June 1998

Various Artists - Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours
Atlantic/Lava CD 83054
Released: 1998

by Doug Schneider

Musical Performance **
Recording Quality ***1/2
Overall Enjoyment **

[Reviewed on CD]Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours is one of the defining commercial albums of ‘70s. To this day it is sung, hummed, and muzaked the world over. Like it or hate it, you have to admit that it has had an impact. It’s certainly been a tough album to let go of, and many of its songs are the reason Fleetwood Mac’s 1997 release The Dance [ Reprise 9 46702-2] has been so popular. The old tunes still have their fans.

It stands to reason, then, that Rumours would be a good candidate for a tribute—a chance for today’s artists to pay homage to, and most likely cash in on, the songs of another generation. However, what should have been a slam-dunk gets a first-round KO when compared to the two-decade-old original. Even with Mick Fleetwood being cited on the production credits, Legacy completely misses the mark and makes a hodgepodge of some classic songs.

Elton John plays "Don’t Stop" like he wants to tour the Vegas strip. "Dreams" has turned into nightmares. And what should have been a high point with "You Make Lovin’ Fun" by the sultry and sexy Jewel has been massaged into something syrupy and sappy and lacking of any soul. The only track that comes out relatively unscathed is the Cranberries’ take on "Go Your Own Way," which is not necessarily better, but different. The others? Well, it’s mostly miss without a hit in sight.

Sonically, as with most tribute albums where the recording takes place in a multitude of locations, the result is a mixed bag. On the whole, mind you, it’s clean, dynamic and very good in spots—much better than the music within. They—Mick Fleetwood and the new artists who reinterpreted the classic songs—should have left a good thing alone. Pass on it unless you are a nostalgia diehard.