Spectator Music presents: the album that changed my life — 'Rumours'

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 at 8:07 PM
Spectator Music presents: the album that changed my life — 'Rumours' by Ronald Raymond

As a teenager trying to make sense of the world and find my place in it, music became a close friend. Songs somehow allowed me to confront my issues and insecurities without having to share them out loud with anyone. Dealing with a broken heart in the spring of 1977, I purchased an LP (yeah, it was that long ago) from Fleetwood Mac called “Rumours.”

I didn’t know nor care that it would be named the “Album of the Year” by all three U.S. trade publications; that it would win a Grammy as such the following year; or that it would go on to be one of the best-selling albums of all time. I only knew that the songs spoke to me in a way no other album had.

The band featured three vocalists and a soft rock sound with hooks that were catchy and lyrics that expressed what each member was feeling at the time of writing and recording. Turns out the band members were in complete turmoil. Bassist John McVie and his wife, keyboardist/vocalist Christine McVie had split up. Guitarist/vocalist Lindsey Buckingham and his girlfriend, vocalist Stevie Nicks, were ending their relationship. Even the drummer and band leader, Mick Fleetwood, was separating from his wife.

Not surprisingly, the song lyrics were raw and dealt with broken relationships and personal insecurities, things I suppose any teenager could probably relate to. I know I certainly did.

Eventually, leaning on this album and others, I somehow managed to navigate the teen years without too much additional trauma and was delighted when my new girlfriend announced “Rumours” as her favorite album ever.

I’m not saying that confirmed things, but we’ve been married now for nearly 34 years.

It might be overstating it a bit to say the album changed my life, but there’s no mistaking the fact that it helped get me through a critical time and remains a personal favorite today. I’ve seen the band numerous times live and have an autographed “Rumours” album hanging on my office wall. It brings warm thoughts to mind and helps me recall some of the great concerts I’ve enjoyed every time I see it.

Music remains an important part of my life and several artists and songs have made an impact at different times, but if I had to choose just one album with enduring influence, it would have to be “Rumours.”

Dr. Raymond is a Faculty Advisor for WFSE Radio and ETV/Campus Media Business Manager/Internship Coordinator at Edinboro University.

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