Fleetwood Mac - Peter Green´s Fleetwood Mac (1st Album UK Blues 1968)

Rabu, 10 Oktober 2012

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Fleetwood Mac were formed in 1967 in London when Peter Green left the British blues band John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Green had replaced guitarist Eric Clapton in the Bluesbreakers, and received critical acclaim for his work on their album, A Hard Road. After he had been in the Bluesbreakers for some time, Green asked if drummer Mick Fleetwood could replace Aynsley Dunbar. Peter had been in two bands with Fleetwood; Peter B's Looners and the subsequent Shotgun Express (which featured a young vocalist named Rod Stewart). John Mayall agreed and Fleetwood became a member of the band.

The Bluesbreakers now consisted of Green, Fleetwood, John McVie, and Mayall. Mayall gave Green free recording time as a gift, in which Fleetwood, McVie, and Green recorded five songs. The fifth song was an instrumental that Green named after the rhythm section, "Fleetwood Mac."

Fleetwood and McVie were known for their regular drunkenness. In fact, McVie had been fired from the band several times for his drunkenness (once replaced by Jack Bruce, which led to the formation of Cream). Fleetwood was fired from the band because of his drinking problems. Green decided to leave the band and was replaced by future Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor.

Formation of the band
Green contacted Fleetwood to form a new band. The pair desperately wanted McVie on bass and even named the band 'Fleetwood Mac' as a way to entice McVie. However, McVie decided that his pay with the Bluesbreakers was just too good to give up. In the meantime, Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood teamed up with talented slide player Jeremy Spencer and bassist Bob Brunning, who was in the band on the understanding that if and when McVie agreed to join, he would leave. This version of the band made its debut on August 13, 1967 at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival. Within weeks of this show, John McVie agreed to become the bassist for the band.

Fleetwood Mac's first album, Fleetwood Mac, was a no frills blues album and was released on the Blue Horizon label in February 1968. In fact, there were no other players on the album (except for the song "Long Grey Mare," which was recorded when Bob Brunning was in the band). The album was hugely successful in the U.K., though it did not have any singles on it. To alleviate that, the band released two singles "Black Magic Woman" (later a big hit for Santana) and "Need Your Love So Bad."

The band's second album, Mr. Wonderful, was released in August 1968. Like the first album, it was an all-blues album, but this time they had a few more frills. For example, they had it produced to sound as if it were twenty years older than it really was. They also added horns and featured a friend of the band's on keyboards, Christine Perfect of Chicken Shack.

Shortly after the release of their second album, Fleetwood Mac added a third guitarist, Danny Kirwan, to their line-up. Kirwan brought a more easy going, harmony-rich sound that was reminiscent of the sort of bands playing in California at the time. With Kirwan, the band released its first number one single in Europe, "Albatross." Around this time, the band released its second American album, English Rose, which contained half of Mr. Wonderful, a few new songs from their new guitarist, and its third European album called The Pious Bird Of Good Omen, which was a collection of singles, b-sides, and a selection of some work the band did with Eddie Boyd.

When the band went to the United States in January 1969, they recorded many songs at the soon to close Chess Records Studio, with some of the musical "legends" of Chicago, including Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, and Otis Spann. These would prove, however, to be Fleetwood Mac's last all-blues recordings. Along with their change of style, the band was also going through some label changes. Up until this point, they had been on Blue Horizon. With Kirwan in the band, however, the musical possibilities were too great for them to stay on a blues-only label. The band signed with the Immediate label and released "Man Of The World", another British and European hit single. Immediate was in bad shape and the band shopped around for a new deal. Even though the Beatles wanted the band on Apple Records, the band's manager Clifford Davis decided to go with Warner Bros. Records, the label they have stayed with ever since. Their first album for Warners, released in September of 1969, was the well-regarded Then Play On. The American release of this album contains the song "Oh Well", featured consistently in live performances until 1997. Then Play On, which was the band's first rock album, featured only the songs of Kirwan and Green. Jeremy Spencer, meanwhile, recorded a solo album (he was backed by the rest of the band) that consisted of many 1950s-style rock and roll songs.

Fleetwood Mac were arguably the most popular band in Europe at the time. However, Peter Green, the frontman of the band, was not in good health. He had been spiked with LSD in Munich, which began the onset of his schizophrenia. In Munich, Green penned what would be his last hit with Fleetwood Mac, "The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Prong Crown)" (which was later recorded by Judas Priest). Green's mental stability deteriorated, and he wanted to give all of the band's money to charity. The rest of the band did not concur.

Green decided to leave the band. His last show with Fleetwood Mac was on May 20, 1970. During that show, the band went past their allotted time, and the power was shut off. Mick Fleetwood kept drumming. The band, somewhat reluctantly, kept on without Peter Green and despite press reports suggesting Danny Kirwan would assume leadership, the media-savvy Fleetwood took over as business manager of the band.

Danny and Jeremy were left with the task of having to fill up Peter's space in their shows and on their recordings. In September 1970, Fleetwood Mac released Kiln House. Danny's songs moved the band in the direction of 70s rock. Meanwhile, Jeremy's contributions focused on recreating the country-tinged "Sun Sound" of the late 1950s. John's wife, Christine, who had retired from the music business after one unsuccessful solo album made many contributions to "Kiln House," singing backup vocals, playing keyboards, and even drawing the album cover. Since the band was sounding too "thin" at its tour rehearsals, they decided to ask Christine McVie to join the band. They also released a single at that time; "Dragonfly" b/w "The Purple Dancer" in the U.K. and certain European countries. The single was not a success and the B-side has only been reissued once, on a Reprise German-only "Best of" album, making it one of their most obscure songs.

Christine was best known as the former keyboardist for Chicken Shack. She had had success with the Etta James classic, "I'd Rather Go Blind", and was twice voted female artist of the year in England. Christine McVie played her first gig as an official member on August 6, 1970 in New Orleans. CBS Records, which now owned Blue Horizon, released an album of previously unreleased material from the original Fleetwood Mac called The Original Fleetwood Mac. The album was relatively successful, and the band seemed to be gaining popularity again.

While on tour in February 1971, Jeremy Spencer said he was going out to "get a magazine", but never returned. After several days of frantic searching, the band discovered that Spencer had joined a religious group, the Children of God. Liable for the remaining shows on the tour they convinced Peter Green to help finish the tour. He brought along his friend, Nigel Watson, who played the congas (twenty-five years later Green and Watson would collaborate again to form the Peter Green Splinter Group). The band replaced Jeremy’s portion of the set with 90 minute instrumental improvisations of "Black Magic Woman". Green, however, would only be with Fleetwood Mac temporarily, so the band decided to search for a new guitarist.

In the summer of 1971, the band held auditions for a guitarist in their large country home, "Benifold", which they bought prior to the Kiln House tour. A friend of the band named Judy Wong recommended her high school friend, Bob Welch, who was living in Paris at the time. The band had a few meetings with Welch and decided to hire him, without actually playing with him or listening to any of his recordings.

In September 1971, the band released Future Games. This album was radically different from anything the band had done up to that point. There were many new fans in America who were becoming more and more interested in the band. In Europe, CBS released Fleetwood Mac's first Greatest Hits package, which was predominantly comprised of songs by Peter Green, though there was one song by Jeremy and one by Danny.

In 1972, six months after the release of Future Games, the band released the well-received album Bare Trees. Bare Trees featured Bob Welch's "Sentimental Lady", which would be a much bigger hit for him five years later when he re-recorded it, backed with Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, and Lindsey Buckingham, for a solo album. It also featured "Spare Me a Little of Your Love," a bright Christine McVie tune that would become a staple of the band's live act throughout the early-to-mid 1970s.

While the band was doing well in the studio, their tours were more problematic. Danny Kirwan developed an alcohol dependency and became alienated from Welch and the McVies. It wasn't until he smashed his Les Paul Custom guitar, refused to go on stage one night, and criticised the band afterwards that Fleetwood finally decided that he had no choice but to fire Kirwan.

The next two and a half years proved to be the most challenging for the band. In the three albums they would release in this period, they would constantly change line-ups. In September of 1972, the band added guitarist Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker, formerly of Savoy Brown. Fleetwood Mac also hired Savoy Brown's road manager, John Courage. Mick, John, Christine, Welch, Weston, and Walker recorded Penguin, which was released in January, 1973. After the tour, the band fired Walker because his vocal style and attitude did not fit in with the rest of the band.

The remaining five carried on and recorded Mystery To Me six months later. This album contained the song "Hypnotized", which got a lot of airplay on the radio and became one of the band’s most recognisable songs to date. While the album was a hit, things were not well within the band. The McVies' marriage at this time was under a lot of stress, which was aggravated by constantly working with each other, and John McVie's considerable alcohol abuse. During the tour, Weston had an affair with Fleetwood's wife, Jenny Boyd Fleetwood (whose sister, Pattie Boyd, was the subject of Eric Clapton’s classic "Layla"). Fleetwood soon fired Weston and the tour was cancelled.

01. My Heart Beats Like A Hammer  
02. Merry Go Round  
03. Long Grey Mare  
04. Shake Your Moneymaker  
05. Looking For Somebody  
06. No Place To Go  
07. My Baby's Good To Me  
08. I Loved Another Woman  
09. Cold Black Night  
10. World Keeps On Turning, The  
11. Got To Move  
12. My Heart Beat Like A Hammer (Take 1)

Bonus Tracks:  
13. Merry Go Round (Take 1)  
14. I Loved Another Woman (Takes 1,2,3 & 4)  
15. I Loved Another Woman (Takes 5 & 6)  
16. Cold Black Night (Takes 1,2,3,4,5 & 6)  
17. You're So Evil  
18. I'm Coming Home To Stay  

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