Fleetwood Mac Capture Lightning in a Bottle on 'Rumours Live'
Out of the vault comes 90 previously-unheard minutes of the band performing at both their pinnacle and breaking point
Published Sep 08, 2023It feels impossible to understate the impact of an album like Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. As of February, it has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, making it the sixth best-selling record of the 1970s and the ninth best-selling of all time. A TV show like Daisy Jones & the Six — and the book it was adapted from — wouldn't exist without Rumours.
Art begets art, as does the lore around it. To put it simply, Rumours is a breakup album, a portrait of a band's interpersonal machinery falling apart and their music soaring to new heights amid the emotional shrapnel.
We all know there's something different about the dynamic of a band performing live, and when there was so much drama afoot, onstage tension was bound to be palpable. That's why Rumours Live, recorded at the Forum in Los Angeles amid the titular tour on August 29, 1977, feels like lightning captured in a bottle.
Here is a band at both their pinnacle and breaking point, performing a setlist of songs that are all ostensibly classics at this point, including tracks from 1975's Fleetwood Mac and beyond. Just when you thought you had memorized every dip and grove in your Rumours vinyl, you get to hear Fleetwood Mac reinvent their best work — back when the dough was still fresh for the kneading.
These songs are still living entities to this day, but when you hear Stevie Nicks's drawn-out warbling growl at the end of the seven-plus-minute live rendition of "Gold Dust Woman," it's hard to imagine that there ever existed a version of the track without it.
Listen to Rumours Live in its entirety below — available now on digital, 2LP and 2CD.