Friday, 25 October 2013

The Archivist - Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac (White Album)

You've probably guessed that I have a particular soft spot for The Mac. I could probably write quite a decent book about the history of the British Blues band with it's genius guitar player who morphed into  the Anglo American Supergroup who went on to conquer the world with one of the biggest albums of all time. And have it's own brilliantly maverick guitarist.

As you know if you've read previous parts of this blog, back in the 70s I was a avid radio listener. Everybody was aware of the hit single Albatross. That instrumental classic that came from nowhere and hung around the neck of FMac until their 1970s rebirth. But between Albatross and the (let's call it) The White Album, FMac went through many musicians and changes in style. I remember listening to Alan Freeman back in the early 70s and hearing the FMac song Future Games. I enjoyed it and went out to purchase the album. My first Fmac album.

Following the departure of Peter Green, FMac had turned to several guitarists, including the American Bob Welch, who stayed with them until the 1974. Under Bob Welch, they created some really good albums which have got lost in the depths of time. The last Bob Welch album actually pointed the way for what was to be The White Album. The Christine McVie composition Come A Little Bit Closer is especially good and could fit onto any FMac album from 1975 onwards and hold it's own.

Now it's the stuff of legend as to how the duo of Buckingham/Nicks joined the Mac. Mick Fleetwood was looking for studios and went to Sound City where he heard the Buckingham/Nicks album being played through the studio speakers, which eventually led to the duo replacing the recently departed Bob Welch.

With the duo now in the band, they went on to record the White Album. This has always been my favourite FMac album, followed by Tusk. Included on the album are Crystal & Landslide, which were previously on the Buckingham/Nicks album. The new album proved to be a smash, especially in the USA. Lead off single, the gentle Christine McVie composition Over My Head led the way for three great singles together with Say You Love Me and the smash hit Rhiannon.

The album made no dent whatsoever in the UK but I played it to death. In fact I had to get a second copy. I first heard the album as I used to listen to the Paul Gambaccini American Chart Show and loved the sound of Lindsey Buckingham's guitar work and Stevie Nick's beautiful voice. I immediately ordered the album AND the Buckingham/Nicks release, which is now a sought after collectors item. Every song is great and showcases Buckingham's brilliant pick style guitar playing. One of the best was the Stevie Nicks composition, Landslide.

It was followed by the record breaking Rumours, two years later in 1977. But it is the White Album that gets more time on the turntable and cd player than any other FMac album. Here's a live version of the opener Monday Morning. FMac were always a livelier proposition in concert than on record.

Last year, we lost two FMac alumni - Bob Weston & Bob Welch. In tribute, here's a Bob Welch song that first appeared on the FMAc album 1972 album Bare Trees and gave him a hit single when he put it on his first solo album from 1977, French Kiss, the lovely Sentimental Lady, featuring Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie.

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