Fleetwood Mac – A Soul Group – Part 5:  Rumours

“The making of Rumours almost killed us”

~ Mick Fleetwood

Fleetwood Mac are in the news again, on two counts.  One, for their court case with Lindsey Buckingham.  And two, for their forthcoming tour.  They apparently fired Lindsey in January, and he has sued.  A band spokesperson said: “Fleetwood Mac looks forward to their day in court.”  They will be playing at Wembley in June 2019.  No doubt that will all be included in Part 25 of my ongoing series, if I carry on that far.

In Part 4, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac.  In this part of the story, I will look at the making of the phenomenal album Rumours, which you could say was the apotheosis of the group, but also reportedly their nadir in terms of drug dependency and relationship break-ups.  It is one of my favourite albums of all time.

Rumours

“Rumours” was Fleetwood Mac’s 11th album, and was released on 4th February 1977.  It was so named because John McVie thought it sounded like a bunch of rumours.  The success of the album was such that they dined out on it for many years, and in some respects they still do.

The making of the album was descriptively expressed by Chris Stone, one of the Record Plant’s owners: “The band would come in at 7 at night, have a big feast, party till 1 or 2 in the morning, and then when they were so whacked-out they couldn’t do anything, they’d start recording”.

Birth Chart

What’s in the astrological anatomy of a music album?

It has a Full Moon, expressing and eliciting strong emotions.  Sun in Aquarius and Moon in Leo.  That represents the group expression (Sun in Aquarius) opposite (clashing with) the individual egos (Moon in Leo) of the band members and their conflicts.  With Jupiter square the Moon and Saturn, and in a T square with the Sun, this represents both the exuberance (Jupiter) of this album, but also the underlying heartache (Saturn).  The Sun was exactly sextile Neptune, representing the inspirational perfection of this album creatively.  Mercury exactly trine Jupiter represents the commercial supersuccess which it received.  Venus was unaspected, so it represents a one off in terms of musical genius, a complete freedom of artistic and musical expression.  Mars closely square the Nodal Axis represents the group conflict which was going on at the time, as a backdrop to all the creativity.  As they say in the Alice Bailey esoteric tradition, it represents the 4th Psychological Ray of Art and Harmony through Conflict.  Saturn closely square Uranus represents the personal earthquakes they were going through.  Saturn exactly sextile Pluto represents the sheer strength of the album: such sustained brilliance.  Last but not least, Chiron was exactly on the South Node in Aries, representing personal past life karma seeking healing, and succeeding, for this album speaks much about emotional healing through the expression of heartache and description of various relationship dilemmas.

Mick Fleetwood

It was during this period that Mick Fleetwood’s marriage to Jenny Boyd broke down, as Uranus was squaring his natal Pluto.  He wrote, in “Play On”:

“By the time we set about writing for Rumours, we had all fallen to pieces; after seven years John and Christine called it quits, Lindsey and Stevie’s four year relationship was over, and my marriage to Jenny on its way to divorce”.

Tracks

Side One

  1. “Second Hand News” by Lindsey Buckingham

Written about his break up with Stevie Nicks: “…One thing I think you should know I ain’t gonna miss you when you go”

  1. “Dreams” by Stevie Nicks

Written about her break up with Lindsey Buckingham: “… It’s only right that you should Play it the way you feel it But listen carefully to the sound of your loneliness…”  It took her 10 minutes to write.

  1. “Never Going Back Again” by Lindsey Buckingham

Written after a brief relationship with a New England woman: “… Been down one time
Been down two times I’m never going back again…”

  1. “Don’t Stop” by Christine McVie with Lindsey Buckingham

Written about Christine McVie’s separation from John McVie “… Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here It’ll be, better than before Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone”

  1. “Go Your Own Way” by Lindsey Buckingham

Written about his break up with Stevie Nicks “… You can go your own way
Go your own way You can call it Another lonely day
”  Electrifying song inspired by “Street Fighting Man” by the Rolling Stones.  Stevie Nicks objected to some of the lyrics.

Mick Fleetwood: “I love playing this song. It’s one of my favorites because I get to kick the hell out of my drums, and it’s got that wonderfully primal part. It’s a great ‘let loose’ stage song, in which I can revert to my old animal ways and not be quite so polite.

  1. “Songbird” by Christine McVie

“… And the songbirds keep singing Like they know the score And I love you I love you I love you Like never before”  Written in half an hour.  A beautiful, melodic,  inspired song.  Eva Cassidy took this to new heights in 1998.

Side Two

7.  “The Chain” by Buckingham, Fleetwood, C. McVie, J. McVie and Nicks

“…I can still hear you saying You would never break the chain”.  The collective song, written by all the group.  However, Stevie Nicks claims: “We split [the royalties] five ways but the fact is I wrote most of those words and most of that melody”

8.  “You Make Loving Fun” by Christine McVie

Written about her relationship with a lighting director after she split up with John McVie.

“Sweet wonderful you You make me happy with the things you do…”

9.  “I Don’t Want to Know” by Stevie Nicks with Lindsey Buckingham

Written by the pair in 1974 before they joined Fleetwood Mac.  “I don’t want to know the reasons why Love keeps right on walking on down the line“.  The harmonies between them are superb, reminiscent of the Everly Brothers (according to Stevie herself).  Symbolizes their creative tension.

10.  “Oh Daddy” by Christine McVie

Written allegedly about Mick Fleetwood and his wife Jenny who had just got back together, but it is also claimed that it was written for the lighting director who Christine McVie dated when she broke up with John. “…If I can make you see If there’s been a fool around It’s got to be me”

11.  “Gold Dust Woman” by Stevie Nicks

Written about Los Angeles city life and her struggle with drugs. Did she make you cry Make you break down Shatter your illusions of love And is it over now do you know how Pick up the pieces and go home.” 

Every one a gem. 

Bibliography:

“Stevie Nicks” by Zoe Howe

“Play On” by Mick Fleetwood

 

Aspects

Today’s aspect is the Sun sextile Saturn, lending a serious, sensible, sober vibration to the day.  This may seem mundane, but is entirely constructive, and favours laying down long term plans and foundations, and taking responsibility in your life.

If Sunday seems a bit pedestrian, then Monday (29th), as the best day of the week, looks to be spectacular, with a conjunction between Mercury and Jupiter.  It’s the day most likely to bring good news.  It is good for sales transactions, taking in study work, and travel.  It can bring out wit and humour, and increase optimism.

The mental lightheartedness extends into Wednesday (31st), when Mercury leaves forensically minded Scorpio and enters fun-loving Sagittarius.  It will veritably be the time to practise your stand up comedy routine, and channel your inner Romesh Ranganathan.  Mercury will be in Sagittarius into the New Year, because it turns retrograde during that time, but it will briefly dip back into Scorpio at the beginning of December.  So it will be a season of mental and geographical exploration.  A Happy Halloween is on the cards.

Another astrological influence occurring on Wednesday is Venus opposite Uranus, which could bring some tension or unpredictability in relationships.  You may need to deal with a contentious or disruptive issue.  There may be misunderstandings, so be clear from your heart.

Venus is travelling in retrograde motion, and on the same day it returns to Libra, from Scorpio.  Although you may need to go over old ground, Venus is happier and more harmonious in its own sign of Libra, and that may assist you in finding the sweet words to overcome any tensions.  Refer back to a time when the relationship was entirely harmonious, and what brought you together in the first place.  Remember what that relationship has brought to you over time.

The week in bullet points:

·         Today – serious progress

·         Tomorrow – high achieving

·         Wednesday – complex; some lightheartedness, relationship changes