FLEETWOOD MAC – ” Then Play On ” Classic Albums

Posted: January 26, 2018 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , ,

At their most guitar-centric Fleetwood Mac, featured not two but three players on the guitar. In 1969, the group hired 18-year-old Danny Kirwan to add a new hue to the palate created by the original line-up featuring guitarist Jeremy Spencer and star player Peter Green. To Spencer’s rockabilly flair and Green’s hard blues power, Kirwan brought more melodicism and nuance. Their three-way frisson came to fruition on the band’s third album, ‘Then Play On’, especially in songs like “Oh Well” which presented a blues riff so tight, Mac kept it in their set through multiple personal changes for decades to come. Another song from that album, “Searching for Madge,” let Green and Kirwan spar in a ten-minute free jam. A particularly hot version of another song from that era “Rattlesnake Shake” , appeared on the band’s “Live In Boston” the guitars slashed and burned with a violence the band rarely achieved in the studio. On the other end of the spectrum, Kirwan and Green made their instruments sweetly entwine in “Coming Your Way” , a song the former wrote which opens ‘Then Play On’.

The whole set is more like a seamless `suite` of songs, with two instrumentals dedicated to a devoted Mac fan named Madge punctuating them. I bought the original LP and played it a lot. It sounded unlike anything else at the time, and it still has a unique feel to it. What is such a relief is to find how wonderful it still sounds, after so long.

The interplay between Spencer and Kirwan came to the fore on the 1970 studio next release “Kiln House”, cut after Green left. One year later, Kirwan found a new sparring partner in the American-born Bob Welch.


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