Copyright ©2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Last week, Fleetwood Mac released an expanded version of their 1977 album "Rumours," marking the 35th anniversary of one of the top-selling albums of the 1970s. The deluxe set includes demos, outtakes, live recordings and a documentary DVD, along with a vinyl pressing of the original album. It's one of a number of anniversary editions to be released lately. And to critic Tom Moon, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

TOM MOON, BYLINE: The original 11 songs of Fleetwood Mac's classic "Rumours" unfold in a little over 39 minutes. For several decades, that's been perfection. But apparently, it's just not enough anymore. When die-hards plunk down their $85 for the superpremium version, they'll get intimate early sketches of familiar tunes like "Songbird."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SONGBIRD")

FLEETWOOD MAC: (Singing) And the songbirds are singing like they knew the score. And I love you, I love you, I love you like never before.

MOON: And among the surprises is this version of "The Chain" with completely different verses.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE CHAIN")

MAC: (Singing) I won't want to watch you go, no. And I won't even try. There you go down the road. Don't look to me to say goodbye. And if you don't love me now, you will never love me again. I can't stay and hear you say you would never break the chain.

MOON: We've seen a bunch of these special editions of landmark albums in the last few years. Nirvana did one for "Nevermind." The Smashing Pumpkins issued a five-disc marathon containing presumably every scrap from the 1995 "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness." And to mark the 25th anniversary of his hit record "So," Peter Gabriel put together a box that includes an unusual demo disc entitled "So DNA." Each track is a collage tracing the evolution of the songs from very early inspiration...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MOON: ...through the final product.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MOON: This kind of peek behind the curtain can be fascinating. But to be honest, sometimes it's less than that. For every revealing moment on the expanded "Rumours," there are two or three tracks that don't add much to what we already know about this iconic album. Listening to a full disc of demos and outtakes can teach us this much - not every step in the creative process is intended for public consumption. Sometimes the well-known final versions really do tell the whole story.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEVER GOING BACK AGAIN")

MAC: (Singing) Been down one time, been down two times. Never going back again.

SIEGEL: Music critic Tom Moon.

(SOUNDBITE OF CREDITS)

SIEGEL: I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.