In a superb stroke of timing, Main Streamís two-disc collection of Rumours-related material arrives right when the Warner Brothers/Rhino two-disc Rumours hits the streets. The latter, of course, comprises the original 11-song album (plus the restored-to-intended-tracklisting ďSilver SpringsĒ) and another whopping 18 bonus tracks of outtakes and demos.
Main Streamís title isnít really designed to compete; letís face it, listening to instrumental backing tracks, which form over half of Disc 1, isnít the most inherently rewarding experience. Plus the sound quality of identical tracks is bound to go lacking compared to the official product. (I havenít heard the new Rumours but have seen a tracklisting, and based on examining the songsí timings thereís no question that there is overlap between the official disc and the bootleg.) In general the takes here do not vary to an overwhelming degree from the released versions, although a few surprises crop up here and there Ė for example, Disc 1, track 9 (ďI Donít Want To KnowĒ) is rendered practically as an a capella version plus drums and a midsong guitar solo.
But for Mac completists and Rumours devotees, this will make a nice addition to the collection; fans can always have fun A-Bíing familiar tracks in order to detect whatever differences there might be. Be forewarned that thereís a slight tinniness throughout most of the set, and Disc 2 has some odd midrangey distortion that is distracting in places. (Ironically the instrumental backing tracks fare the best, sound-wise!)
Unless I miss my guess, Disc 2 has seen prior release -- also by Main Stream -- under the title Rumours Are Rampant albeit with a slightly shuffled song order; the songs sound identical and the timings are almost identical as well.
Main Stream has put together a nice Rumours-themed artwork package too, using brown-tinted B&W Nicks-Fleetwood photos and the same font type. --OSWALD