Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours continues to break records in 2024

A monumental success upon its release in 1977, Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours has just passed 5 billion streams on Spotify. It stands as the most streamed album of the 70s, on the platform and it isn’t slowing down.

A historical success

Back in 1977, Rumours was a smash upon its release, topping the charts for 31 weeks in the USA. This made it the longest chart topper of the 70s, beating the Bee GeesSaturday Night Fever. It also remains the all-time record for an album by a band.

However, being a tremendous success 50 years ago, doesn’t necessarily ensure great popularity today. This is testified by the fact that, many #1 albums from the 70s, are forgotten today.

While the album performed phenomenally well in English-speaking markets, Rumours wasn’t quite as successful globally and today, the strength of markets like the US, the UK and Australia are much weaker, in the streaming world.

So what is different with Rumours. What makes it today’s most-streamed album of the 70s, on Spotify?

Unavoidable in the popular culture

The recent use, of some of its songs, in ads or in movies, is one reason. Since the beginning of the streaming era, Rumours has been boosted on several occasions.

In 2017, the Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2‘s soundtrack featured the album cut, The Chain. In October 2020, Dreams re-entered the Billboard Hot 100, reaching #12, after Nathan Apodaca chose the song for his viral Tik Tok video, of him skateboarding to work, after his truck broke down and sadly, in November 2022, the news of Christine McVie‘s passing, brought the spotlight on Fleetwood Mac‘s discography yet again.

These boosts definitely contributed to the album passing 5 billion streams on Spotify, but leaving it at that, would be ignoring the album’s organic appeal.

And a consistent popular release

If you take a look at the most streamed tracks from the 70s on Spotify, you’ll find three of Rumours‘ tracks in the Top 20. Dreams is over 1.5 billion streams on Spotify and The Chain over 1 billion. After smashing, as part of the Forrest Gump movie in 1994, Go Your Own Way hasn’t been quite as prevalent or popular in the last 2 decades. Saying that, his doesn’t prevent it from registing over 900 million streams and completing a very solid trio.

Focusing on the album’s longtail, 10 out of Rumours‘ 12 tracks have over 100 million streams, which is oustanding by itself. Outtakes and live versions from the 35th anniversary edition combine for an additional 135 million streams. Here are the results for the original tracklist:

Source: ChartMasters’ streaming tool (as of 02/20/2024)

So even not considering the outstanding top 3, the whole of the tracklist achieves significant streams in the long run. This depicts an intrinsically popular album whose tracks are bound to be reused again and again in the popular culture.

To highlight how impressive the 5 billion streams milestone is for an album from the 70s, we can take a look at the most streamed albums and see how other blockbusters perform. The BeatlesAbbey Road is the most streamed album of the 60s, standing at just 3 billion streams. And in the 80s, the Guns N’RosesAppetite for Destruction and Michael Jackson‘s Thriller stand under 4.5 billion streams.

We have more for you

… our analyses of Fleetwood Mac‘s discography’s success through all formats and through streaming only.

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