Classic Albums Live, presenting Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” at Victoria Theatre in Dayton on Saturday, April 29, began in Toronto in 2003 with the mission statement of presenting note-for-note, cut-for-cut recreations of classic albums.
The company does not stage theatrical shows. There are no costumes or gimmicks. Founder Craig Martin focuses on hiring talented musicians to painstakingly recreate popular rock and pop albums from some of the biggest acts on the planet.
Singer Abbey Mullendore, who lives in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, handles the Stevie Nicks components of this special Fleetwood Mac program. When she’s not performing, the mother of daughters ages 13 and 7 works a part-time day job and just entered year two of running a mushroom farming business.
“I’m a huge Stevie fan,” Mullendore said. “My mom would always play Fleetwood Mac and the ‘Rumours’ album, especially on vinyl in the house when I was growing up. I feel like I started listening to ‘Rumours’ before I can even remember. It’s just kind of always been part of my life. I also grew up in a very musical family. My dad was a blues guy. My mom taught my brother and I how to play our first few chords on the guitar. So, I grew up in it. Of course, the older you get the more you grow to appreciate it, but it’s always been there for me.”
Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Entering the mainstream
That hard-to-define relationship with “Rumours” is familiar to many music fans. The history of Fleetwood Mac is equally complicated, but it all began in England in 1967 with a little blues outfit led by Peter Green (guitar). The name was taken from the rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood (drums) and John McVie (bass), who remained core members throughout the band’s storied existence.
Green left in 1970 and was replaced by Christine McVie (vocals, keyboards), who remained an active member until she passed away in late 2022. The group had other musician changes before ending up with the classic lineup that formalized in the mid-1970s with the addition of American musicians Stevie Nicks (vocals) and Lindsey Buckingham (vocals, guitar). This version of the band recorded “Fleetwood Mac” (1975), the groundbreaking follow-up “Rumours” (1977) and several other albums.
Green’s Fleetwood Mac had some chart success in the United Kingdom, including the number one single, “Albatross.” However, the group didn’t really break in the United States until sessions had already begun for “Rumours.” “Fleetwood Mac” became a surprise hit based on the success of three Top 20 singles. The album ended up reaching No. 1 in the U.S. a year and six weeks after its release.
“Rumours” was an international hit upon its release. The album featured the U.S. number one single, “Dreams,” and three Top 10 hits with “Go Your Own Way,” “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun.” It also received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. More than 40 years later, those songs still resonate with musicians and audiences alike.
“I’ve been playing some of those songs forever with my brother,” Mullendore said. “I love doing that but it’s a totally different animal when you’re performing on stage with eight to 10 other musicians. There’s nothing like it really.”
Dreamers and songbirds
Mullendore has had plenty of experience singing songs by Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks. For more than a decade, she was in an acoustic duo with her brother. In fact, videos of them performing posted on social media first brought her to the attention of a member of Classic Albums Live, who recommended her as a fill-in for a show in Canada.
Classic Albums Live first appeared in Dayton in 2016 with a presentation of David Bowie’s “The Rise and Fall of the Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.” Since then, the group has returned numerous times to present shows such as the Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” Led Zeppelin’s “II” and AC/DC’s “Back in Black.” Mullendore, who has now done more than a dozen presentations of “Rumours,” is making her Dayton debut.
“I’m excited to bring this show to Dayton,” she said. “It’s amazing to sing these songs on stage with this company. Seeing the response from the audience is really amazing too. You can see people are just so happy to see the music still being played, and since Classic Albums does it note-for-note, cut-for-cut, it’s exactly as you remember the album.”
Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO GO
What: Dayton Live presents Classic Albums Live: “Rumours”
Where: Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton
When: Saturday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m.
More info: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org
Artist info: www.classicalbumslive.com