Music Business

Rumours by Fleetwood Mac nears 18 years on the charts

Fleetwood Mac’s Grammy winning album may be growing old, but it is still breaking records.

A guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0.

For some of us it’s hard to believe that legendary Rumours album from Fleetwood Mac just turned 45 years old. It’s even harder to believe that the album has been on the charts for 926 weeks of that time, which is almost 18 years! The trifecta is that it’s still selling in what many would consider to be impossible numbers considering its age.

The album was released in February 1977, immediately won album of the year at the Grammys, sold 20 times platinum just in the US and 40 million worldwide, and was eventually entered into the Library of Congress’s registry of historically significant recordings. In fact, Rumours was rated as the seventh-greatest album of all time in Rolling Stone‘s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time“.

Cover art for Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors album.

Even more remarkable is that the Fleetwood Mac classic sold 167,000 copies last year in the U.S. and another 35,000 in the UK (32,000 the year before). It’s certainly a classic album, but there are a lot of other classic albums from that period that don’t do nearly the business that Rumours does. Of course, having a hit on TikTok helps, after the hit song “Dreams” emerged on the platform in 2020 after Nathan Apodaca posted a TikTok video of himself listening to the song while skateboarding and drinking cranberry juice (only on TikTok could this happen).

Is there an album that beats it? Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon has been on the Billboard charts for a total of 962 weeks with total sales at around 45 million. On a “slow” week it still sells 8,000 to 9,000 copies worldwide!

We’ve seen worldwide hits come and go and still be quickly forgotten (“Gangnam Style” comes to mind), but there are some releases that definitely stand the test of time. They’re few and far between, and could be better classified as total outliers. It’s too early to say whether another album since then will wear as well over the years.

Bobby Owsinski is a producer/engineer, author and coach. He has authored 24 books on recording, music, the music business and social media.

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