very good official outtake "Think About It" (co-written with Roy Bittan) and the demo of "Planets of the Universe," and sketches by Christine McVie ("Butter Cookie (Keep Me There)") and Lindsey Buckingham ("Doesn't Anything Last"); while only "Think About It" was in any shape to make the final record, they're all interesting listens. Apart from the two jams that conclude the album (one a snippet, the other kind of lengthy and appropriately given "The Blues" as its subtitle), the rest of the album consists of alternate takes and demos of nearly every song on the album, with "Gold Dust Woman" and "Never Going Back Again" appearing twice (the latter is once given its original title, "Brushes"). These are dubbed as "roughs" on the back cover and that's what they are -- the songs are essentially in place, just not polished. Hence, it's easier to listen to than really rough demos, but there aren't any real revelations either -- just enough differences to make this a fascinating bonus disc for fans, particularly since the clearing-house nature of this bonus disc suggests there's nothing Rumours-related left in the vaults. While it may not be a disc that's played regularly, it's an excellent bonus disc that makes this overall package a superb reissue. [The Reprise Expanded Edition nearly quadruples the track list.]

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