Imagine 40 million of anything. If it’s dollars, that’s a fortune; if people, a nation the size of Argentina. If album sales, that’s how many Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours has racked up since its February 1977 release, a number matched by few in music history apart from Michael Jackson or Mac’s L.A. rivals the Eagles. But like Star Wars (also released that year), Rumours was a pop masterpiece before it was a commercial juggernaut, an album as richly textured and emotionally dense as any literary masterwork. However, the band’s commerical fortunes had slumped badly by the ’90s, and they originally planned to sign off after touring 1997’s The Dance. It didn’t quite work out that way, though, as Fleetwood Mac returned to the stage (minus Christine McVie) almost immediately and finally began making original music again with this spring’s iTunes-only Extended Play EP.
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