A few weeks ago, in the middle of the night, I had a bit of meltdown. The reason isn’t really important now, as everything sorted itself out pretty quickly, but it did mean I spent a restless night and an exhausted day with a cloud of something depressing hanging over me.
During that day, I played the album ‘Rumours’ by Fleetwood Mac. I don’t quite know why I picked that album to listen to on Spotify, but I have a feeling it’s to do with a tweet by Caitlin Moran and the fact that Benn’s dad plays it quite a lot in the car. It was an album that I knew all the songs to, without ever actually realising I did. (It turns out that my mum played it a lot when she was expecting me. Apparently, babies retain a memory of music they heard in the womb, even if they don’t realise it.) The songs are pretty familiar to lots of people my age, even if it’s not cool to admit that they are.
What’s brilliant about the album, even if you’re not a fan, is that the songs ‘read’ like the chapters in a novel. Everyone has heard the stories about the complicated love lives of the musicians, which is pretty brilliantly discussed in this joke:
The whole album is bittersweet and you can imagine that recording it wasn’t a comfortable thing to do. Despite this, it’s a brilliant album with so much contained in its brief 40-minute playing time. There are songs of despair and pessimism on the album, but the most well-known are the ones full of optimism and spirit; everyone knows ‘Go Your Own Way’ and ‘Don’t Stop’. I think the song most people my age know of is ‘Dreams’, after its cover by the Corrs (which I listened to before writing this piece and, oh my words, is that a dated piece of work. All 90s electro-drum beat and bad eye makeup on poor, beautiful Andrea Corr in the video.) But ‘Dreams’ as it stands is a beautiful song.
What I’ve found interesting since thinking about this album is that it’s cool to worship Stevie Nicks (particularly amongst young women), but it’s not cool to like Fleetwood Mac. I wonder why this is?
Anyway, after a frustrating day of listening to the album on Spotify, what with its endless adverts and missing tracks, Benn decided to buy the album for me for my birthday. And I’ve been listening to it pretty solidly ever since.