Well, aside from the fact that you can easily put this record on at a party or while 'dusting your broom', there's just a couple of songs which could hold your attention, both belonging to Green: 'Love That Burns' is a slow, sad and horns-smothered wailing which at least stands out from the pack by the very fact that it's slow, sad and horns-smothered, while the instrumental 'Evenin' Boogie' features the only lead guitar chops on the record that could be called inspired.
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I mean, it's fast, somewhat aggressive, and, for once, the horns really interact with the slide guitar part and result in an interesting and invigorating sound. The closing number, 'Trying So Hard To Forget', is also tolerable - suitably moody and featuring tasty harmonica work. Although, to be honest, it just kinda rips out of the general scheme and pattern of the album; as such, it's just a weak John Lee Hooker pastiche.
Apart from that - get yourself some Muddy Waters or Elmore James, friend.
If you're a great fan of Mac, get it for the album sleeve which features Mick Fleetwood standing half-naked and posing before the camera like an idiot. But boy does that cover stand at odds with the album material. British blues band idol on parade in America; not the wonderfullest of wonders, but at least they're decent enough. Amazingly, while the Peter Green incarnation of Fleetwood Mac was probably their weakest and least original music-wise, it has nevertheless since become legendary - the truest and grandest of all British blues bands, etc. Anyway, this has resulted in just about a couple million official and half-official releases of the band's live shows from different locations and different periods; they are certainly most endearing to blues aficionados and Peter Green fans, but generally, I'd bravely unclam my mouth and state that they're just fucking up the band's official discography - you never know now what's an 'official' release and what's a bootleg, not to mention that many of these 'official' releases go out of print in the twinkle of an eye, as well as heavily overlap with each other.
A mess, in other words - just visit the Fleetwood Mac official site and you'll see. This here forty-five minutes little rec is, as of the year , the last 'totally official' release of one of such events - capturing Fleetwood Mac on January 25th, , at a relatively small venue in Los Angeles where they were opening for Zappa and the Mothers. Essentially, this only goes to show that the re-issuers were at the end of the rope.
The setlist is small just nine tunes , so that they leave in every single moment of every single pause and even include a two-minute sequence of the band tuning up 'Tune Up'! Go figure! The sound quality doesn't exactly suck, but is no great shakes, either: the vocals are particularly muddled up at times. And, lastly, they don't really do anything significant except for 'Albatross'; not that they had anything truly significant written by the time, but still, I'm kinda disappointed. That said, I must remark that the band really felt much more at home on stage than in the studio. Maybe it's just because the sound isn't diluted by all the boring nasty trumpets - just a regular two-guitar attack, sometimes turning into a three-guitar attack Kirwan is already in the band, and Spencer alternates from guitar to piano depending on the tune.
At times they do degenerate into boring, completely generic blues jams - the seven-minute version of 'Need Your Love So Bad' is particularly excruciating, with its ultra-slow tempo and Green just engaging in good, but non-outstanding guitar licks that any blues player with enough self respect learns to master after several years of playing. But when the tunes are shorter and more compact, the produced effect is far more satisfactory, like on the vibrato celebration of 'If You Be My Baby' and Kirwan's 'Something Inside Of Me' - funny, the guy's composition is far more bluesier than anything he'd done since.
They probably let him join the band only on condition of bringing in more blues! Five out of ten tracks, however, do stand out due to various factors. And then, of course, Jeremy gets to shine with his 'mini-program'. In concert, the man had two beloved subjects: engaging in 50's boogie covers and displaying a particularly gross and obscene treatment of the lyrics in the numbers played actually, Jeremy was just bravely 'uncensoring' the original messages contained in ninety percent of the blues numbers; I don't find that a great heroic deed, but it was probably considered to be so at the time, and who am I to argue?
Sometimes he used to combine both of his passions in one song; here, he prefers to dissect them. I suppose Robert Plant was a huge Spencer fan around or so. And for an encore, Spencer has his go at Jerry Lee Lewis' 'Great Balls Of Fire': the vocal impersonation isn't all that successful I far prefer his completely authentic Carl Perkins impersonations on Kiln House , but the piano work is immaculately copying the Killer, and the fast pace of the all-time great boogie is at least a groovy relaxation after all the snail-paced blues numbers on here.
And, of course, he changes the 'I wanna squeeze you like a lover should' line to 'I wanna screw you Or it's just blatant stupidity, whichever one of the two you prefer. In conclusion, I'll just pronounce a wise, even if kinda limited, dictum: everybody needs a live Fleetwood Mac album, but this one's definitely not the best thing to pick up at first go. If you're really interested in the band's Sixties' blues sound, you're well advised to stick to this album and screw the first two ones.
This isn't exactly a compilation - it does recycle some numbers from both the debut album 'Looking For Somebody' and Mr Wonderful 'Stop Messin' Round', 'Coming Home' , but essentially it's a collection of singles, and that means that not only does it feature some material you won't find anywhere else, it also features good quality single material.
As far as I know, they released another album like this called English Rose - maybe the British analog for this one or vice versa ; however, the track listing for it doesn't look more entertaining than on Pious Bird , mostly the same singles, so I don't know which buy's the better.
Anyway, English Rose seems to be out of print, so forget about it and stick to this pseudo-compilation. I'd say that there are two songs on here which make the album an essential buy for any Fleetwood Mac fan. These are the mystical blues 'Black Magic Woman', later made famous by Santana, and the gentle instrumental 'Albatross'.
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The production is deep and all-encompassing, the tonality is what I'd call 'subtly minor', and Mick chooses a very tricky time signature, although I don't really know if the fast part of the song really suits the general atmosphere. This is what I call 'adding on some edge'. As for 'Albatross', it ain't blues at all; it's an atmospheric, almost 'psychedelic' tune, with a very tender and loving guitar tone and soft hushing percussion beats - as far from a generic blues composition as could be.
Both credited to Green, by the way, although I wouldn't be surprised if they were credited to Danny Kirwan - their dreamy, hypnotic atmosphere fits in perfectly with his style on Then Play On. Then again, Fleetwood Mac was always known for the huge influence which certain band members always had on the others, so maybe Danny was just a faithful disciple of Green, after all.
This is also suggested by the fact that the only composition credited to Kirwan, the B-side 'Jigsaw Puzzle Blues' has nothing to do with the Stones' 'Jigsaw Puzzle' , is a fairly tolerable, but completely inessential hardcore blues instrumental in the style of early Green. What a bummer. Funny enough, some of the blues material on here is also listenable - like the ridiculously orchestrated 'Need Your Love So Bad' that wonderfully manages to combine straightforward blues with MGM-type string arrangements strange that so few people have tried this, before or after , or the two collaborations with bluesman Eddie Boyd 'The Big Boat' and 'Just The Blues' , where Eddie's voice and fluent piano playing is what makes the numbers really shine through.
Turns out that Green just wasn't out a good vocalist - Fleetwood Mac sound perfect as a backing band, much better than, say, the Stones when you hear them sometimes backing an old bues great. The selections from the earlier albums aren't the worst, either, and the fact that the tracks are interspersed also gives a feel of slight diversity that was so missing on the previous records: when songs like 'Albatross' or 'Black Magic Woman' segue into, say, their debut single 'I Believe My Time Ain't Long', with some fabulous harmonica work , it's somewhat enlightening.
There's some filler, too, after all, it would be too much of a bias to say that it's hugely different from the debut album. For instance, I hate the band's reworking of Elmore James' 'The Sun Is Shining', since the vocals are shitty - Spencer playing his dirty tricks on the listener again? I'm so used to the pretty Clapton version of the song that I can't imagine it as a stupid parody version.
And, while all the generic blues ditties are slightyl better in quality then the generic blues ditties on Mr Wonderful , they're still nothing but generic blues ditties. It's well performed although it would certainly be crushed down by Cream's performance of the original on Fresh Cream , but the fact that the song is credited to Green is a crying unjustice - no wonder Muddy Waters was left starving in his later years when nobody even cared about such 'annoying' matters as paying royalties.
This puts Fleetwood Mac into the same dirty bag with Led Zeppelin and, hell, tons of money-grubbing blues-rippers. Too bad. I hate the album cover, too, but I don't suppose anybody could love that As it turns out, it's a 'black magic woman' holding an 'albatross', but it takes much time and a really good eyesight in oder to perceive that. Imagine yourself at the head of a band which is tired to death of playing straightforward blues numbers but doesn't really know how to do anything else - it's just learning.
Imagine that, in a desperate attempt to revitalize your sound, you bring on a young folkie who's so timid about both his instrument and his voice, he manages to make them almost inaudible on record. Imagine that he's no big songwriter, you're no great songwriter as well, but you painfully want to record some material of your own. Finally, do not forget that you have to keep up to the epoch's expectations and be a little inventive, a little intelligent lyricswise and with just a slight touch of psychedelia, too.
Keep all of these things in mind and you'll have no trouble imagining what a record like Then Play On , released in the fall of , must have sounded like. Actually, if you take a listen to it immediately after Mr Wonderful which I just did , it doesn't sound too bad at all, and in every respect it's a huge improvement; Fleetwood Mac are finally beginning to find a style , one of the first of many of their subsequent ones.
The blues covers are gone, their place being taken over by mainly two genres: new member Danny Kirwan's folkish ballads and Green's bluesy, but definitely not generic improvisations. At some points, however, both of them manage to blend together, giving the record a feel almost as uniform as that of its predecessors. But this time, at least, it's the band's own style - clumsy, erratic and most unsure of itself, but there it is. The most striking thing about Kirwan at this point was that he mostly avoided loud, in-yer-face rock tunes, instead relying on ultra-quiet, almost freezingly silentious ditties.
Some of these really rely on good musical ideas and could have easily been turned into a hit with a bit more elaboration 'When You Say', with a wonderful verse structure but lots of annoying la-la-la's , but most of them are just deadly boring 'Closing My Eyes', 'Although The Sun Is Shining'. Plus, he gets in an instrumental which is, well, ambivalent, whatever that may mean in the context 'My Dream'. Sure enough, all of these tunes don't even hint at the blues uniformity of Mr Wonderful , but I wouldn't say this one's a better alternative.
Moreover, I always thought Green was a so-so lyricist until I actually heard and browsed through Kirwan's texts. My God, why couldn't they have hired Bernie Taupin instead? It's strange, but the day is really saved only by some of Green's numbers. Maybe his creative spirit was somewhat disturbed by Kirwan's coming, or maybe he just grew up.
Anyway, even the few hardcore blues numbers sound quite entertaining the drunken craze of 'Rattlesnake Shake'; the bizarre feel of 'Show-Biz Blues' , but the record's highlight is the nine-minute workout 'Oh Well' which begins as a rip-roaring heavy blues and inspires Led Zep for 'Black Dog' in the process and then suddenly transforms itself into a moody, but strangely charming acoustic shuffle, at times punctuated by echoey electric licks, keyboards and strings. It's no masterpiece, of course, but the main point of surprise is that seven minutes of slow, repetitive acoustic notes should annoy one to death - and yet, for some obscure reason, they don't.
Also noteworthy is the fact that 'Oh Well', at least, the fast part of it which also constituted the bulk of the single edit had become the band's only live standard to be kept for many many years since Green left the band; it was even sung by Buckingham as late as ! Some of the minor numbers, like the countryish pastiche 'Like Crying' Kirwan! On the other hand, the two instrumentals 'Searching For Madge' and 'Fighting For Madge' don't sound that good at all, whoever 'Madge' might be. Neither Fleetwood's ferocious drumming, nor Green's flawless technique do much to save them from belonging in the same wretched Mr Wonderful bag.
Oh well, at least there are a few minutes of solid jamming to be found on 'Fighting'. The thing to note about the record is how goddamn DARK it all sounds. Not 'spooky', actually; it's a strange, dusky kind of atmosphere, created by all the silent and slow numbers, with lots of echoes and sound depth until it begins to feel you're wandering through dark empty halls trying to find an exit and finding none - apparently, something of the kind was truly torturing Peter at the time, while Danny was only happy to oblige.
If anything, this dark, introspective atmosphere is the coherent theme for all of this album, except the stupid 'Madge' bits, and for the atmosphere I'm even ready to forgive any individual flaws. Hell, in this context even the most boring Kirwan noodlings suddenly make perfect sense: they all picture a very paranoid, yet loving and sentimental mind. This atmosphere is indeed something unique and unprecedented: how many albums do you know that manage to sound dark and disturbing, but not dangerous at all? Then Play On certainly won't have you waking up in the middle of the night with cold sweat on your brow.
Too often, the general impression of a band depends not so much on its general abilities as on the means of representation chosen for the band in question. The preceding studio albums don't have any reason to exist at all unless the original recordings of Elmore James become unavailable. BUT: just a single listen to the blessed BBC album, very lovingly assembled and presented by Mick Fleetwood in the mid-Nineties, will certainly prove that Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac was a force to be reckoned with in the long run. It's just that their live and studio sides never coincided all that much.
Sure enough, the BBC recordings present us with a lot of blues covers, some reproduced almost note for note according to studio performances; even so, I would rather hear this stuff on a live basis in hope of at least some spontaneity and rawness that's unintentional , not a "Fourties reproduction" through cracking, hissing and poor production. But generic blues was only one side to the story. First of all, you have Spencer with his fascination towards rock'n'roll and pop-rock and idolization of Elvis and Buddy - he's all over the place here.
Second, you have Kirwan with his folksy influence. Third, you have certain Green originals that are moody and thoughtful and passionate and go ten thousand miles beyond limp reproductions of 'I Believe I'll Dust My Broom'. You have all kinnds of little failed and unfailed experiments. In short, a concise, involving and almost panoramic view of the whole shenanigan. All this lovingly packed within two shiny discs and graced with cool photos and Fleetwood's respectful liner notes. It's as close to "ultimate representation" as possible, and obviously the best place to start with the band - and, as much as I'm concerned, you don't really need anything else apart from Then Play On , of course, and maybe The Original Fleetwood Mac if you actually want to expand your horizons, not narrow them.
This here package boasts a treat shared by few other BBC discs - namely, out of the 36 tracks, no two double each other. The recordings are interspersed, which might be a hassle for chronology lovers, but it also spares you all the generic blues placed at the beginning: the generic stuff is certainly easier to assimilate when it's placed in small doses in between the actual highlights.
The earliest selections come from late ; the latest ones come from late , but if we are to believe the track notes, there is only one track here that doesn't feature Green - 'Preachin' The Blues', a blues standard recorded in January and featuring heavy slidework from Spencer.
It's kinda amazing, though, and almost ironic: Jeremy singing a tongue in cheek hymn to church preaching 'I'm gonna get me religion, I'm gonna join the Baptist church, I wanna be a Baptist preacher so that I won't have to work' - and it was months, maybe weeks before Spencer would quit the group and join a sect indeed. I'm pretty sure Mick meant this as a sarcastic blow to Jeremy while approving this particular selection Sure, there's plenty of filler in this package, with all the Elmore James cliches firmly in place, but when the track number is so huge, you hardly notice.
And the highlights, ooh, the highlights are many. Let's just take the first disc and browse through it rapidly. Folksy perfection. That's eleven highlights, and that's only disc 1. Granted, Disc 2 is a bit more heavy on blues standards, but you still can't picture your existence without 'Long Grey Mare', can you? Or without an inspired rendition of Tim Hardin's 'Hang On To A Dream' a song that everybody used to cover at the time starting with Rod Stewart and ending with the Nice, but hey, that's no reason to dismiss another good cover? Or a solid live 'Albatross'?
Or the wall of sound on 'Tallahasee Lassie' - a performance which makes you really appreciate the presence of three guitarists in the line-up? Or yet another sappy hiccupy Buddy Holly sendup 'Linda'?
It's hard to name all the songs. I mean, other BBC albums either lower our ideas of a certain artist Beatles or slightly improve it Led Zeppelin or just give us a good opportunity to enjoy a good live performance Hendrix , but Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac BBC collection does the impossible, for me, at least - which is, change the perception of a band from dismissive to very much appreciative. So try to scoop it up if you were ever interested in this incarnation of the band in the first place.
And if you weren't, scoop it up if only for the paranoid look in Mick Fleetwood's eyes as he stares at you from the inlay photo. Peter Green had gone completely berserk and quit the band by this point without even a single warning - rumour has it that he just disappeared on the street and they found him having joined some sect , which left Kirwan and Spencer as the only contributing members of the band - Fleetwood and McVie, even if the band was named after them, were rarely more than just a solid rhythm section, and Christine Perfect by now, already Christine McVie was just a recent newcomer I'm not sure whether she was an official member of the band by the time of release of Kiln House who played some keyboards but never sang or composed anything - as of yet.
Thus, the album is almost equally divided between Kirwan's and Spencer's 'masterpieces', and sounds completely different from Then Play On. That album was long-winded, serious and relatively gloomy; Kiln House is short, playful just as much as the album sleeve shows it to be, and very lightweight, with lots of tongue in cheek performances and humorous pastiches. Kirwan was already on the path of relinquishing his folk rock ambitions, switching to louder rockers, so overall this is a hell of a loud and 'open' record. However, the main accent is on the series of extremely bizarre parodies on fifties' rock acts, mostly impersonated by Spencer.
In short, if Then Play On was the band's Peter Green album - the man and his world clearly dominated on the record - then Kiln House is obviously the Spencer album, which just goes to show how different the two guys actually were. However, if it's genuineness we're speaking of, the highest praises go to 'This Is The Rock': even the most qualified of experts could easily mistake it for a long-lost Carl Perkins tune, with the production easily matching the early Fifties sound and the sly echoey vocals sounding just like Carl all the time.
There are also a couple bouncy pleasant ballads in the catchy 'One Together' and the not too catchy 'Mission Bell', but as you might understand, 50's ballads aren't as interesting to imitate as 50's rockers, even if it might be a harder process technically. I don't know what was the desired effect; to me it all sounds like absolutely unessential, but good-time harmless fun. Obviously, they were suffering from the lack of a talented songwriter, and this was their 'compensation' for the fact. You gotta give the guys their due, however: lots of bands covered the fathers of rock'n'roll, but few bands actually parodied them, and even fewer parodied them successfully.
This is classic fifties rock'n'roll that's made fun of, but not in a sneering - rather in a charming and completely inoffensive way. Meanwhile, Kirwan is incorporating certain 'variety bits' into the mix, staying away from parodies or covers and trying as hard as possible to make some of his newly composed stuff rock out. He's not particularly successful, but at least this time around he manages not to make most of his songs sound like a sleeping-pill machine. Actually, his lovely ballad 'Jewel Eyed Judy' is my favourite number on the record - if I were him, I would rewrite the chorus or at least leave out the ineffective screaming, but it still makes a nice contrast with the soothing, warm verses highlighted by a delightful little countryish riff that brings in a, well, a certain Dylan atmosphere into the song.
He also contributes the album's only instrumental 'Earl Gray' which is not the greatest vocalless track ever written, but at least a serious improvement over some of the faceless note combinations on Play On. Kinda monotonous, but with Kirwan, you gotta get used to it. The only real misfire is the lengthy, boring as hell blues number 'Station Man' which has the nerve to drag forever with no particular purpose.
I mean, it ain't fast, it doesn't contain any interesting musical ideas, and it's too dang repetitive. So sue me, I really dislike it. Apart from that, you just have your average good-time, danceable, listenable, fun pop-rock, boogie-woogie record. And I do agree that it would be considered as a below par record for bands with higher status what the hell - it ain't much better than Self-Portrait , and yet Dylan is so anthemized for that record it's a shame , but for Fleetwood Mac that was just it - an album chock-full of pleasant catchy ditties which haven't yet completely lost that generic blues touch of their earliest days.
It's really something of a transitional state between and , and the only record on which Spencer had a chance to rule supreme, so it's in fact a highly important link in the band's history. And it's good. And I like all that fun. At least they didn't have to have Kirwan ruining all the songs with his primitive skills. Outtakes that show the band did have a unique blues identity after all - even if that's not saying much. Well, this is a bit more than just a bunch of outtakes - actually, it's an important missing link between the early unimaginative hardcore blues days of Mr Wonderful and the grim Then Play On stuff.
Lindsey Buckingham's gone, but Fleetwood Mac proves it's a better live band in Milwaukee
If you ever wondered where those dark, depressing overtones came from, check out this album. Essentially, it's just more generic blues numbers and simplistic boogie tunes that the boys were recording in for their third album but never released for reasons I'm not particularly aware of. The album was consequently released in 'archive' form already in May , and thus must be distinguished from the miriads of later cash-ins on the band's rich past there are about 10, Peter Green Fleetwood Mac albums that nobody really has a reason to pick today.
And actually, as a concise hardcore blues album, Original FM sure beats out the boys' two first offerings. The songs are mostly self-composed, with only a couple straightforward covers, and while that might not mean much in terms of true innovation after all, there's hardly a simple original melody on here , it certainly has a great impact on the overall mood.
This material is mostly dark and ominous; even the faster boogies sound a wee bit creepy, and when Green lets rip with a couple openly depressive blues stompers, it's like, wow, these guys really feel it. And so the album is enjoyable throughout - refusing the "true-to-the-original" purist approach, the boys really put their imprint on this material, a good, if not thoroughly spectacular, approach. It also means that the production is seriously improved: no idiotic crackles and cackles that were supposed to draw a parallel between Muddy Waters and Elmore James, on one side, and trite imitations like Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac , on the other one.
This record is perfectly listenable in that respect, with all the instruments going through loud and clear, and at least I don't get the impression of the boys locking themselves up in the basement this time. So what about the actual material? Still quite a lot of filler, but many songs as well that establish their own 'personalities' and have their own glorious hooks. I must confess that I hold a soft spot in my 'eart for the faster boogies, most notably 'Watch Out', which totally seduces me with its magnificent guitar work. The instrumental break is as far out as early Fleetwood Mac ever got, with a brethtaking echoey finger-flashing duel between Green and Spencer.
Were they too shy or too narrow-minded to include something like this on the earlier records? Ah well, rhetoric question. This ain't the Monkees for Chrissake. Another highlight is the instrumental 'Fleetwood Mac', a half-creepy blues shuffle done with a very high level of intensity and certainly with an aptly chosen title, as it showcases the rhythm section's talents - Green's and Spencer's guitar and harmonica solos mainly serve as the cream roses on the tart body of McVie's immaculate bass runs and Fleetwood's steady, unwavering badabooms.
No, they weren't virtuosos, these guys, but dammit, were they ever steady. Green's slow, broken-hearted material is also a step up from the more routine covers on the earliest records. He brings McVie high into the mix, emphasizing the bass parts over the rhythm guitar lines, and plays in a depressingly minor key, bringing in a level of depression unheard of in British blues before. Oh sure, John Mayall did this, of course after all, Green finished Mayall's school, didn't he? Particularly in relation to 'A Fool No More' - now there's a great blues number, and dig that echo, too.
Spencer also contributes a couple bizarro folkish shuffles, all graced with his, ahem, 'extravagant' vocal talents - I still can't decide if he were really drunk while recording 'Mean Old Fireman' or just faking it. Ah well, you can never tell with Spencer. In any case, solo acoustic numbers probably aren't his forte, as he sounds grossly unassured of himself on both this one and 'Allow Me One More Show', but there is a certain "jumbled charm", as some might say, to this shakey, trembling vocal tone as well.
That said, about a third of this record still does nothing for me, and while it's a big improvement, it's hardly epochal or anything, and they sure didn't need to include yet another take on 'Rambling Pony' on here. I'll just reiterate that this stuff works out fine as an important link: this is where the boys really started putting their own mark on the material, and in the end this led to complete artistic freedom on Then Play On. In that way, it's an essential buy for any fan of the early Fleetwood Mac period, although, of course, casual fans need not bother.
Oh, and as far as I know, there is a CD re-issue different from mine, which adds four bonus tracks I know absolutely nothing about, so you might want to make a better choice. Boring soft rock by guys who obviously just don't know what writing songs really means. You may have noticed that my Mac ratings are somewhat 'tripping', with high numbers alternating with really low ones and vice versa.
This is no surprise. People came to know the band as the 'revolving door' band, but it wasn't a 'revolving door' in the common sense - that is, concentrating around a central figure and alternating sidemen, like Jethro Tull or King Crimson well, Robert Fripp wasn't exactly the main songwriter, but he was always certainly the musical heart of the band. With Fleetwood Mac, it was really vice versa: the band concentrated around 'sidemen' - Fleetwood and McVie were the only constant members, and yes, they're good players, but they're zero songwriters, and they were never responsible for the general sound of the band.
Instead, the general sound was always provided by people who'd come and go - first Green, then Spencer, then Kirwan, then Welch, then Buckingham-Nicks-Christine McVie, and recently by even more 'newcomers'. Therefore, each new album usually brought an entirely new type of music, and these changes weren't always for good.
Unfortunately, this is the case with Future Games. Spencer, having provided us with lots of pure fun on Kiln House , had suddenly joined a religious sect and quit geez, and I though the guy had a sense of humour - but the Green legacy lived on. This brings Kirwan to the front, as well as new band member Bob Welch, a highly undistinguishable American gentleman at the time; his songwriting grew on afterwards, but like with every early member, he dropped out of the band right at his peak.
Which, however, was but two years later; on Future Games , Welch is mostly just stating his presence. As you might have already guessed, the album's almost unlistenable. In contrast with the humor of Kiln House , this time they decided to have a little something more serious, going in for ultra-long songs, bombastic lyrics, lengthy spacey instrumental passages and 'complicated' arrangements. Progressive rock? Well, with progressive influences, let's say; this stuff is still way too rootsy and way too grounded in American folk and soft-rock, particularly stuff like CSN, to be considered truly "progressive".
However, progressive or not, they blew it on all of the above-mentioned counts. The lengthiness of the songs only makes them more rotten - the bland, melodyless 'Woman Of Years' is a typical example. The liner notes draw on some critic's remarks about how this song "floated on a languid sea of echo-laden acoustic and electric guitars", but so what? If you go in for mood, you gotta make it special and unique; if it's not, gimme some melodic hooks instead. They give none; it's just five and a half minutes of passable background music.
The lyrics are supposed to be clever, but end up being inept, lame and utterly derivative 'Morning Rain' ; the instrumental passages only serve to demonstrate Kirwan's and Welch's un-professionalism which would never allow them to rank on the same level as prog rock bands 'Sands Of Time' - basically 'Woman Of Years' volume two, only longer and even less bearable , and the arrangements are really trite and do nothing to hold the listener's attention.
The sound is indeed all smothered in slick, uninteresting acoustic and slide guitars "languid sea of echo-laden There's some good news in the title track written by Bob Welch which, although overlong, distinguishes itself by having some wonderful harmonies, and I do believe it to be their only more or less successive stab at a 'serious', anthemic song. This is a good example of a song that at least knows where it is going to, with a deeply emotional delivery - at least, Welch actually sings different notes and raises and lowers his voice, which is highly unusual for the album.
The true wonder of the song is the middle-eight chorus? Still, my humble opinion is that it should have been shorter by at least four minutes; I could easily do without the boring guitar solo, for instance. Also, the record features Christine McVie's first contribution: 'Show Me A Smile' is a feeble and unconvincing ode-to-a-son type song and if you think it's the genre that stinks, check out Lennon's 'Beautiful Boy' to see how a real ode-to-a-son type song may sound , but at least it's unpretentious, and it gives a hints at her future 'games', er, gems. Anyway, the material is hardly offensive.
It's just boring. It's just a bunch of guys ringing their guitars absentmindedly and hoping that something interesting will come out of it. Well, they did have the title track, after all - pure chance, no doubt. But don't bother about getting this album unless you find it for a laughable price in the "lullabies" section. Prog-rockers they're not, but this time the pop songs are truly better and shorter. They slowly start to rise I wouldn't really go as far as to say that the true 'classic' Mac begins here, like some critics do.
The melodies are still way too unassuming and ordinary, and in no way could this record shatter the minds of the band's contemporaries as Rumours. But to my ears the album's still a serious improvement and succeeds where Future Games failed miserably. They're still treading water with prog rock elements, but this time they're mostly limited to the lyrics sphere like on the spooky 'The Ghost' where Bob Welch goes for almost Genesis-like 'allusions'.
On the other side, the songs are considerably shorter, they rock out a little more, and they do have more melodies than pure bombast or anything like that. Not to mention the slowly crescent talents of Christine McVie who already gets two of her numbers on here. And what does it mean?
Christine McVie rejoins Fleetwood Mac
Well, it actually means that this is their most consistent and entertaining album so far Kiln House was better, of course, on a song for song level, but that's just because of the kitsch and the fun factor. While this turned out to be Kirwan's last album with the band, it's also his peak, as he finally completes his transformation into a 'rock' singer, and the opening track, 'Child Of Mine', showcases his new personality 'heavy country blues keep-a rockin' , being an utterly enjoyable rocker with certain heavy overtones and suitably grim lead lines.
In fact, the song could have easily fit onto Then Play On - it's uncanny how it recreates the 'un-menacing gloominess' of the latter, eventually predicting Kirwan following the steps of Peter Green. On 'Danny's Chant' Kirwan gets even raunchier, blasting off into the song with a chaotic feedback intro, almost heavy metal in style; unfortunately, the hooks are not that strong to proclaim Fleetwood Mac particularly successful in that genre, and maybe it would be a better idea to add up some lyrics instead of the pompous gothic la-la chanting.
Fleetwood Mac interview: ‘We’ll burn in hell if we don’t play Glastonbury one day’
He, however, redeems himself with yet another moody instrumental, the pretty 'Sunny Side Of Heaven' - my only complaint is that it seems to have been written for the weather channel, but at least that'd be a mighty tasteful weather channel - and 'Dust', a melancholic introspective ballad with a gentle, memorable chorus.
As for the album's 'magnum opus' - the bombastic title track, with multiple guitar overdubs and a seriously prolongated ending, well, I have mixed feelings towards it. The rest is not. Meanwhile, Bob Welch is on the sentimental trail again - actually, his 'Sentimental Lady' is usually considered to be the highlight on here. Essentially, it's just a slight and seemingly forgettable ballad; but somehow it manages to grow on you a little, until you notice that it's really constructed in a way similar to that of 'Future Games'.
It's certainly similar - a little worse, but also a little shorter, and therefore a little better. Rather a subconsciously stuck scheme. And on the already mentioned 'Ghost' Bob gets all mystical and deeply self-conscious again, but the song is little more than atmosphere. Not that they're as flawless as her classic work in the Buckingham-led Fleetwood Mac, but everybody has to learn, you know. In fact, the only real misfire on record is an odd monologue recited by an old English lady and entitled 'Thoughts On A Grey Day'. Maybe that was Danny's idea of how a prog-imitating record should sound like.
Sounds like shit, actually. God only knows how they would develop in the following years had Kirwan not been fired soon afterwards for drinking and breaking guitars. Why he did that I have no idea. At this point he was virtually the leader of the band - main singer, songwriter and guitar player. Bob Welch certainly did not contribute a whole lot, and Christine was only starting her career. I have no general opinion of Kirwan - after all, it's not that I studied his biography or anything - and I really don't know anything about his future career, but I do think that with a little patience and self-discipline he could have grown into a really good songwriter.
During his four years in the band he'd really gone a long way, from an unexperienced, idea-less folkie to a self-confident rocker, whose only flaw was not knowing how to spice up his work with a few carefully placed hooks, and who knows? Then again, maybe not - after all, the world is infested with mediocre songwriters spending their time on endless recycling of existent melodies and writing shallow, uninspired material for the sake of either making money or, even worse, trying to convince themselves or the world that they are geniuses when they're not even close.
Okay, away with Danny: despite all the 'ifs' and 'buts', he quit the band, and that's that. He told the crowd: "I truly didn't think I would make it here tonight but thank you. Fleetwood Mac began their greatest hits show with The Chain, known by many as the Formula 1 theme, to the delight of the crowds who reportedly included F1 driver David Coulthard as well as Halliwell's newly-wed husband Christian Horner who is the boss of the Red Bull racing team.
The couple flew by helicopter to the festival site at Seaclose Park, Newport, following on from other former Spice Girls Mel C and Emma Bunton who were seen at the festival yesterday. As well as a photograph of the couple next to the helicopter, Halliwell posted on Twitter: "On way to Isle of Wight festival. Can't wait to see Fleetwood Mac. The Chain. And fans loved the performance, as one wrote: "OMG!! Geri chimed in too, adding: "Had amazing time watching Fleetwood Mac -inspirational ,at Isle of Wight.
Keating with girlfriend Storm Uechtritz also arrived on site and were shown around by festival promoter John Giddings. The festival is in its 14th year since it relaunched the legendary events of the late s which saw acts such as Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and famously Jimi Hendrix, who gave his last UK performance on the island. Thousands of people wore Hendrix masks yesterday afternoon to create a new world record on the main stage, renamed the Electric Church, to mark the 45th anniversary year of his performance and to raise money for the WellChild charity.
By Rebecca Pocklington. Get the biggest celebs stories by email Subscribe See our privacy notice More newsletters. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks provide heavenly harmonies, but "Love in Store" is mostly McVie's song, right down to her welcoming, worn-in vocal. McVie's Rumours solo showcase features mainly just piano and vocal with very spare backing.
Nestled between "Go Your Own Way" and "The Chain" on the multi-platinum album, the song serves as a calm before and after the storms. Like "Everywhere" see No. Released as a single, "Little Lies" made it to No. Tusk , Fleetwood Mac's double-record follow-up to the career-defining 'Rumours,' is generally viewed as a Lindsey Buckingham project -- from the album's general epic sprawl to its intricate production. Backed by Buckingham, "Think About Me" is a tight, compact and surprisingly tough rocker by McVie, who usually countered her bandmate's biting sour notes with soft sweetness.
Fleetwood Mac's superstar era pretty much kicked off with this Top 20 single the band's first Top 40 hit from their self-titled reboot. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks gave the veteran British blues group the pop smarts it needed to hit the charts, but the band led its charge with McVie's "Over My Head," which set the template for her role in the band's storied singer-songwriter trio as the one who wrote its best soft rockers.