Posts Tagged ‘John McVie’

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Time for another journey through the past with David Conway. In June 1970 I bought the new Fleetwood Mac 45 . Both sides of it! featured some wonderous guitar  We didn’t know it at the time but this would be the last Peter Green recording with the band . It was Top Ten in the UK a total of four weeks.

The song was written during Green’s final months with the band, at a time when he was struggling with LSD and had withdrawn from other members of the band. While there are several theories about the meaning of the title “Green Manalishi”, Green has always maintained that the song is about money, as represented by the devil. Green was reportedly angered by the other band members’ refusal to share their financial gains.

Green has explained that he wrote the song after experiencing a drug-induced dream in which he was visited by a green dog which barked at him. He understood that the dog represented money. “It scared me because I knew the dog had been dead a long time. It was a stray and I was looking after it. But I was dead and had to fight to get back into my body, which I eventually did. When I woke up, the room was really black and I found myself writing the song.”

Producer Martin Birch recalled that Green was initially frustrated that he could not get the sound he wanted, but Danny Kirwan reassured him that they would stay in the studio all night until the band got it right. Peter Green said later that although the session left him exhausted, “Green Manalishi” was still one of his best music memories.. “Lots of drums, bass guitars … Danny Kirwan and me playing those shrieking guitars together …A 13-minute live version of “The Green Manalishi” was recorded in February 1970, prior to the single’s release in May, but it remained unreleased until 1985 when it was unofficially released on a number of records, such as Shanghai Records’ Cerulean and Rattlesnake Shake. In 1998 it was issued with along with the entire set of recordings on the Live in Boston: Remastered three-CD boxed set.

The song was played live by subsequent versions of Fleetwood Mac on tour with Bob Welch and then Lindsey Buckingham singing the vocal and taking on the song’s guitar parts.

The B-side of the single was an instrumental written by Green and Danny Kirwan, titled “World In Harmony”. The two tracks were recorded at the same session in Warner/Reprise Studios, in Hollywood, California. The only track bearing a Kirwan/Green writing credit, the two had plans to collaborate further on a guitar-driven album, but the project never materialised.

There is a different 13 minutes live version of the song part of the Fleetwood Mac: live in Boston album . This song has been versioned by famous bands like Corrosion of Conformity, Arthur Brown, The Melvins and The Need, being the most famous of them the Judas Priest’s version at the point it’s been mistaken as a Judas Priest original song.

Blues pianist Eddie Boyd’s “7936 South Rhodes” was recorded in London in January 1968 with three members of the early line-up of Fleetwood Mac: Peter Green (guitar), John McVie (bass), and Mick Fleetwood (drums). It’s a tantalizing setting for Boyd’s straight up Chicago piano Blues, going heavier on the slow-to-mid-tempo numbers than the high-spirited ones.

Boyd was born either on Stovall’s Plantation, near Clarksdale, Mississippi, He learned to play the guitar and the piano. His piano playing was influenced by the styles of Roosevelt Sykes and Leroy Carr. An automobile accident in 1957 in which he was injured put his career on hold for a while Boyd toured Europe with Buddy Guy’s band in 1965 as part of the American Folk Blues Festival.

He later toured and recorded with Fleetwood Mac and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. Tired of the racial discrimination he experienced in the United States, he first moved to Belgium where he recorded with Dutch Blues band Cuby & The Blizzards. Boyd died in 1994 in Helsinki, Finland, just a few months before Eric Clapton released the chart-topping blues album, From The Cradle that included Boyd’s “Five Long Years” and “Third Degree”.

On June 25th, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Eddie Boyd among hundreds of artists whose recorded material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

Recorded in London in January 1968 with three members of the early lineup of Fleetwood Mac (the one that played blues, not pop/rock):Peter Green (Guitar), John McVie (bass), and Mick Fleetwood (drums). It’s an adequate setting for Boyd’s straight Chicago piano blues, going heavier on the slow-to-mid-tempo numbers than the high-spirited ones, though is a far more sympathetic accompanist than the rhythm section.

Eddie Boyd with Fleetwood Mac.

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Produced by the band members themselves and engineered by the legendary Martin Rushent, “Future Games” was recorded at London’s Advision Studios between June and August 1971, and the fact that it was released on September 3rd of the same year shows just how quick the turnaround was. In addition to Kirwan, the album also stands out as being the first Fleetwood Mac album to include Christine McVie as a full member as well as the first to feature Bob Welch, but it’s also notable for being the band’s first album without Jeremy Spencer.

When Fleetwood Mac turned in Future Games, Reprise Records said that they wouldn’t release it with only seven songs, so the band popped back into the studio and laid down “What a Shame,” doing so as a jam, hence the song writing credits including every member of the band. The album’s lone single, “Sands of Time,” failed to chart in either the U.S. or the U.K., but one tune has managed to find a tremendous audience over the years: the title track, penned by Welch, which is by far the most streamed song on the album.

Future Games was poorly received by the critics of the time. Future Games is a thoroughly unsatisfactory album. It is thin and anemic-sounding and I get the impression that no one involved really put very much into it. If Fleetwood Mac have tried to make the transition from an energetic rocking British blues band to a softer more “contemporary” rock group, they have failed. If they have simply lost interest.

Critic Robert Christgau’s commentary shows how much the man admires what he perceives as his superior ability with wordplay as well as the usual pomposity and factual errors:
These white blues (and hippie rockabilly) veterans shouldn’t have to depend on new recruit Bob Welch’s deftly metallized r&b extrapolation for rock and roll, but unless you count the studio jam, they do. And if the best song on the album isn’t the slowest, that’s only because Welch also has mystagogic tendencies. It’s the simplest in any case: Christine Perfect’s ‘Show Me a Smile.’
Christine was no longer calling herself Perfect but was still good enough to qualify as McVie. Bob Welch actually contributed relatively little to Future Games: he wrote two of the songs (including the title track) and “played mostly rhythm guitar.” And to apply the term “mystagogic” to Bob Welch is completely absurd, for “A mystagogue is a person who initiates others into mystic beliefs, and an educator or person who has knowledge of the sacred mysteries of a belief system.” Neither of Welch’s songs come close to qualifying as a trip into the mystic (though Danny Kirwan’s do).

The expansion of the band’s range is established immediately in the pair of sus2 acoustic guitar chords that form the intro to Kirwan’s “Woman of 1000 Years.” Patterns of sustained and major seventh chords have an elusive, indefinite feel, calling up adjectives like “ethereal,” “dreamy” and “melancholy.” Most songwriters fail to develop chord structures to support them, leading to a vague, uncertain musical statement that lacks a sense of forward movement—songwriter and song remain suspended in a musical vacuum.

Danny Kirwan was not one of those songwriters. “Woman of 1000 Years” has one of the most beautiful and satisfying chord structures I’ve ever heard. When I reproduced the chords on my acoustic guitar, I felt myself moving into a still, reflective space where I was at one with the sheer beauty of the musical progression. I switched to piano and the progression had the same entrancing effect. The sense of movement and wonder is enhanced by subtle changes and additions along the way that keep things challenging and intensely interesting—but not once does a chord feel out-of-place. Chord charts on the Internet are often hit-or-miss (half the contributors couldn’t tell a minor chord from a major to save their lives), but I found one on Ultimate Guitar that gets it right. If you are a musician, I encourage you to head over there and explore the pattern—the improvisational opportunities are limitless.

Back to our story, the “resolution” chord is Asus2, which effectively means there is no resolution at all—the woman of a thousand years remains an indefinable mystery. Although not specifically identified as such in the lyrics, the woman is certainly a manifestation of the muse, but Kirwan doesn’t limit her role to sparking creativity in the artist. Danny Kirwan’s vocal is beautifully restrained and blends marvelously with Christine McVie’s harmonies. The first guitar solo is a gorgeous display of simplicity, completely consistent with the nature of the composition as it seems to end a bar before its time, avoiding definitive resolution; the complementary guitar fade supplies an appropriately gentle exit. While “Woman of 1000 Years” is hardly your typical album opener, it is a compelling experience nonetheless, establishing a mood for the album that asks the listener to shift gears, slow down and take some time to enjoy the magic of music.

Let us correct the record. Future Games balances the impressive song writing talents of Kirwan, Welch and Christine McVie. Each of those artists put a great deal of effort into crafting those songs, a glaring truth that is obvious to anyone who actually takes the time to listen to the record. Danny Kirwan is clearly the dominant presence, contributing the three songs most crucial to establishing the reflective mood of the album. If anything, Future Games increased Fleetwood Mac’s “promise” by extending their playing field beyond straight blues-based rock ‘n’ roll.

Future Games may not have been a gargantuan hit in America, but it did kick off a trend for a few albums where each album did better than one that preceded it, with 1972’s Bare Trees hitting and Penguin so it still furthered Fleetwood Mac’s fanbase in the States.

Even nice albums need some kick, and Future Games certainly delivers on that score. Christine McVie’s “Morning Rain” gives her a chance to warm up her piano fingers in a percussive role dedicated to reinforcing the solid rhythm established by the ever-grounded pair of Fleetwood and McVie. I love the way this song opens, lulling the listener into believing the root chord is F# before making a move to establish F# as the tension chord demanding resolution to B major. The sweet bluesy guitar licks that highlight that transition make me smile at the cleverness of the ruse as they settle into the solid groove. For a rock song, Christine’s vocal in the verses (supported by harmony) is comparatively subdued, but soon we learn that she’s been saving her vocal chords for the more enthusiastic performance in the bridge . The contrast between the two vocal styles adds to the appeal of the song, and even more excitement awaits us in the instrumental passages where the guitarists let loose. I also love the way the piece ends, with Christine and the boys reminding us of the song’s essential melodic nature with a nice round of wordless singing. “Morning Rain” is a tasty little piece promising that Future Games will cover a lot of musical ground.

“What a Shame” was added at the last minute because the album submitted by the band contained only seven tracks and the record company wanted eight. The band responded with a single key jam with heavy bass featuring Christine’s brother John on saxophone. I’m glad John picked up a few bucks in the process, but other than executing the piece with due professionalism, the band doesn’t sound particularly interested. If they had to include it on the album, it might have been better to move it back into the fourth slot to serve as a brief intermission between “Future Games” and “Sands of Time.” It’s sufficiently low-key so as not to disturb the nice album vibes.

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Moving onto Bob Welch’s Fleetwood Mac début, “Future Games” makes use of the sustained and major seventh chords we heard in “Woman of a 1000 Years,” in this case producing a slight drone effect with the unifying B-note (Em, Cmaj7, Asus2, B7). However, Welch’s piece features clearer resolution to E minor in the verses and G major in the chorus, hinting at a more definitive theme in the lyrics. Despite the unknowable nature of the future, Welch pulls it off by universalizing the message: playing out future possibilities is something everyone does, whether it’s speculating on the afterlife, the possibility of a relationship with this person or that person, or worrying about disasters that may come our way. “I know I’m not the only one to ever spend my life sitting playing “Future Games”.  Musically, “Future Games” complements Kirwan’s contributions to the album with its pensive mood and restraint. The band passes up the opportunity to go big in the instrumental passage featuring the guitar solo, using that passage to reinforce the melody before easing into the third verse. Though I think they could have shortened the fade a bit, “Future Games” works on multiple levels, and demonstrates Bob Welch’s gift for melody that would later result in “Sentimental Lady.”

The flow of Danny Kirwan’s “Sands of Time” is as gentle and mesmerizing as the flow of a mountain stream. The music here alternates between G major and its E minor complement, spiced with a delightful variety of guitar fills, cascading arpeggios and some nifty cymbal work from Mick Fleetwood. The lyrics involve the interplay of darkness and light, as expressed in the verse that opens and closes the song.

In a stunning turn of events, Danny seems to go full country in the introduction to “Sometimes,” with Christine McVie’s down-home piano and sweetly picked guitar leading the way. Danny inserts a minor chord into the mix and John McVie fills the empty spaces with deep, penetrating bass. Danny then steps into the role of jilted lover, remembering the good times while throwing his aching back into his work to help push the emotional pain to the sidelines. The song straddles the line between classic sad song and defiance of sadness, expressed both in the lyrics and in the surprisingly muscular guitar fills. Although not as deep or complex as his other two contributions, don’t let its subtlety fool you: “Sometimes” is first-rate song writing by a very talented songwriter.

The one contribution on the album I could have done without is Bob Welch’s “Lay It All Down,” a rather pedestrian attempt at blues-influenced gospel with the usual “just like the good book said” crapola. Thematically it’s a weak fit; I suppose one could argue that it maintains the connection with the earlier model of Fleetwood Mac, but that was then, this was now, and this song flat-out sucks.

Fortunately, Future Games ends on a high note with Christine McVie’s “Show Me a Smile.” Songs written by parents for their children generally don’t grab me because of the latent sentimentality, but there’s one verse that lifts this song out of the maudlin and into the reality that a child’s future is likely to result in disappointment. Christine captured that dynamic beautifully, carefully balancing her vocal so that she never goes too soft or over the top. The music is equally supportive of that balance, with luscious arpeggiated guitar, lead guitar fills and splashes of piano guiding us gently through the verses, and John McVie delivering serious punch with his bass during the louder passages. “Show Me a Smile” ends Future Games by underscoring the album’s essential beauty.

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    • The only constant members are drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie. That’s where the band’s name comes from, and they won a lawsuit to prove it.
    • Fleetwood Mac began life as a blues band during the peak years of the British blues movement. Their first album is officially titled Fleetwood Mac, but nearly everyone refers to it as Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, referring to the band’s lead guitarist and singer. This début album was a smashing success, and remains one of the most enjoyable blues records of the era. Jeremy Spencer contributed slide guitar and some vocals. As was true for so many British musicians of the era,  Peter Green developed his chops in John Mayall’s band.
    • Peter Green stayed with the band  through the third studio album, Then Play Onthe first album with Danny Kirwan. Kirwan would emerge as sort of co-leader with Jeremy Spencer on the fourth album Kiln House. Spencer left the band shortly thereafter. Christine Perfect, aka Christine McVie, who had appeared occasionally on earlier albums, became a full-time member after Kiln House, the name change reflecting her marriage to John McVie.
    • Prior to Future Games, an American musician by the name of Bob Welch joined the band, sharing guitar duties with Kirwan. This relationship ended after the follow-up album Bare Trees when Kirwan’s drinking and temper led to some serious altercations with Welch, which in turn led to Kirwan’s dismissal. Welch contributed to five studio albums, and the period from Future Games to Heroes Are Hard to Find are colloquially referred to as the Bob Welch Era or similar designation.
    • In 1975, Christine McVie pushed hard for a more radio-friendly music to pad her bank account. Welch thought he’d be better off going solo and left the band. Fleetwood Mac replaced him with Americans Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.

If you love the blues then owning , this album is a no-brainer. Recorded in just one day in January 1969 with blues pianist Spann backed by Fleetwod Mac (minus Mick Fleetwood on drums – replaced here by Spann’s regular drummer, S.P.Leary), the record has all the immediacy of a ‘live’ recording.Despite the credit Amazon may use, make no mistakes – this is an Otis Spann record – not a Fleetwood Mac release . That said Peter Green was at the height of his powers when the album was cut, the Mac were at the height of their ‘blues-phase’ fame and so Spann was more than happy for his record to feature Green’s awesome lead guitar breaks alongside his own mighty piano playing. As you’d expect the combination makes for a terrific record. The session In January of 1969, with the British power blues quintet Fleetwood Mac at Chess Records studios to jam with the likes of Willie Dixon, S.P. Leary, Honeyboy Edwards, and longtime Muddy Waters‘ pianist Otis Spann.

The sessions were so rich and fruitful that three-fifths of the Mac (specifically bassist John McVie and guitarists Peter Green and Danny Kirwin) impressed Spann enough to cut a record with them at the same sessions. While the classic “Country Girl” and a seven-minute “Someday Soon Baby” (which features a lengthy intro from Green on which Spann can be heard barely off mic telling the rest of the band to “let him play on”) ended up on the Mac’s Blues Jam at Chess double set: remaining cuts included “Dig You” and “Walkin'” and are a near perfect match of Spann’s exciting, emotive singing and the Mac’s youthful muscle. “The Biggest Thing Since Colossus” was released on Mac manager/producer/strongman Mike Vernon’s London-based Blue Horizon label.

if you are looking for some funky Chicago blues played and sung by one of its legendary exponents (who featured on many of Muddy Water’s records and was a member of Waters‘ touring band), with the one and only Peter Green accompanying him, then Otis Spann’s ‘The Biggest Thing Since Colossus’ comes mightily recommended. When Fleetwood Mac toured the USA, their producer set up some recording session with some of their heroes and this set doesn’t disappoint. Otis Spann is great, Peter Green is great and Danny Kirwan is great.

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Fleetwood Mac’s legendary three night performance at the Boston Tea Party, all in one vinyl box set.

Madfish Records presents Fleetwood Mac’s legendary Boston concert recordings from an earlier era of the band’s colourful history, featuring the classic blues line-up of Mick Fleetwood, Peter Green, Danny Kirwan, John McVie and Jeremy Spencer.

Originally recorded at the Boston Tea Party venue over three nights in February 1970, for a planned release later the same year, these recordings were left in the can, unissued, following leader Peter Green’s sudden decision to leave the band a few weeks after the dates.  Tracks from the shows were eventually released in various forms in the mid-80s but these releases were blighted by poor sound sources. The discovery of the original 8-track tapes and a number of previously unreleased tracks in the late 90s allowed the material to be re-mixed, re-mastered, and substantially overhauled for release on 3 separate CD volumes.

In 2013 the current incarnation of Fleetwood Mac embarked on a massive world tour. Dates in North America were followed by gigs around Europe, with Australia and New Zealand planned shortly. The dates so far saw the band playing sold-out shows to huge arena crowds and created another surge of interest in this much-loved band. Boston is a 3CD set which collects live recordings from an earlier era of the band’s colourful history. The set features the classic blues line-up of Mick Fleetwood, Peter Green, Danny Kirwan, John McVie and Jeremy Spencer. The discovery of the original 8-track tapes and a number of previously unreleased tracks in the late 90s allowed the material to be re-mixed, re-mastered, and substantially overhauled for release on 3 separate CD volumes. This new set brings together all of these re-mastered recordings a 3CD set to present a complete document of these historic shows. The set is packaged in a clam box with a 24 page book. The booklet contains new sleeve notes and reworked artwork.

This new set brings together all of these re-mastered recordings for the first time as a 4LP box set, and a 3CD box set, presenting a complete document of these historic shows.

Fleetwood Mac, live at the Record Plant, San Francisco on 15th December 1974 Fleetwood Mac was in a state of flux in late 1974. Their new album “Heroes Are Hard To Find” had just appeared, but guitarist Bob Welch was about to depart and they were battling their former manager, who had put together a bogus version of the band. With Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks about to join, this fascinating set performed at the Record Plant on 15th December, for broadcast on KSAN-FM captures the previous line-up just before its collapse, on a superb set that spans early classics and more recent favorites. It s presented here with background notes and images.

Setlist:

1. The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown) 2. Angel 3. Spare Me A Little Of Your Love 4. Sentimental Lady 5. Future Games 6. Bermuda Triangle 7. Why 8. Believe Me 9. Black Magic Woman 10. Oh Well 11. Band intros > Rattlesnake Shake 12. Hypnotized 13. Mystery To Me

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Fleetwood Mac debuted their new revamped lineup by performing “The Chain” and “Gypsy” on Wednesday’s edition of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The televised appearance marked the longtime band’s first time playing live alongside guitarists Mike Campbell, formerly of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Crowded House’s Neil Finn, both of whom stepped in after Fleetwood Mac fired Lindsey Buckingham last April.

Both guitarists featured prominently in the performances, flanking to the left and right of Stevie Nicks; on both “The Chain” and “Gypsy,” Finn handled the vocal parts previously sung by Buckingham, particularly on “The Chain,” where Finn and Nicks showcased their budding vocal chemistry.

They played two classic songs, “The Chain” and “Gypsy,” which you can watch below.

Host Ellen DeGeneres introduced the group by saying that it’s sold more than 100 million albums and calling Fleetwood Mac “one of the most iconic bands in music.” Finn quickly answered fans’ questions about how his voice would fit in place of the departed Lindsey Buckingham by taking the lead on “The Chain.”

Campbell then switched guitars in order to play the song’s outro solo. For “Gypsy,” Campbell pulled double-duty, playing guitar as well as the song’s keyboard hook.

After “The Chain,” DeGeneres hugged Stevie Nicks and briefly spoke with the singer. The host acknowledged that it was a thrill to have them on her show because Fleetwood Mac usually don’t perform on TV.

Nicks introduced Finn and Campbell and promoted the band’s upcoming tour. DeGeneres added that her show is giving away a pair of tickets to every date. You fans can enter the contest at her website.

“There are 10 hits we have to do,” Nicks has previously said of the tour. “That leaves another 13 songs if you want to do a three-hour show. Then you crochet them all together and you make a great sequence and you have something that nobody has seen before except all the things they want to see are there. At rehearsal, we’re going to put up a board of 60 songs. Then we start with number one and we go through and we play everything. Slowly you start taking songs off and you start to see your set come together.”

Fleetwood Mac’s tour begins on October. 3rd in Tulsa, Oklahoma., with the first leg wrapping up with two nights at the Forum in Los Angeles on December. 11th and 13th.

Love That Burns

A Chronicle of Fleetwood Mac, Volume One: 1967–1974 by Mick Fleetwood

“I have dreamt of one day working to present a documentation of the early story of Fleetwood Mac. This moment has arrived! And I’m thrilled to be in the safe hands of Genesis Publications.” – Mick Fleetwood In 1967 Fleetwood Mac debuted at the Windsor Blues and Jazz Festival. 50 years later one of its founding members Mick Fleetwood documents the rocky beginnings of a band that emerged from what is now referred to as the British Blues Boom.

The Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival was Fleetwood Mac’s first official gig. It was such a significant musical gathering, like Paris was for artists in the 1920s.” – Mick Fleetwood

Mick Fleetwood is a self-taught drummer and a founding member of one of the most successful bands of the last 50 years, Fleetwood Mac. Released in 1968, their first album Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac came in at no.4 in the UK charts and brought the band overnight success. They went on to release the no.1 hit ‘Albatross’ and a series of critically acclaimed albums, with further hit singles including ‘Black Magic Woman’ and ‘Need Your Love So Bad’.

A constant in Fleetwood Mac’s frequently changing line-up, Mick Fleetwood took over management of the band two years before they released Rumours which – having sold over 40 million copies worldwide – remains one of the best-selling albums of all time.

Fleetwood Mac got famous so quickly; we were still playing small clubs even as we were becoming pop stars.” – Mick Fleetwood

This official limited edition chronicle, “LOVE THAT BURNS”, contains over 400 rare images and an original manuscript of over 20,000 words with exclusive contributions from early Fleetwood Mac band members including John and Christine McVie, Jeremy Spencer and the legendary Peter Green.

“The line ‘Please don’t leave me with a love that burns’ applies to a lot in the Fleetwood Mac journey. When Peter Green left the band, that’s how I felt – that the love would be irreplaceable, and in many ways it was.” – Mick Fleetwood

Love That Burns contains original manuscript from Mick Fleetwood recounting his childhood, early bands, Fleetwood Mac’s debut performance, first international tours, live gig antics, playing with blues legends at Chess Studios, the genius of Peter Green and the many talented members that formed Fleetwood Mac in the years before 1975.

Love That Burns features text commentaries by Peter Green, Christine McVie, John McVie, Jeremy Spencer, John Mayall, Mike Vernon, Sandra (Vigon) Elsdon and Jenny Boyd and is narrated with more than 20,000 words.

“Every page turned in this precious book reflects the efforts and life force of each band member that was part of this early journey that Fleetwood Mac took.” – Mick Fleetwood

Love That Burns features images from the Mick Fleetwood archives and various contributions from friends of the band including rare unpublished images, unseen archival material, and original illustrations by Jeremy Spencer.

Top photographers include Clive Arrowsmith, Henry Diltz, Bruno Ducourant, Bob Gruen, Jeff Lowenthal, Barry Plummer, Michael Putland, Dominique Tarle, Amalie Rothschild and Daniel Sullivan.

I have dreamt of one day working with Genesis to present a documentation of the early story of Fleetwood Mac – This moment has arrived! And I’m thrilled to be in the safe hands of Genesis Publications.” – Mick Fleetwood

Love That Burns is published in a numbered, limited edition of only 2,000 copies worldwide. Every hand bound book is individually signed by the author, Mick Fleetwood. Handcrafted in Milan, Italy, the limited edition is quarter bound in leather with foil blocking, yellow sprayed page edging and a padded cover featuring the Fleetwood Mac artwork of Sixties graphic artist, Günther Kieser.

An exclusive 7″ vinyl picture disc includes ‘Love That Burns’ from the 1968 album Mr Wonderful, and a rare instrumental track recorded in June 1967, entitled ‘Fleetwood Mac’, from which the band took it’s name.

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Bare Trees

“Bare Trees” is the sixth studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in March 1972. This is their last album to feature guitarist Danny Kirwan, who was fired during the album’s supporting tour.

To showcase Bare Trees, Fleetwood Mac went on tour with Savoy Brown and Long John Baldry during the Spring and Summer of ’72. The tour, billed as “The British are Coming” turned out to be a traumatic affair. On the road, Kirwan “just got more and more intense,” Fleetwood said. “He wouldn’t talk to anyone. He was going inside himself which we put down to an emotional problem that we had no idea about. We thought he was just being awkward. I had no idea he was struggling to that level.”

At one pivotal gig, Kirwan and Welch fought over tuning, to the point where the troubled guitarist refused to go on-stage. “That’s the cardinal thing you just don’t do,” Fleetwood said. “In essence, he had a breakdown.”

Kirwan smashed his guitar, then let the band struggle through their performance without him. Afterwards, he launched into a critique of their playing. “It was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Fleetwood. “That particular pain and story needed to stop.”

In the years before Fleetwood Mac became a household name, the British/American band spotlighted a succession of blues-inspired guitar aces, and on “Bare Trees”, that slot is held down by Danny Kirwan. “It’s a well-rounded album,” noted drummer Mick Fleetwood of the 1972 Reprise set. “Like Lindsey [Buckingham], Danny had the chops with layering techniques, and the ability to know what’s right and wrong in the studio.” Kirwan also penned half of the 10 songs here, including the terrific “Dust,” His “Sunny Side of Heaven” was an instrumental, which, at the time, was mixed in with some radio station sign-offs. “Danny’s Chant” features the use of wah-wah guitars, while the lyrics for Kirwan’s composition “Dust” were taken from a poem by Rupert Brooke.”Trinity”, another Kirwan song, was an outtake from the album that was subsequently released in 1992 on the 25 Years – The Chain box set.

Christine McVie and fellow guitarist Bob Welch also contribute winners in “Spare Me a Little of Your Love” and “Sentimental Lady,” respectively. If you have any interest in exploring the music of the Mac before the Buckingham-Nicks era, make Bare Trees your first stop.

Fleetwood Mac

  • Danny Kirwan – guitar, vocals
  • Bob Welch – guitar, vocals
  • Christine McVie – keyboards, vocals
  • John McVie – bass guitar
  • Mick Fleetwood – drums, percussion

The 1975 eponymous album by Fleetwood Mac (that features the current line-up) will be reissued as a five-disc super deluxe edition in January 2018.  The original album is newly remastered and features on CD and vinyl LP in the box set. The CD also includes the original single mixes of Over My Head, Rhiannon, Say You Love Me and Blue Letter.  Like the previous Fleetwood Mac sets there’s plenty of unreleased outtakes, the super deluxe features a completely alternate version of the album (none of it ever released before), along with a handful of live tracks and a couple of jam/instrumentals. Released in 1975, Fleetwood Mac will be given a special reissue treatment . The album — the first to feature the quintet Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood,Christine McVieJohn McVie, and Stevie Nicks — featured the hits and live staples “Landslide” (Nicks), “Rhiannon” (Nicks), “Monday Morning” (Buckingham), and “Over My Head” (Christine McVie).

Fleetwood Mac photographed in 1976

The third CD features 14 live tracks (all previously unreleased) while disc four is a DVD which features a 5.1 surround sound mix of Fleetwood Mac, a hi-res stereo version of the album and those four single versions.

Completing the set is the LP version of the original album pressed on 180-gram vinyl. The packaging sounds consistent with what was issued for previous albums (Rumours, Tusk, Mirage and Tango In The Night) since this comes in a 12″ x 12″ embossed sleeve with in-depth sleeve notes and new interviews with all the band members.

This five-disc Fleetwood Mac box set will be released on 19th January from Warner Bros. Records. A two-CD expanded edition featuring the first two discs in the box will also be issued.