Reading over this I remember the joke that goes "If you remember what happened at Woodstock, you probably weren't there." Looking back at something that happened 35 years ago it's unlikely you can remember so much detail and reading over "Making Rumours" you can't help but wonder what genuinely happened and what are embellishments. You do certainly get the larger stories of how difficult a gestation Rumours (Deluxe Edition) had and the tensions going on within the band. None of this is a newsflash, but it is the details and the sweep of how the sessions unfold that is so captivating here. I'd forgotten how long it took for the Fleetwood Mac (Deluxe Edition) album to turn into a best-seller and that sessions for Rumours (Deluxe Edition) had already begun at the point "Fleetwood Mac" really started getting legs. Probably the funniest thing was the band taking a break from the "Rumours" sessions to go out and tour to promote Fleetwood Mac (Deluxe Edition), rather dispelling the whole "record-tour-record-tour" tedium for bands of that era. But Caillat is right that something magical was happening here, even if band members didn't fully realize it at the time. All of them were going through profound traumas in their personal lives and yet Rumours (Deluxe Edition) was cathartic, a chance to lay bare all their thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and it made for one of the most compelling and listenable albums of all time.
It quickly becomes obvious early on how dysfunctional the band was, yet they still wanted to soldier on. Desirous of capitalizing on the success of Fleetwood Mac (Deluxe Edition) it becomes clear fairly early on that Rumours (Deluxe Edition) was also a bit like three solo artists trying to exist within the context of a band. Caillat provides great thumbnail sketches of all the band members and numerous other principles involved in the recording, not to mention the tensions ongoing during the sessions. Not everything is flattering and "Making Rumours" is pretty much a warts-and-all portrayal. Some of the more interesting insights for me was learning about Lindsey Buckingham's guitar playing techniques as his playing technique always struck me as somewhat akin to that of Earl Scruggs. Reading over "Making Rumours" now I wonder if that's who indeed inspired Buckingham. The genesis and inspiration for songs also pops up, sometimes directly and sometimes obliquely, and yet it makes me wonder if Caillat genuinely has firsthand knowledge or if this is being relayed in a second hand manner. Equally fascinating was hearing about the equipment and various techniques employed to capture the right feel for the music. That may make it a bit wonky and geeky for some readers, but certainly not all. In the end "Making Rumours" is an interesting read from someone present at the creation, but I can't help but wanting to hear more from the actual creators, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood, and John McVie. And to another extent I tend to wonder about the relevancy of an undertaking like this. Much like the upcoming The Rolling Stones 1972 there is a certain tendency to revel in the music of the past which smacks of pandering to people of a certain age. Is it wistful nostalgia, remembering a simpler time, or simply cashing in on a fan base that's still willing to shill out for yesterday's news? Certainly "Making Rumours" capitalizes on a momentous anniversary, but does Mr. Caillat mean this as a summary to his life's work? Will he do one about Tusk in a few years? Why not tell the whole story of his work with the band? Granted, I love Rumours (Deluxe Edition) but I feel I know more from listening to "The Chain", "Gold Dust Woman", or "Go Your Own Way" than reading this. The blistering intensity, lust, longing, regret, remorse, and forgiveness of Rumours (Deluxe Edition) is far more satisfying than this.