Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' redux details, U.S. tour and Stevie Nicks news

With Fleetwood Mac's much-anticipated 2013 North American Tour slated to start tomorrow in Columbus, Ohio (see web site for full routing), it's a good time to discuss the recent three-disc expanded edition of the band's 1977 classic Rumours

While there have been plenty of reissues over the years (including a fine one in 2004), this 35th Anniversary Edition benefits from the addition of a dozen previously unreleased live tracks from the Mac's '77 tour for the album from four shows (Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Nashville and Columbia, S.C.).

Highlights on the live Disc 2 include Lindsey Buckingham's spiralling guitar work on "World Turning," more sizzling fretwork from him amid "The Chain" and "Go Your Own Way" and a powerful 7 1/2 minute version of "Rhiannon," where Stevie Nicks sings an extra verse. 

Disc 3 - comprised of 16 previously unreleased early demos and alternate takes - provides a new glimpse into the creation of these beloved songs.

Here's a complete breakdown:

“Second Hand News,” an unfinished Buckingham demo, has partial lyrics; “Dreams” (Take 2) is spooky and skeletal with only electric guitar and keyboards; “Never Going Back Again” (Acoustic Duet) is even more rustic and has some tasty electric guitar touches; “Go Your Own Way” (Early Take) has only Buckingham vocals; “Songbird” (Demo) is very simple and it is followed by “Songbird” (Instrumental, Take 10); “I Don’t Want To Know” (Early Take) finds Buckingham working out where things should go; “Keep Me There” (Instrumental) is a 5 minute jam and embryonic version of "The Chain".

“The Chain” (Demo) is quite different from the finished one we all know. Here Nicks is singing different lyrics calmly to acoustic guitar; “Keep Me There” (with Vocal) has a soulful Christine McVie vocal, elements of "The Chain," keyboards and a still searing guitar solo by Buckingham; “Gold Dust Woman” (Early Take) is just Nicks' aching vocal; “Oh Daddy” (Early Take) is very interesting as Christine calls out key changes; “Silver Springs” (Early Take) has unfinished lyrics, but is simple and elegant without backing vocals; “Planets Of The Universe” (Demo) has a "Rhiannon" vibe and piano only; “Doesn’t Anything Last” (Acoustic Duet) is a fragment that displays a pure Buckingham/Nicks vocal blend; “Never Going Back Again” (Instrumental)

For those who prefer to program their CD player or cherry picking selected tracks, I'd suggest “Dreams” (Take 2), “The Chain” (Demo), “Keep Me There” (with Vocal) and “Gold Dust Woman” (Early Take).

The freshly-penned liner notes by David Wild includes quotes from Christine McVie, Buckingham and Nicks. A four panel fold out cardboard CD casing has pictures of the band and the other side is a panoramic live shot. There are plenty of color and B&W images, lyrics and credits inside the liners. 

Another edition of the package comes with a vinyl and DVD element. 

In related news, Nicks' documentary "In Your Dreams," an up close and portrayal of Nicks recording her critically acclaimed same-titled solo CD with Dave Stewart, just screened at dozens of theaters across North America yesterday. 

Hopefully, a DVD release will follow. 

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