Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.
In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.
Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.
Alexi Collins, Tigertown: Fleetwood Mac — ‘Rumours’
I was about six years old when I first saw you. I remember sitting on the floor watching television, while you watched me from the milk-crate that you lived in along with the rest of my parents’ records. During the commercials my eyes would wonder, searching for something more interesting to look at and often they would find themselves staring at you.
I don’t know why I was so curious about you, maybe it was the fact that I didn’t really know what a record was, maybe it was the old-timey black and white image of a beautiful woman posing next to an extremely tall and slender man that made you so intriguing; all I know is that the image of your face has always been burnt into my subconscious.
Throughout the next 15 years of my life I had heard most of your songs, but I did not connect with you as an album until I was 21. My brother and his wife asked if I would be interested in playing keyboard for their new band, just for one show. I accepted and not long after that show, I became a member of Tigertown.
As I began working on my keyboard skills, my bandmates suggested that I listen to you for inspiration because you had inspired the conception of the band. I purchased you in an mp3 format and listened to you on repeat for weeks. I quickly realised that you were possibly the most perfect collection of pop songs that had ever been released as an album.
As a band we constantly referred to you, which was particularly evident in our early music. When confronted with a decision we would ask each other, “What would Fleetwood Mac do?” In our more recent music your influence is much more subtle, however we still refer to you when it comes to blending vocals, writing songs, and Chris won’t give up until he plays a guitar solo as good as Lindsay’s solo on ‘Go Your Own Way’.
As my obsession with you intensified, I began reading everything I could and watched documentaries about your creation. There was more drama within this group of five musicians than there has ever been on any reality TV show ever. Lindsay and Stevie were breaking up, John and Christine were going through a separation, and Mick was going through his own divorce. While they all couldn’t stand speaking to each other they still came together to create music and sing the songs about their own affairs, divorce and heartbreaks.
It’s impossible to not listen to you differently when you know what the band went through while creating you. Not only does this make you a more interesting album, it makes you a symbol of the beauty that can come out of hardships. A reminder for a band like us that no matter what, we’ll always have music.
Your album has impacted me so much that I have been to three seperate Fleetwood Mac tribute shows, just to hear your songs performed live. Two years ago I was also lucky enough to see the real thing and the band sounded amazing. I will never forget that night. 38 years after your release and the crowd still responded most to your songs.
As I write this love letter to you in my lounge room, I am being watched by that same copy of you. I have stolen you from my parents’ record collection and I do not plan on ever giving you back.