As it turns 45, the drug-fuelled breakup classic is outselling almost everyone on vinyl thanks to its frank songwriting, enduring virality and the patronage of Harry Styles

Forty-five years ago this month, Fleetwood Mac released Rumours, an album that combined gauzy soft pop, manicured folk and stormy rock with a soap-operatic level of intra-band strife. It won album of the year at the Grammys, went 20 times platinum in the US alone, and sits alongside Kind of Blue and The Rite of Spring in the Library of Congress’s registry of historically significant recordings.

“What’s truly remarkable, though, is how it continues to sell new physical copies, despite being available to stream and in secondhand form in every high-street charity shop. According to the UK’s Official Charts Company, Rumours sold 34,593 vinyl copies in 2021, third only to new albums by Adele and Abba, and besting new records by Ed Sheeran and Lana Del Rey. It sold 32,508 copies the previous year. It is currently at No 29 in its 926th week on the UK album chart – up five places from the week before – while in the US, Rumours sold 6,000 vinyl copies in the last week of January, reaching No 1 on the vinyl albums chart. It sold 169,000 vinyl copies in the US in 2021 (according to MRC Data).

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