Track of the Day: “You Make Loving Fun” by Fleetwood Mac

“You Make Loving Fun,” the eighth track off of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, is an attempt by Christine McVie to provide one of the more optimistic outlooks on love from an album chockfull of heartbreak.

At this point, the drama behind the recording of Rumours have become as iconic as the album itself. Indeed, during the recording of the album, everybody in the band was suffering one form of heartbreak or another, mostly with bandmates. For example, Christine McVie’s relationship with her husband John McVie – the bassist of Fleetwood Mac – had fallen apart and they were now divorced. “You Make Loving Fun” then isn’t directed towards her ex-husband. Instead, McVie’s harmonious claims of “You Make Loving Fun” are meant for her then-lover.

In this light, the supposed optimism of the track, that has an at times almost funky groove, comes off as a bit odd. An irony is created as McVie’s joyous claims about her new love are backed by the bass playing of her ex-husband. While such drama might lessen the impact of any other song, here it fits in perfectly. Even during one of the more optimistic moments of Rumours, the ugliness, covered up by catchy-as-hell guitar playing and McVie’s joyful vocal delivery, can’t help but leak out.

Perhaps no track then is more representative of the album’s recording than “You Make Loving Fun.” Not only is it intensely melodic and made with the help of two ex-lovers (a commonality many of the tracks share), but there’s an extra bitterness here. John isn’t merely made to play bass in a song about his ex-wife’s moving on, he’s made to play in a track all about his ex-wife finding new love. While the track itself is more than capable of standing on its own, the story behind it only makes it all the better.

Listen to the track on Youtube.

Listen to the album in full on Spotify.

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