on life, music etc beyond mainstream

Everybody has stories to tell about living with his or her favourite records. I like the story Noshin is telling us because of the mix of musical description and personal experience. I like some songs of the album, but i didn’t fall on my knees when I heared it at the first time. That happened to me, for example, when I had my first listening experience with Brian Eno’s Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy). The music never dated. I keep returning. – M.E.

Everyone knows your favourite albums are usually those you heard in your teens (Up to Our Hips), soundtracking first love, independence and heavy-duty revision (Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea). They’re not supposed to be records you discovered two years ago by a band you’d always filed away in the „Stuff Old White People Like“ box in your brain. But so it goes with Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.

In November 2009, I spent four weeks criss-crossing the States only to fall madly in love with Los Angeles. Finally home on a cold Friday night to Hackney and my husband, I came across a battered copy of Rumours I’d picked up from a rental car on the way. We put it on, expecting nothing more than softly rocking California cheese. We were stunned. Lying on the sofa, expectations confounded, we waited for a rubbish number to kick in. Songbird, a gooey if touching ballad, was as bad as it got. Forty minutes later, all I could say was: „Dude! Who knew?“

The rest of that weekend, and many more after, was spent with Rumours playing in the background. The revelations were numerous: no, that wasn’t an abominable Corrs cover, Dreams was beautiful dream pop! Yes, The Chain was used as the Formula One theme tune but it’s also One Of The Greatest Songs Ever Written!

But it was never just about the music. It’s also the drama attached to the album’s creation. Drink, drugs and divorce weren’t new to rock’n’roll but Fleetwood Mac took them to cartoonish near-parody that I, coming from a fairly histrionic family prone to high drama, could relate to. Why have one couple in the band splitting up when you can have two? Why spend six weeks in the studio when you can spend six months? And why not hoover up so much cocaine you feel compelled to give your dealer a credit in the sleeve notes? (To the label’s relief, they didn’t in the end; said dealer died before the album’s release.)

For the next eight months, my husband and I danced around the living room, took long drives and did the laundry to the sound of the Mac. I forced the singles into party playlists, threw a strop in a club because I just wanted to go home and listen to Gold Dust Woman, and once spent 10 hours in a parked car with two friends during Latitude festival, just so we could listen to Rumours on repeat.

Having loved and lived the album to an extensive degree, at some point last summer my relationship began to unravel. We were almost seven years into our marriage and something began to itch. Lovesick, angry and bitter, I began to find Rumours painful to listen to (although I did nothing but). For three months, I mooched around zombie-like. Suddenly, Stevie Nicks didn’t sound so sexily anguished; she sounded broken. Lindsey Buckingham’s carefully crafted arrangements weren’t just poetic, they were incitement to an emotional meltdown.

It’s faintly ridiculous to feel sentimental about an album you’ve known so briefly. But, as my husband and I got our collective shit together, I became pretty certain this was, however gratingly cliched, Our Album. I married him partly because we had similar musical tastes – synth-pop, shoegaze and obscure disco – but I couldn’t think of anything we’d discovered together so epic, glorious, volatile and crazy. In short, a bit like us.

This entry was posted on Samstag, 9. Februar 2013 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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