Making Rumours: The Inside Story Of The Classic Fleetwood Mac Album
I must be an exceedingly lucky guy (sure I am…I work for Vintage Rock, right?) but I have just read another incredible book about rock and roll, like so many I have read and reviewed here. This is different though because Ken Calliat's (with Steve Stiefel) Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album might just be the best rock and roll biography I have ever read; perhaps one of the best books period I have gotten into in a very long time.
It might be Callait's easy manner, his perfect recall, the way he completely opens up about the mid 70s in California and brings the reader right along for the journey. It might be his attention to detail and how he relates the nuts and bolts of big business rock and roll recording, explaining technical details without ever leaving you scratching your head over the jargon. And it might also be that he is relating the story of recording one of the best-selling albums of all time.
We have all heard about the unprecedented time it took to make Rumours. We have all heard about the turmoil between the couples in Fleetwood Mac (Christine and John McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham), and we have all heard about the drug use. Calliat pulls no punches in his book - the dangerous behavior is part of the Mac story as it would be for any hard working rock band.
But Making Rumours is also about creating the music and here is where Calliat shines as he lovingly illustrates in detail how the songs of this seminal Grammy-winning album were birthed, sweated over and sometimes thrown baby-out-with-the-bathwater style for new versions reworked over with a dogged perfectionism few bands courted.
Calliat also touches on about how he mixed the sound for some of the band's gigs and at the end of the day, he co-produced and engineered an album we all know and love. To that end, Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album is a insightful and thorough read about a pivotal time in rock and roll…in one man's life.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.