At 35, Rumours is still one album you can believe in
Mention the year 1977 to lads of a particular musical bent and you're likely to be regaled with a torrent of memories about the excitement surrounding new releases by the Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Clash, seeing the latter in Trinity and watching our own Radiators from Space develop into the best Irish band of their generation.
All of that did take place, of course, as well as Bowie releasing the iconic single Heroes (UK chart placing No 24 and didn't feature in the US charts at all, so it's taken a while for the song's significance to become apparent) but in the wider world the album charts were dominated by the Eagles' Hotel California and Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.
Both of those records were inescapable for most of that year, with Rumours emerging in January and dominating the airwaves and in-store plays for 12 months or more. The story of Rumours and Fleetwood Mac in general is now the stuff of rock'n'roll legend. Although big sellers in their blues-rock incarnation in the mid-Sixties, by the early Seventies Fleetwood Mac were a busted flush, until bassist John McVie's notion of incorporating the Californian duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks opened the key to the golden door. An eponymous 1975 album cracked the million-mark Stateside but the band themselves were cracking up by the time they started work on the much-anticipated follow-up. McVie and his wife Christine were splitting up, as were Buckingham and Nicks and big bags of cocaine were sitting beside the recording console -- what could possibly go wrong?
What eventually emerged from the madness and chaos was a record which seemed like glossy but slightly left-field west coast pop-rock on the outside but contained a bitter, fractious undertow.
Buckingham's Go Your Own Way and Nicks's Dreams were clearly telling both sides of the same story, while The Chain, despite providing the BBC's Formula 1 theme for decades, just sounded plain weird.
And what's more, 35 years later the album still sounds great.
The 35th anniversary edition of Rumours is released next Friday