Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Album of the Day: Fleetwood Mac (2/24/68) 42 Years!

Fleetwood Mac (for Dr. Rock’s playlist, click here) is more than the 70s superstar group that brought “Rhiannon,” “Go Your Own Way” and “The Chain” to the top of the pops. Surely those are undeniably great and lasting tunes, but long before Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, and John and Christine McVie cut those classic pop-rock tracks, FM was a hardcore 60s British blues band organized around and named for the rhythm section of bassist McVie and drummer Fleetwood. But the two led the band in name only. Founder, blues guitarist and songwriter Peter Green and his partner Jeremy Spencer controlled things, at least until Green succumbed to lengthy drug fests and left Mick and John to move forward on their own in 1970. Seven years and seven LPs later, the latter two had the last laugh en route to the bank.

Debut album Fleetwood Mac (2/24/1968) is top-notch material from the British blues-rock bloom of the mid- and late 60s. A mix of Green/Spencer originals and covers of mid-level Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf and Elmore James, it’s one of the era’s best and a terrific counterpoint to what the world thinks is the real Fleetwood Mac.

Fleetwood Mac made it to #4 on the album charts in the UK but barely registered in the US. It’s available on CD, LP or mp3 at Amazon. Downloads for iPods are on iTunes.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010


Album of the Day: Fleetwood Mac (2/4/77) 33 Years!

Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours was released today in 1977 (click here for my FM playlist). Coming 18 months after 1975’s eponymous Fleetwood Mac, the album completed the transformation of the band from a late-60s, moderately successful British blues-rock outfit to a juggernaut, pop-rock phenomenon. Within months of its release, the LP shot to the top of the charts and spawned four U.S. Top 10 singles (“Dreams,” “Don’t Stop,” “Go Your Own Way” and “You Make Loving Fun”). It’s full of classic 70s vocals and jingle-jangle guitar licks, not to mention thinly-disguised references to the romantic inner turmoil that was beginning to pull the band apart. Original (and the lone remaining) founder Mick Fleetwood was enduring a messy divorce, caused in part by his affair with new singer Stevie Nicks, whose relationship with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham was unraveling, and bandmembers John and Christine McVie were separating and headed for divorce as well.

The rock star version of Peyton Place didn’t stop Rumours from quickly becoming the one of the best-selling albums of all-time. To be a part of the amorous sub-plot, you’ll find Rumours available as a CD or individual mp3 downloads on Amazon (click here) and as $.99 download tracks for iPods and mp3 players on iTunes (click here).

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Monday, October 19, 2009


Album of the Day: Fleetwood Mac (10/19/79)

4159ESEEGJL._SL160_Fleetwood Mac scored two chart-topping albums in the late 70s, their self-titled “debut” in 1975 and the massively popular Rumours in 1977. Despite riding a huge wave of rock popularity, any chance of three-in-a-row was largely squelched by the semi-incestuous turmoil tearing at the band in the wake of Rumours, plus the decision to issue a double album with Lindsey Buckingham providing most of the creative direction. The result, Tusk (released on October 19, 1979) was too long, overly ambitious and musically uneven. While it sold handsomely and reached #4 in the US, it could have and should have been released as a single disc. The three hits from the album, Christine McVie’s “Think About Me” (#37), Buckingham’s “Tusk” (#8) and Stevie Nicks’ “Sara” (#7) might have fit nicely with “Angel,” “The Ledge”, “That’s Enough For Me” and another two or three McVie floating ballads to create a neat single disc package. The rest is weird and unnecessary Buckingham experimentation.

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