Have you ever wanted to know what it was like creating one of the most iconic albums of all time? My guess is you have, but I don’t live in your brain. At least, not today. But ANYWAY, this Thursday, Soundtrack Series welcomes Ken Caillat–producer of Fleetwood Mac’s legendary album Rumours and author of the book Making Rumours. (Advance tickets are on sale now…get ‘em while they’re still the same price as Spork Chops!)
Ken is going to be telling some stories about the making of Rumours, showing pictures, answering questions, signing books, kicking ass and taking names! (OK, maybe not that last part. I think I may have slipped into my high school gym teacher for a second there.) Anyway, Ken was kind enough to already answer some of my questions here! But let’s not kid ourselves. I’m sure I’ll have 64 more to ask him at the show.
Why did the band and production team refer to “Second Hand News” as “Strummer” when you were first working on it?
Initially, the song had no name or lyrics so we’d call them what we felt like. Strummer was, well, a strumming song. You Make Loving Fun was called “Disco Funk”, Dreams was called “Spinners.”
What’s with the sound of glass breaking at the end of “Gold Dust Woman?” How did that come about?
It’s about implying utter chaos and havoc and the end.
Everyone knows that recording this album was very tense and difficult at times. Of all the songs, which would you say was the hardest (or most tense) for all of you?
They were all hard but possibly Go Your Own Way. Actually, I’d have to say The Chain, too, having been another song, then we morphed it into The Chain.
“Songbird” was recorded in the empty Zellerbach Auditorium and not the studio like the rest of the album. What was it about this song that inspired you to record it in an auditorium rather than a smaller studio?
I wanted the piano to be grand sounding and I had recently recorded Joni Mitchell live there and loved the sound of a piano played in a reverberant hall.
If you listen closely to Rumours (especially with headphones), someone whispers “fuck” right before “The Chain.” Who was that, and why was that left in?
That was Lindsey. And it wasn’t in the original vinyl release but because of the low noise floor we noticed it in remastering. We thought it was an honest part of the recording (not staged) and since it was there, we let it stay there for those avid fans.
What song that DIDN’T make the final cut of Rumours was your favorite? In retrospect, do you think it should have been on the album?
There was really only one that didn’t make it and that was Silver Springs, because it was too long. Ultimately, when CDs came with the larger capacity, it was reunited with the rest of the songs.