Fleetwood Mac

Saw an interview the other day on CNN with Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham, and Christine McVie. Apparently they're getting back together for a tour (someone ran out of money?). The CNN crawl read "the original Fleetwood Mac back together. Seems they don't remember there was Peter Green, Danny Kirwan, and John McVie. How quickly they forget. I suppose there's a generation who only knows the "Rumours" era Mac. To me there were 3 Macs-the Green and Kirwan Mac, the Bob Welch Mac, and the group mentioned above.
I wasn't quite old enough to remember the first two incarnations of Fleetwood Mac. So, for me, Fleetwood Mac has always been the Buckingham-Nicks era band. One of my favorite groups.

I have been going back to listen to the earlier stuff. Way more blues oriented, (I realize that was what the band was) and am starting to really get into them.

Already have my tickets to see the them this tour. From what I understand, John McVie will be with them also. So it should be a killer show!
i read about a big controversy over how bob welch (among the numerous fm guitarists) was singled out for exclusion when fm was enshrined in the hall of fame. he speculated first that it was because he had filed a breach of contract suit against other band members and later that it was because the hall of fame voters didn't like his style of music. seems a bit cruel to me--granted "sentimental lady" should never be heard again, but "bare trees" and future games" were great 70s albums.
I agree with Loomisjohnson that "Future Games" was a great album and I hope that someone will re-master and release this on 180G vinyl. That was the debut of Christine McVie and just a good collection. FM is kinda like the band Yes in that they have had many incarnations of structure from the early days to the current reunion of the "pop" years.
I thought I read last year that Peter Green had passed? But like Yes' Chris Squire, I think Mick Fleetwood is the only member that has been on every album. SOmething to be said for copyrights.
Ahhh...my favorite band is back!

To some of the above thoughts/questions:

Peter Green is TTBOMK still alive and making blues records (as is Jeremy Spencer, the slide guitarist who was in the original FM line-up). Bob Welch committed suicide not too long ago, which may explain the confusion. I also read of bad feelings re: Welch's omission from the RR Hall of Fame, but I'm not sure what the exact deal was.

Personally, I feel that BW's highpoint with FM was "Mystery To Me", to which he contributed the track Hypnotized, among others. I also agree that this middle period Mac, with Welch and Christine McVie writing most of the songs, was a great period for the band - tho I personally think she was the more important influence on the band's ultimate direction. Nonetheless, IMO Welch was certainly a significant figure in that band's history.

Danny Kirwan, who joined after Brunning departed/John McVie arrived was the band's third guitarist. Both Green and Spencer have had fairly serious mental issues, Kirwan is - I believe - presently homeless, and Welch, as noted, met a sad end. Lindsey Buckingham should proceed with caution, as life has not been kind to FM's guitar players.

BTW, per the above speculation, I also believe that Mick Fleetwood is the only cradle to present day member of FM. The band's original bassist (John McVie initially refused to leave John Mayall's Bluesbreakers to join FM, even tho Peter Green had named FM partially after him) was Bob Bruning who IIRC also died a few years ago.

Since I'll be there anyway, I'm hoping to catch opening night of the new tour next month in Minneapolis. I understand that there'll be new songs, including several from McVie, so I'm champing at the bit.
I saw them last summer, 2013. They were fantastic! I believe you will be in for a treat.
I'm a huge fan of the original band. I've never had any use for the later, post-Peter Green versions but I understand the appeal. It's weird to me that the original blues band could have ever morphed into the final version simply because the styles are so very different.

Not surprisingly, I've given that question a lot of thought over the years.

Here's my own take - in a (large) nutshell:

Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer - the two most blues-centric songwriters in the original FM - both quit the band pretty early on for mental health related reasons. That left only Danny Kirwan as a songwriter, and Kirwan has a quirky pop sensibility (evident on his solo records) in addition to blues inclinations. With Kirwan as the only remaining songwriter, it was likely that there would be a significant stylistic change in FM's music.

But, the band also needed a new instrumentalist to fill out their sound (just after Green's departure became inevitable). It's no real surprise that they turned to Christine (Perfect) McVie. Her band, Chicken Shack, was an FM sound-alike, they shared a label, and they toured together often. McVie had also already been a studio player on FM's albums, knew their songs, and had recently married John McVie before she signed on with FM. In retrospect, she seems like a pretty natural choice.

IMO, it was Christine McVie whose songwriting defined the future direction of FM. She's a blues player by trade (Chicken Shack), but a pop songwriter. On many of her songs (Don't Stop comes quickly to mind), there's a classic 1-4-5 blues progression (complete with turnaround), under the surface of the pop hit. You can hear a lot of the Buckingham/Nicks era FM in her contributions to the post-Green/pre-Buckingham/Nicks FM albums. At that point, having started the move towards a pop oriented sound behind Christine McVie's songs, they invited Bob Welch, another pop songwriter to join.

From there on, their evolution is pretty linear. IIRC, on the first, eponymous Buckingham/Nicks FM record, three of the first four singles (Warm Ways, Over My Head, and Say You Love Me) were McVie songs. Later, Rhiannon (Nicks) and Monday Morning (Buckingham) also got lots of radio play. Many years later, the Nicks tune Landslide became a hit. But, it was McVie's songs that initially drove the airplay.

I personally believe that Buckingham's ability to track McVie's songs to best effect is the primary reason the band became a radio success. Her songs were always there, waiting to be radio hits, they just needed to be polished and Buckingham is guy who (mostly) applied the polish. Then Nicks became a star for reasons IMO having as much to do with her personal charisma as with her music. When the personal drama of Rumours got the full voyeuristic attention of the record buying public, well - there you go, FM became king of the pop music world.

Ironically, tho I'll always love Peter Green's playing (and really like what Spencer and Kirwan do with a guitar, too), Buckingham has always commanded my interest at a higher level. He's the pop craftsman that can take a fair bit of credit for FM's sound, but his songs cover a huge range of styles, not all of which are radio friendly.

IMO, it's only when you see the band live, however, that you can appreciate the huge range of music that FM has mastered. The pop hits are there, of course, but you'll get experimental sounds on extended takes of songs like World Turning and/or Gold Dust Woman and/or Tusk, and monster electric guitar workouts like I'm So Afraid and/or Come. You may even get some old Green era blues rock, if Buckingham (along with Neal Heywood) fires up the absolutely smokin' version of Oh Well. And, as a bonus, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are a monster rhythm section that rocks harder than you'd ever believe.

That's why FM is still my favorite live act, after all these years and all these stylistic and personnel changes.

Martykl, I stand corrected, it was Peter Banks from Yes that I was thinking of.
The real Fleetwood Mac is Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. They have played with a lot of people since Peter Green etc. Kind of like Lynard Skynard or even the Allman Bros, who have both had a couple/three mainstays and numerous other memebers. Obviously the music has changed more with Mac.
"Doesn't remember John McVie". I think he was a founding member wasn't he?

"Future Games". I've been searching out a nice copy and found it! A great lp!

I'm one who was born too late to remember the early years, but I've tried to catch up. I recently purchased the Speakers Corner "The Pious Bird Of Good Omen", I presume this is somewhat a culling of their best songs from earlier lps. What a great lp!

I've been a fan of the Kirwan & Welch years also. I believe I like the early years more than the later in spite of all of the "hits" produced in the later years. I always thought Mick Fleetwood was an excellent drummer, I'm becoming more aware that Peter Green was a "God" regarding his interpretation of the blues/rock scene.

Per my post above, Bob Brunning played bass on FM's first few gigs because John McVie was reluctant to leave his steady gig with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, notwithstanding the fact that Green and Fleetwood were bolting from Mayall to start their new band. I believe that one of those early shows made it to a live album, so J McVie isn't really a founding member. OTOH, he did join within a few months and has been there without fail for the 45+ years that followed, so - yeah - he's definitely a long timer.
John McVie is the Mac in Fleetwood Mac. Band name given by Peter Green. Apologies if someone else already posted this.
so appropos of nothing much i listened to the whole of tusk tonite and conclude that it is in fact the fm masterpiece, at least of the latter day iteration--vastly superior to the overrated, biggerselling fleetwood mac and runours. it helps me to understand your lindsey buckingham fixation--he's stellar here, with the brian wilson thing really happening.

I kind of agree. I always place Pet Sounds, The White Album, Exile, and Tusk in a class of their own as outlying artistic statements from bands expected to simply fire up another collection of radio hits. (It's easy to forget how deliberately outré the White Album sounded on first listen.) Obviously, Tusk has a special place in my heart, given my own quirky fascination with FM. I'd personally be a little kinder to the previous two FM albums (taken on their own terms, both shone IMO) but I'd also be the first to acknowledge that Tusk is braver and more ambitious than either of them.

IMO, Tusk a great record largely because it eschews the mass appeal of the previous two mega-hits. To really appreciate it, however, I believe that it must be heard live. As good as the record is, I also believe that (along with Say You Will), Tusk is the anomalous FM record in that the power of one writer's songs (Buckingham's in the case of Tusk and Nicks' in the case of SYW) is diminished in the tracking - very unusual for FM which is usually expertly recorded IMO.

When I first heard it performed live, Tusk just astonished me. The rockers became absolutely ferocious and the range of the band as they move from ballad to pop hit to stripped down rock was pretty incredible. FM did a mini-set from Tusk on the last tour and I thought it was the highlight of the show. Sadly, I suspect they won't go there again this time out, simply because they have a large catalog and like to change it up.

I'm glad you're enjoying the record, I hope that you do get an opportunity to hear it at its best -live, live, live- one day.
The pretty boy and wanna-be witch ruined fleetwood muck.
Judy...Judy...Judy, such a cynic. I hope Stevie casts a spell on you.
A rap and punk-loving friend, who generally disdains melodic pop) uncharacteristically idolizes "tusk" on the basis that "the songs sound like nursery rhymes." it's a good observation--the bulk of it is fundamentally simple, three-chord tunes indelibly pounded into your skull by virtue of buckingham's drive and intensity--it's the rare record where you remember the songs the first time you hear them.
Judy, I think that after Peter Green left it was all over. But there's no denying that every subsequent incarnation had its fans, esp. the last one. I'm not among the fans of the later groups but the first one was amazing.
Lindsey and Stevie turned them into a bubblegum band.
HI,I like all there albums,and think Lindsay and stevie are a awesome pair of musicians.Shes a bit of a honey too. I must say.
When I learned that in the parking lot out back of Sound City the band told Stevie that they were going to leave Silver Springs off the album, I totally lost interest in them. One the best pop songs ever written and these stupid musicians couldn't even know a good song when they heard one. Monday Morning pales before this masterpiece.
Silver springs is a very good alright.Surely they wouldn't make a decision like that in the parking lot.What happened to bob Welch,I may have spelt his name wrong.I liked some of his stuff
All of this discussion over the different versions of FM sent me to amazon to investigate Peter Green era recordings. I found a 3 disc live set recorded in 1970 called Boston that was released last month. It looks like a bundling of 3 separate live releases from the early 2000's. I have no exposure to Peter Green era FM. Is this a good place to start or are the studio releases a better bet? I do like the blues/rock bands from that era like Trapeze and Savoy Brown.
Good stuff. Thanks.Ive never seen fleetwood mac live.I miss the live stuff, busy working these days, mine sites etc.Let us know what the album is like, if you wouldnt mind please.
I have a lot of the Boston stuff--it's good, but start with the studio stuff. One of the first albums plus "Then Play On" would make sense.

The Boston tapes contain a lot of extended jams that would not be everyone's cup of tea.
Great,ill have to access them,cheers.

I happen to like Silver Springs very much (tho not quite as much as you do), so I understand your point, but....

1) The song was left off Rumours (tho included as the B side to the first Rumours single "Go Your Own Way"). "Monday Morning" was on the previous FM album, so I'm not sure where you're going with that comparison. It was never either/or between those songs.

2) At the time, Rumours became the biggest selling album ever. It's hard to dismiss the judgement ("stupid musicians") of the band on the Rumours tracklist when the result is that kind of overwhelming response .

3) Although I've read conflicting reports about the decision process re: "Silver Springs", two things are clear:

The band liked the song A LOT and

The decision to omit it wasn't taken lightly. They knew full well that Nicks was pissed off by the decision, she was fast becoming their commercial bread and butter, and they did it anyway.

The most persuasive version of the story that I've heard (you may prefer another, and there are several) is that Richard Daschut (along with Ken Caillat one of the producers on Rumours) lobbied hard for the inclusion of the song. The push back came because contractual obligations to Warners limited the cumulative length of the content of the album. There was also an informal agreement within the band that allowed for each songwriter (Buckingham, Nicks, and McVie) "fair" access to the publishing and residual opportunities - that is, they would each get a roughly even # of songs on FM albums.

Buckingham (the least prolific songwriter of the three) and had three tracks on Rumours. "The Chain" was credited to the band. That left room (per the Warners agreement) for seven more tracks and Nicks was going to get at least three, as was McVie. In the end, McVie got the last spot (I've read multiple versions of the dynamics behind that decision as well) and "Silver Springs" was the odd song out.

BTW, Mick Fleetwood liked the song so much that he pissed off Stevie Nicks AGAIN some years later when he refused to allow her to use it on a solo album, insisting that it was FM's property and would be included on one of their future albums (which turned out to be The Dance).

Bottom line - the decision to exclude the song doesn't really say much of anything about the band's musical judgement. It was just an odd set of circumstances.

Mr Nice -

Welch left FM to pursue a solo career. He had a brief minute in the sun with a couple of hits, but eventually fell on hard times and, sadly, ended up killing himself last year. As to the live Boston material, it's a great opportunity to hear Peter Green's remarkable improvisational skills but - per Tostado's post - it's not for everyone. You might want to check out "Men of the World" a 3 disc compilation of FM's early material.
Wicked, thankyou.Sorry to here about bob welch.Ebony eyes blew me away as a 16 year old out there, taking in all the music I could.And pretty much everything really.
Thanks for the explanation Mr. Nice and the correction re: Rumours. The thing about The Dance is that is doesn't really count because it is live and after the fact and it doesn't sound like the original studio track. But at least finally, Stevie did get it on her solo album in its original form.

Hi steve, thank martyki, he knows his stuff.
Hi there peoples,I just heard a album from peter green,in the skies.I would like to hear some more of his,if you could recommend please.
Hey Misternice. Do you have the early Fleetwood Mac recordings with him in the band? Original Fleetwood Mac, Mr. Wonderful and English Rose are a little uneven but worthwhile. There's some overlap in content between Mr. Wonderful and English Rose (one US release, the other UK - if I recall correctly. Certain someone will step in to correct me if that's muddled). I especially like, Then Play On. There's no denying the guitar playing prowess of early Fleetwood Mac with Green, Jeremy Spencer and, a bit later, Danny Kirwan.

Interest in Peter Green's music will be rewarded. Wikipedia has a separate entry for his solo discography (just Google, 'Wikipedia Peter Green Discography'). Also check out Discogs, 'Peter Green(2)'. There's another Peter Green listed. The blues guitarist in discussion here is listed as Peter Green (2). Samples usually available at Discogs and Amazon, of course.

English Rose is a single disc compilation and highly recommended IMO. You'll get a good taste of Green's style and a couple of highlights from Jeremy Spencer (especially Evenin' Boogie, a fantastic slide guitar workout) and Danny Kirwan (especially Something Inside of Me, a fierce blues rocker). The handful of Green tracks include the radio hits Black Magic Woman and Albatross.

If you want a broader sampling, I'd recommend Men of The World, a three disc compilation of Mac's early years. Lots of Green and a better sampling of Kirwan, too.

The first, self-titled FM album is a great set of blues rockers and Then Play On is a fantastic experimental blues rock album. Both of these show off Green at his best.

As to Green's solo material, it's pretty spotty. The songwriting just isn't as consistent and Skies (the one you already own) is probably the best of the lot IMO. In many cases, the songs aren't written by Peter Green and they just don't do the trick for me. The guitar playing is erratic, too, unfocused stretches followed by terrific moments.

BTW, Green's first solo record "The End of The Game" is really polarizing. One long jam that some find mesmerizing and others find infuriating. I love Peter, but I'm usually in the latter camp.

Good Luck.
Martyk1 - appreciate the breadth of your music knowledge. Enjoy your music comments and typically (especially in contentious threads) find myself agreeing with you. As I've commented before, seems like we have similar tastes.

Thanx for the kind words and back atcha. Debating those with divergent opinions can be fun, but I always find it even more rewarding to discover a kindred spirit on the board.
Thankyou.Ive been focusing on building a music system this last year and a bit.Now Im nearly there,Ill switch back to getting some new recordings.Records will have to wait,abit longer.thanks again.
Hi,Im not sure what early recordings,I have,my records have been in storage for 3 years.I will try to access,your recommending albums,in due time.Im just about to listen to live in boston,a cd I didn't realize,I had.
There are a number of recordings of Fleetwood Mac performing live in Boston - it's sort of a tradition going way back to the earliest days of the band. There's a CD set from 2004 called "Live In Boston" that features Peter Green and company. It was released in three parts and I personally prefer Volume 1 by a fair bit, tho volumes two and three have their own moments. There's a lot of overlap on the tracklist of V1 and V2, while V3 is mostly less familiar material.

Of course, because it's Fleetwood Mac, there was also a 2004 release called "Live in Boston" that features Buckingham, Nicks et al. This is one CD and two DVDs. If you like this edition of the band, it's a great example of modern Mac at its best: live.

Whichever you've got, it should be a fun listen for you.
Thanks for the suggestion, Marty. Didn't have any of the 1970's era FW Mac Live in Boston. Found a 2014 release on Amazon with all 3 discs in one collection. Discs 1 & 2 can be had separately at a reasonable price. Disc 3 is going for like a hundred bucks. If you want vinyl, Elusive Disc is now carrying Vols 1-3 on 180 g vinyl (3 double LPs, I think). $30 a pop. After ordering I fired up the system and connected to YouTube to sample some of what I bought. Rattlesnake Shake off Vol 1 is up along with a number of other cuts. Thing that made the evening, however, is at the link below. It's from a compilation. Nothing to do with the Boston stuff. If you want to hear something electrifying and what The Mac was all about, "back in the day", check it out. Hope you enjoy. CRANK IT UP.


Enjoy the recordings. I'm pretty sure you will.
Marty and all - don't miss the music at that link. Also ordered "The Vaudeville Years" where that track can be found. Love how the drums are mic'd.
I'll definitely check it out. Thanx for the heads up.
Marty -
Got "The Vaudeville Years". While it has some good music on it, it also has a bit of 'filler' (at least in my opinion); i.e., some tedious and not so funny 'humorous' bits by Jeremy Spencer. It's a 2 CD set and I'm thinking at least a third of the content could have been left out.

I actually don't own that recording (it's one of the few FM recordings that I missed), but I do remember that Jeremy Spencer was notorious for his "stand-up schtick" (including musical impersonations - Elvis was a favorite at one time) at early Mac concerts. Some people loved it, but i wasn't among them. Fortunately, the guy is a bad-ass with a slide on his finger.

BTW, loved the Youtube link you provided on the 19th. Thanx for the heads up.