In this day and age, when everybody and their aunt is a dj and everybody produces loud ass obnoxious music, I sometimes long back for some classic middle of the road. You know… song driven, well produced music without any wobbling, plastic, synthetic basses in there. Let’s talk about one of the best middle of the road bands out there, the awesome Fleetwood Mac!
As I’ll continue my quest in explaining a thing or two about, what I consider to be, the best songs on the planet, let me remind you: There is no order in these songs, I just write these pieces in half an hour, so I just pick my mind for what I like at the moment… And right now I’ve had all the loud dubstep and variations on that theme that a man can possibly take.
This is the song we’ll be talking about today
Some of you might now Fleetwood Mac from their parent’s record collection. If you do, thank your parents for having good taste in music. This awesome song, called ‘The Chain’ is taken of their ‘Rumours’ album. Rumours is the eleventh studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac. Largely recorded in California during 1976, it was produced by the band with Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut and was released on 4 February 1977. Rumours is Fleetwood Mac’s most successful release with sales of over 40 million copies worldwide. What does that tell you? That they could write a decent song at the very least… well… actually sleepless nights and the extensive use of cocaine marked much of the album’s production. Chris Stone, one of the Record Plant‘s owners, indicated in 1997 that Fleetwood Mac brought “excess at its most excessive” by taking over the studio for long and extremely expensive sessions; he stated, “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”
Fleetwood Mac was a troubled band at this time, the contrast between being a relic from the late 60’s and an accepted pop band now, plus the personal turmoil and relations between several band members and their drug addictions made this album a tough cookie to wrap up. It took them a while to complete this track and it’s basically two demo’s put together and reworked. I love the main lyric in the song, which states some of the suppressed tensions going on:
“And if you don’t love me now
You will never love me again
I can still hear you saying
you would never break the chain”
The song itself is a bluesy track, with lush three-part harmony vocals. The organ lays a steady base for the acoustic and electric guitars and Mick Fleetwood pounds the steady rhythm to push it forward. The call and answer vocals between Lindsey and Stevie are great man. They sing it like they mean it and they probably do. The turning point in the song, after the second chorus, is the money shot though. A fretless, really beautiful sounding bass drops the bass line that makes this track so epic. Switching to an uptempo end, with massive guitars and keyboards coming in, gives this bit a feeling that makes you want to drive too fast, drink too much. Possibly a combination of those two as well. A total smash man, this track is a 70’s classic. Not damaged by punk yet in any way, shape of size, this is classic middle of the road songwriting at it’s very VERY best.
More reading on this here