I pride myself on being a music nerd. I’m not going to lie, not knowing a band or an artist annoys me a little bit, and I’m known for researching the ones that I like maybe a bit obsessively. So when I only found out about Fleetwood Mac a few years ago, I was really pissed off. They’ve sold millions of records, have I been living under a rock? The truth is that, although not completely unknown, Fleetwood Mac were never too big in Spain (where I am from). Nobody in my family seemed to know them either, which sounds silly now, but when you’re young in a pre-internet era it’s kind of the only method to discover music that’s older than you are.
But ever since I listened to ‘Rumours’ they’ve skyrocketed into the Heaven of my affections. Even though Fleetwood Mac are a rock band, they are the most pop rock has ever been and I think that’s the reason why I love them. Stripped of the snobbish whiff that a lot of rock bands seem to adopt in the hope of attracting pop-hating music fans, they embraced mainstream and knew how to work their talent and their sensibility into songs that were good, worked for them, were commercially successful and stood the test of time. Even when they were going through their more experimental phase with ‘Tusk’ they still had songs like ‘Sara’, tender and melodic.
They are a mood sort of band, at least to me. I don’t listen to Fleetwood Mac in a steady way throughout a year. It’s usually when I’m feeling stressed out, or sad, or just in that grey state of mind where the pop I usually love feels too happy or too shallow. I feel like Fleetwood Mac get me when I’m feeling like that, and listening to Stevie Nicks’ voice brings peace. Maybe this happens because most of their songs were written in times where they felt conflicted, sad, angry or heartbroken, and, like me, did not enjoy feeling like they were drowning in their feelings. Even when thematically negative, their songs are not a celebration of sadness. Rather, they are narration that explains it, a story where there’s always a silver lining.
Last week marked the 36th anniversary of the day ‘Rumours’ reached #1 on Billboard, where it stayed for 31 non consecutive weeks. It seems like a well deserved feat for an album and a band that is close to perfection. 2013 will see them on another world tour that covers all their hits plus a couple of unheard songs, and it’s already sold out everywhere. They’re getting older, but the magic is still very much there.