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The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Plays Fleetwood Mac's Rumours

Review by Gary Hill

I’m putting this under progressive rock. That’s not to say I think Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album is prog. Rather since progressive rock is often also called symphonic rock, I think symphonic versions of rock music fit under prog, no matter where the original musical source fits in the genre tree. So, with that out of the way, where does this land in terms of effectiveness. It’s sort of a mixed bag. It’s never terrible and it has some magical moments. Some pieces work better in this format than others do. All in all, though, it’s quite an enjoyable set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Second Hand News

This didn’t blow me over when it started, but when it really kicks in later, there’s almost a “Bonanza” vibe to it, yet it’s all Fleetwood Mac. I love it. They do bring in some smoking hot electric guitar later, too.

There is really a sense of magic and drama brought into this piece via the symphonic rendering. I really love this one.
Never Going Back Again
As much as I liked the last one, this has too much of a show tune vibe to me. It’s OK, but seems a little over the top.
Don't Stop
There’s almost a marching band feeling here. Yet, there’s still plenty of rock in the mix. This is another winner. I really like some of the violin work on this one.
Go Your Own Way
Starting much mellower, this is pretty and purely symphonic early. It gets more rock infused as it continues and this is a good rendition. It’s perhaps not at the front of the class, but it’s far from wearing a dunce cap, either.
A much mellower and more purely symphonic track, this is pretty.
The Chain
I was really looking forward to this one because it’s my favorite song from the album. I wasn’t as blown away by this one as I expected to be. However once the second part of the song (you know the section that starts with the bass solo) kicks in, this definitely comes into its own from then on, it meets my expectations. It’s dramatic and powerful.
You Make Loving Fun
The piano that starts this feels a bit like Rick Wakeman. Then it shifts to a jazzy sort of vibe before the rest of the musicians join. There’s some electric guitar on this cut and it’s a cool rendition. A section later has a bit of a cowboy vibe to it. Slide guitar adds to that.
I Don't Want to Know
Energetic, there is a real playful vibe to this tune here. Later they take it out into a dreamy kind of symphonic arrangement for a time. Then it shifts to more pure progressive rock (still with plenty of symphonic music at its heart).
Oh Daddy
This is another of my favorite tunes from the original album. I love the symphonic take on it here. It really makes it come alive in some ways that the original recording didn’t. There’s a real magic and power to this arrangement. It’s definitely one of the best songs on the album. A later section has an almost Pink Floyd goes symphonic vibe.
Gold Dust Woman
Here’s another of which I’m quite fond in the original incarnation. This version definitely does it justice. Early it’s quite symphonic and effective. Later, though a bass takes things into a rather jazz-oriented direction. Then electric guitar rises up to pull this into Pink Floyd like territory. It’s another highlight of the set. More Crimson like jamming emerges.
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