Fleetwood Mac…Top 10 In 2023

The sales figures for vinyl albums in 2023 have been released.  As expected, it was Taylor Swift’s year, as she had 5 of the top 10.  But, what caught my eye was #9.

How in the world did an album that’s nearly a half-century old sell close to as many copies as new albums by Lana Del Ray and Olivia Rodrigo?

The songs might have something to do with it.

Rumours had four Top 10 hits…“Go Your Own Way” #10, “Dreams” #1, “Don’t Stop” #3, and “You Make Loving Fun” #9.  The songs “Never Going Back Again”, “Songbird”, “The Chain”, and “Gold Dust Woman” were played on FM stations, and became classics too.

The album was released in 1977.  It spent 31 non-consecutive weeks at #1 (the most for a Rock album), and won the Grammy for Album Of The Year.  So it’s mostly the quality of the album, the continued popularity of Stevie Nicks, and possibly the passing of Christine McVie in November, 2022 that pushed Rumours into the Top 10 for vinyl sales in 2023.

Are there a bunch of other Classic Rock albums just under the Top 10?  No.  I checked the Top 50 vinyl sales, and the only ones are…Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon #20, Queen’s Greatest Hits #23, and The Beatles’ Abbey Road #38.  Quality choices.

While Rumours is unquestionably one of the best albums ever, it wouldn’t have been nearly as big a hit if it weren’t for another album that set it up for success.

The album is Fleetwood Mac from 1975, and its quality is not far removed from Rumours.  This was the first Mac album with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.  Their songwriting and Lindsey’s production skills helped create a new era of popularity for the group.

You can see the key songs that brought the group into prominence…“Monday Morning”, “Warm Ways”, “Rhiannon”, “Over My Head”, “Say You Love Me” and “Landslide”.  It took the band 15 months of touring to take the album to #1.  It was only after a lot of work and a breakthrough album that a phenomenon like Rumours was possible.

Not many groups have had three amazing singer-songwriters (Stevie, Christine & Lindsey).  When their songs were added to the rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood (drums) and John McVie (bass) along with Christine McVie’s Keyboards and Lindsey Buckingham’s virtuoso guitar, great things happened.

While most music is streamed these days, vinyl sales have been growing steadily over the last decade.  Besides people liking the analog sound, fans want to have a tangible piece of a performer’s art.

Our son (born in the ‘70s) has been collecting vinyl in recent years.  In 2023, he got Rumours for his birthday, along with Hotel California, and The Doors.  Then it was The Beatles’ remixed and expanded Red & Blue albums for Christmas.  Our grandchildren also enjoy Classic Rock (along with their own contemporary favorites).  It’s cool that the resurgence in record albums gives more generations a chance to drop the needle, look over an album cover, and listen to some of the greatest recordings of all time.

That may even include some of the new albums on that 2023 list.

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