Fleetwood Mac's 1977 album Rumours is a true masterpiece. An almost flawless mixture of undeniable hooks, '70s pop songwriting, and the band's own inner turmoil and personal demons, four of the album's songs were hit singles, and it went gold in its first week of release. Given all of this, how successful would the album be if the instruments, voices, and personalities of its creators were removed? That experiment comes to life on Vitamin's Rumours: The String Quartet Tribute to Fleetwood Mac. The album is an instrumental, track-by-track retelling of the original, performed by David Davidson (violin), Paul Tobias (viola, second violin), and Todd Rubenstein (cello, bass). Supporting players include Jeramie Brown (percussion) and Dominic Hradik with lead cello on "You Make Loving Fun." While the tribute is not, as the inlay card suggests, "one of the ultimate listening treasures of our time," it roundly succeeds where other string renditions of pop hits in this series fail. The original Rumours was alive with melody, and melody is what drives each of the pieces here. In fact, with the emotional baggage of the Mac removed (not to mention lite rock radio's 25-year love affair with the album), the melodies driving "Secondhand News," "Dreams," "Go Your Own Way," and especially "I Don't Want to Know are washed clean, and come out smelling as fresh as a summer day. Rumours: The String Quartet Tribute to Fleetwood Mac may not sell 19 million copies, but it definitely makes listening to the real Rumours fun again.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus