Fleetwood Mac through the years

Rudy

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I don't know if we've ever done a thread on Fleetwood Mac, but I just read a nice overview of the earliest version of the band with Peter Green and it has me wanting to start exploring some of those early albums.


One of the comments mention splitting up his (or her) collection of Fleetwood Mac into three groups--the Peter Green era, the Bob Welch era, then the Lindsay/Stevie era.

I can't think of any formal structure to this thread, other than to start a discussion and have us chime in with some records of ours that are favorites. Their solo recordings are also worthy of a discussion, anything from the Buckingham Nicks album to the solo records by Christine McVie and Lindsay Buckingham. (I'm no fan of Stevie Nicks, so I don't really have much of an opinion of her solo works. But feel free to discuss!)

One album I'm lukewarm towards does have some interesting tracks on it--Mystery To Me. The standouts to me are "Emerald Eyes" and "Hypnotized," which got airplay here regularly on rock radio.



 

Bobberman

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I like the Bare trees era with Bob Welch his Original Sentimental Lady from that album Is my favorite I wish he would have used the complete lyrics in his 1977 solo remake that would have equalled it
 

Harry

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I remember speaking with our DJ, Andre Gardner, about Fleetwood Mac, and he relayed that our PD had informed him that many of the Fleetwood Mac WB singles had different dedicated single mixes on the 45s. I mentioned that I had a bunch of them, brought them in and he was in seventh heaven hearing these different mixes. In the intervening years, I don't know if those mixes ever saw another release, but they are interesting to listen to.
 
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jfiedler17

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The single mixes of "Rhiannon," "Over My Head," "Say You Love Me" in particular are dramatically different from the mixes featured on the album (and were included as bonus cuts on the 2004 CD reissue of the first album with Buckingham and Nicks aboard); I personally like the single mixes a whole lot better. They just sound a whole lot cleaner and more vibrant.

Of the Buckingham-Nicks-era albums, I'm fondest of Tango in the Night and Tusk. Not that the first two albums from that lineup (the self-titled '75 disc and Rumours) aren't amazing, of course, but they're so inescapable on the radio (even the non-singles from Rumours get more airplay than a lot of other bands' hits!) that when I'm in the mood at home to listen to the band, I tend to reach for deep cuts from later albums, like Tusk's "What Makes You Think You're the One," "Never Forget," "Not That Funny" or "The Ledge" or Mirage's "Eyes of the World" or "Oh Diane" or Tango in the Night's "Seven Wonders" (technically a hit, I know, but you never hear it nearly as often as "Little Lies" or "Everywhere", so it practically feels like a deep cut these days) or "You and I, Pt. II" or "Caroline."

I admittedly haven't listened to a great deal of the Peter Green-era material other than Then Play On, but I do quite like the Welch-and-McVie-led era (Kiln House, too; it's spotty, maybe, but the three Kirwan-sung songs are all worthwhile listens) and have always found it somewhat unfortunate and head-scratching (especially given just how much output the band recorded for Reprise prior to the Buckingham-Nicks era) that not only has the band and Warners never issued a compilation devoted to the '69-'74 period to bring some more attention to their back catalog but that they've hardly ever included anything from the Welch years on any of their compilations (save for The Chain boxed set and the triple-disc edition of 50 Years - Don't Stop). I was surprised that they didn't at least throw "Hypnotized" or "Sentimental Lady" onto the single-disc edition of 50 Years (or, for that matter, the Very Best of Fleetwood Mac double-disc package that Warners and Rhino put out in '02). I can't tell you how many friends I have who have heard "Hypnotized" for the first time and come to me in amazement, not simply from being floored by the song itself but because they didn't realize the band even existed prior to the Buckingham-Nicks era, so I feel like Warners really hasn't done the greatest of jobs in making people aware of those early albums from Then Play On through Heroes Are Hard to Find.

As far as the solo albums go, I'm not especially big on the Stevie Nicks stuff, either (I don't dislike it by any means - I just don't get especially fired up by most of it; I like her songs better when she's got Lindsey around to help arrange them), so I tend to either go to McVie's self-titled '84 album (with "Got a Hold on Me"), Buckingham's Out of the Cradle or Law and Order, or Bob Welch's Man Overboard (which, aside from being an incredibly underrated album, was also the first pop album I ever owned, so I've got a bit of a sentimental attachment to it as well).
 

Rudy

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Of the Buckingham-Nicks-era albums, I'm fondest of Tango in the Night and Tusk.
In recent years I find that I reach for Tusk more than any others from the Buckingham-Nicks era, and I am most fond of Christine's tracks on that album ("Over & Over," "Brown Eyes," "Never Make Me Cry"). Buckingham's are sometimes a bit nutty but a lot of fun to listen to. The self-titled album is also one I like on occasion, but I've long burnt out on Rumours from radio overplaying it to death. "Rhiannon" was probably the only track that got played locally from the self-titled album.
 

Mike Blakesley

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I first became aware of Fleetwood Mac in my early years working in the music store. A guy a couple of years older than me was a fan and asked me to order the Bare Trees album, which contained the much beloved "Sentimental Lady." He played it for me before taking the record home, and I remember thinking it was OK but nothing spectacular. (I was still pretty wet behind the ears, musically, in 1971 and hadn't really gotten into rock'n'roll yet -- that wouldn't happen until the next year.)

Anyway, when the self-titled album with Buckingham and Nicks came along, and the song "Over My Head" started to get some traction, I decided to try the album out for some in-store play and I was instantly hooked. Unlike the majority of humanity, I was not enthralled with Stevie Nicks; Christine McVie was my girl singer of choice and she's still among my favorite singers today.

When Rumours came out, I took the album home the night before it went on sale and listened to it on headphones. This is going to be big, I thought -- and I was right. I have no idea how many hundreds of copies of that album we sold.

When the next album Tusk came out, anticipation was so high that I "over-ordered" on it (for the size of our store). I still remember the order to this day: 25 LP, 10 8 track, 10 cassette. For most new "hits," a big order for me was 10, 5 and 5, plus this was a double album on top of it, making it cost even more. The total of the Tusk order was around $750, which was the most we'd ever spent on one new album. The shipment arrived, as usual, the day before it went on sale so just as with Rumours, I took the album home and settled in with my headphones for four sides of new Fleetwood Mac. Since we didn't have a decent radio station at that time I hadn't even heard the "Tusk" single yet.

The album artwork was downright weird, I thought as I put Side One on the turntable. Things started out relatively nicely, with the Christine McVie ballad "Over and Over," but as the album unfolded I started having this sinking feeling. This was NOT the radio-friendly power-pop of Rumours, this was almost-punk, disjointed, experimental and in some places, it sounded like it had been recorded very fast -- which I didn't expect, given we'd been waiting for it for about 2 years. The Buckingham tunes, in particular, sounded more like throwaway demos, not like the slickly produced songs he'd put forth on the previous two albums. The McVie tunes were easier to listen to, but had an unfinished-yet-overproduced quality to some of them. The only one of the group who seemed to have stayed the course was Stevie Nicks, who had some killer rock tunes and a couple of really nice ballads. Even Fleetwood's drums sounded positively bizarre on some songs.

The whole time I listened, hoping it would get more "user-friendly" but it never did, I kept thinking about that giant pile of $700 worth of records and tapes down at the store, and wondering how in the hell I was ever going to move it all. I don't think I ever needed to do a reorder on that album!

Before Rumours came out I'd gotten into the earlier albums. Mystery to Me is a favorite today; I think it's their best album outside of the first two Buckingham/Nicks era records. The other Warner Bros albums all have good tunes on them, but most of them have glaring weak spots. I had a few of them on CD but a couple years ago, Warners came out with a box set collecting all of the pre-Buckingham/Nicks albums in mini-LP reproduction sleeves, so I snapped that up. I don't have a lot of use for the earliest records because I'm not into blues, but every album from Future Games on has at least four or five songs that I'd consider favorites.

Their latest efforts, like Say You Will and the most recent EP a few years ago, left me pretty cold. Lindsey Buckingham is a great producer but he's too much of a studio tweaker; I liked the earliest records where he just played and sang, without trying to reinvent the studio in the process. The Tango in the Night album just sounds overproduced and fussed-over to me. When he left the band, they came out with two interim albums, Behind the Mask and Time, that are pretty forgettable. The album he did with Christine McVie in 2016 (which was supposed to be a Fleetwood Mac album but they could never get Nicks to play along) was really nice, but it could have used some Nicks harmonies and a couple of her songs to make it a real FM album. And it still has that overproduced quality.

There is a new album by Buckingham out just recently, it's self titled and has some dynamite work on it. Some of the songs sound like they could have been Mac tracks.

"Rhiannon" was probably the only track that got played locally from the self-titled album.

Really? What about "Say You Love Me?" That tune seemed to be everywhere!
 

Harry

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Other than the singles I have, I also own a greatest hits album on CD. That was always enough Fleetwood Mac for me with 16 hits on it. But, somewhere along the line, I managed to add these to the collection:
- a CD-R copy of the RUMOURS album sourced from a 45 RPM release of the album
- two CDs of SAY YOU WILL,one with a gold promo stamp.
- a CD-R copy of the "Peacekeeper" single with a slightly different vocal on one section to remove a controversial lyric.
- a CD-R copy of the BUCKINGHAM NICKS album, allegedly sourced from some kind of master tapes.
 

Rudy

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Unlike the majority of humanity, I was not enthralled with Stevie Nicks; Christine McVie was my girl singer of choice and she's still among my favorite singers today.
She was the "heartthrob" during those years--sure, I could see that, but her singing has always rubbed me the wrong way. On top of rarely understand a word she's singing.

Really? What about "Say You Love Me?" That tune seemed to be everywhere!
Rarely heard it. "Rhiannon" was the main one, and then the big tracks from Rumours were hammered hard. Strangely, my favorite track on the album, "Second Hand News," never got overplayed (and "The Chain" was thankfully also spared)--you'd heard it occasionally, but the others, local radio destroyed. Even now, those songs are almost as annoying as any single note of The Eagles. And "Don't Stop" is one I'll turn off instantly, ever since it was used for a political campaign.

The whole time I listened, hoping it would get more "user-friendly" but it never did,
I always liked selected tracks from the album, and I kind of get what they were after now that the decades have passed. That is why it's an album I'll pull out every so often.

- a CD-R copy of the RUMOURS album sourced from a 45 RPM release of the album
That pressing sounds fantastic--it puts every other commercial release of it to shame. Compared to it, the standard Warner pressing sounds like it was recorded behind a wet blanket. This 45 RPM set almost made me want to listen to Rumours again. 🤣 I do play it, but not all that often, and I skip the most overplayed of the tracks...or anything Nicks opens up her mouth on where she's the lead voice.

- a CD-R copy of the BUCKINGHAM NICKS album, allegedly sourced from some kind of master tapes.
Yeah, I have *cough* heard of that one also *cough*. (I'm told it's a case of, "If I told ya, I'd have to kill ya." 🤣 ) Andre loves that one, BTW...
 

Mike Blakesley

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The Buckingham Nicks album comes up in discussion every time a Fleetwood Mac milestone "anniversary" comes around. I remember talk about it coming out on CD when the band had its 40th anniversary, then when the 50th arrived it was talked about again, but nothing ever seems to happen. I suppose by now it's past its "sell-by" date and not many people would care any more. They sure left a lot of money on the table there!

I will say that the Tusk album definitely grew on me over the years. I've even gotten to like some of the Buckingham tunes. It sure was a hard album to sell at the time, though.... people would ask me if it was good (because they weren't all that certain about spending $11.99 on one album) and I would have to say well, yeah it's good, but it's different, it will grow on ya, etc. But I had more than one person come back telling me that they didn't like the album too much.

My favorite song on it by Buckingham has long been "I Know I'm Not Wrong," but in virtually all of the CD releases of the album, the original mix has been replaced with a version that has more backing vocals and more of that over-tweaked "production" added to it, that just wrecks it in my book. I was glad to see the original mix resurface on one of the more recent deluxe versions of the album. (They did the same thing with Stevie's song "Straight Back," from the Mirage album.... it wasn't until the deluxe 2-disk set from a few years ago that the original mix finally made it to a CD.)
 

Rudy

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The Buckingham Nicks album comes up in discussion every time a Fleetwood Mac milestone "anniversary" comes around. I remember talk about it coming out on CD when the band had its 40th anniversary, then when the 50th arrived it was talked about again, but nothing ever seems to happen. I suppose by now it's past its "sell-by" date and not many people would care any more. They sure left a lot of money on the table there!
As I understood it, it's a matter of either Buckingham or Nicks not wanting it released. Yeah, I agree--it's not as good as the later Fleetwood Mac albums but it still has a lot of solid tunes on it that deserve a wider audience. Two or three could have been lifted right off of that album and dropped into Fleetwood Mac and fit in perfectly, especially "Crying In The Night."

My favorite song on it by Buckingham has long been "I Know I'm Not Wrong," but in virtually all of the CD releases of the album, the original mix has been replaced with a version that has more backing vocals and more of that over-tweaked "production" added to it, that just wrecks it in my book. I was glad to see the original mix resurface on one of the more recent deluxe versions of the album.
I wonder if any of the others were altered. I still have my original vinyl from when it was first released, and it plays nicely as I didn't play it all that often. (Like you said earlier it had weird packaging.) I need to compare some of those to the hi-res version I have from HD Tracks.
 

Mike Blakesley

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I guess the saddest part of the Fleetwood Mac story is how the "old" band got overshadowed when Buckingham and Nicks came into the group. If Bob Welch hadn't been in the band, they probably never would have met Lindsey and Stevie, because they'd probably have stayed longer in England. Mick wouldn't have been shopping around California for a recording studio and that engineer never would have played "Frozen Love" for him. It's funny how the path of life can change so dramatically from one small instance.

Yet Bob Welch gets almost no respect these days, except for "Sentimental Lady," but some of his songs were absolute killers, especially "Hypnotized." That whole first side of the Mystery To Me album is just one great tune after another. My other favorite on it is "Keep On Going" which is a bit of a rarity because although it was written by Welch, it was sung by Christine McVie -- one of the very few times a Fleetwood Mac song was sung by someone other than its writer. I'm not sure if it ever happened again after that, unless you count duets.
 

jfiedler17

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Yet Bob Welch gets almost no respect these days, except for "Sentimental Lady," but some of his songs were absolute killers, especially "Hypnotized." That whole first side of the Mystery To Me album is just one great tune after another. My other favorite on it is "Keep On Going" which is a bit of a rarity because although it was written by Welch, it was sung by Christine McVie -- one of the very few times a Fleetwood Mac song was sung by someone other than its writer. I'm not sure if it ever happened again after that, unless you count duets.

Yeah, Welch gets awfully overlooked these days, both for his tenure with the band and his solo career (I can't remember the last time I even heard "Ebony Eyes" or "Sentimental Lady" on any of the terrestrial radio stations in my area; I also find it odd that none of his post-3 Hearts singles even so much as dented the Hot 100, 'cause there are some later singles of his that are every bit as infectious, especially the ones from Man Overboard). Welch may no longer have been in the band by the time they shot to superstardom in the U.S., but he both kept the band afloat in the years immediately following the exits of Green, Kirwan, and Spencer, and he's responsible for both inspiring the group to move to the U.S. and taking their music in a considerably more pop-oriented direction in the '70s. If not for that, they might have continued on as more of a blues-rock-oriented outfit, and neither Buckingham nor Nicks would have been a good fit for the band.

And I wholeheartedly agree that the first side of Mystery to Me is amazing - all solid songs in my book. "Hypnotized" is the one that gets all the raves - and rightfully so (it's arguably the most underrated single the band ever made) - but "Emerald Eyes," "Forever," "Just Crazy Love" and "Keep on Going" are nearly just as appealing. (The second side is spottier, but I do like "Miles Away" and even the much-criticized cover of "For Your Love," which I actually think I prefer to the Yardbirds' version, though I realize I may be completely alone on that one!) Next to Tusk, it's probably the Fleetwood Mac album I listen to the most, actually!

Agreed that Say You Will was disappointing. There are some fairly good tunes scattered throughout (my favorites being "Peacekeeper," "What's the World Coming To," "Bleed to Love Her," and "Steal Your Heart Away"), but the album is just too doggone long for its own good (I'd have excised at least six or seven songs, maybe even eight); Nicks' material in particular doesn't strike me as being anywhere nearly as infectious as the songs she's offered to the band in the past, either, though I like the title cut; and McVie's absence is most definitely felt.
 

Rudy

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Agreed that Say You Will was disappointing. There are some fairly good tunes scattered throughout (my favorites being "Peacekeeper," "What's the World Coming To," "Bleed to Love Her," and "Steal Your Heart Away"), but the album is just too doggone long for its own good (I'd have excised at least six or seven songs, maybe even eight);
Ever since the CD era started, artists seemed like they were compelled to fill the disc more. And I don't think it was a good decision, since it only increased the filler and made the albums tedious to listen to. Looking back at albums in general, we were happy with about 30-45 minutes of music on an album, with the sweet spot being 35-40 minutes. It was often eight to twelve songs for pop music (top 40, rock, etc.), and that was just the right amount. That is why I've felt that double albums, while they could have a lot of good tracks, were sometimes tedious to get through--there was just too much music to absorb in one sitting. I used to find myself making cassettes of shortened versions of double albums, as there were usually tracks I didn't like. And with longer CD albums, I find I don't connect with them like I used to with LP-length albums back in the day.

There's no reason today's albums couldn't go back to those shorter lengths. Thing is, now you'd get consumers complaining that the album was "too short." Yet I've had some recent albums that were shorter in length and they were a nice listen, since I didn't have to sit through most of them for more than 40 minutes.
 

rockdoctor

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I had never heard of Fleetwood Mac before the release of Over My Head. I therefore cannot comment on the earlier years at this point. I liked the song. Rhiannon was hard to understand but I did get used to Stevie's voice. I bought the album and then Rumours was released and I got that one as well. I picked up a couple of their later albums in thrift stores and found Christine's later solo album in the cutout bin and got that. I purchased the Nicks solo albums as well.
Much later on, I heard Hypnotized for the first time and was enthralled with both the music and the vocals. When their box set appeared in the record club, I bought that as well and listen to that more than the lps. I was very happy that Hypnotized was on that set.
Deep cuts are still played on the radio fairly often, mostly The Chain and Gold Dust Woman. As far as the singles go, the early hits of 1975-77 get the most airplay in this area.
Stevie Nicks' voice did take some getting used to but I do like her albums. It is interesting that Mac's only Number 1 Single-and I think only Gold Single- was a solo by Stevie.
 

Mark-T

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Like you, @Mike Blakesley, Christine McVie's voice was always my choice as well over Stevie Nicks, so my liking of Fleetwood Mac never grew much. I do find You Make Loving Fun the catchiest of all their songs.
 

Mike Blakesley

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I used to find myself making cassettes of shortened versions of double albums, as there were usually tracks I didn't like. And with longer CD albums, I find I don't connect with them like I used to with LP-length albums back in the day.

I did that too, except on CDs. I remember making single-disk versions of Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life, and Neil Diamond's Hot August Night.

For Fleetwood Mac, I made an alternate version of Say You Will where I excised about half the songs, and then inserted three or four relatively recent songs featuring Christine McVie, including one each from Time and Behind the Mask, and one or two of the "non album" songs that had appeared on the "25 Years: The Chain" box set. Those Christine songs didn't really fit with the rest of the album as well as I'd hoped (probably more because they didn't have Lindsey Buckingham production than any other reason), but it still made the album a nicer 40 minute listen.
 

Mike Blakesley

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For anyone interested in doing some pre-Buckingham and Nicks listening but not having the time to go through whole albums, and in hope of maybe spurring some debate, I herewith present my list of favorite Fleetwood Mac tunes from the pre-Buckingham/Nicks era, with the vocalist/writer noted. I once made a compilation CD that includes most if not all of these songs and it's one of my favorites to this day.

Heroes are Hard to Find:
Heroes are Hard To Find (Christine McVie)
Prove Your Love (McVie)
She's Changing Me (Bob Welch)
Bermuda Triangle (Welch) - Bob Welch in his spaciest mode

Mystery to Me:
Emerald Eyes (Welch)
Just Crazy Love (McVie)
Forever (Welch)
Hypnotized (Welch)
Keep On Going (written by Welch, sung by McVie)
The City (Welch)
The Way I Feel (McVie)

Penguin:
Remember Me (McVie)
Dissatisfied (McVie)
Caught in the Rain (instrumental) (Bob Weston)

Bare Trees:
Sentimental Lady (Welch) - much better than his later solo version, IMHO
Child of Mine (Danny Kirwan)
Sunny Side of Heaven (instrumental) (Kirwan)
Dust (Kirwan)
Spare Me A Little Of Your Love (McVie)

Future Games:
Future Games (Welch) (This song could have used some editing in the choruses. I love the ending though)
Show Me A Smile (McVie)

I've heard all of their previous Warner Bros. albums before Future Games but since I'm more a fan of the "pop" side of Fleetwood Mac, none of those songs made my favorites list. "Oh Well" (from Then Play On) is close, but I like the Rockets' version of that song a lot more.
 
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Rudy

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I did that too, except on CDs. I remember making single-disk versions of Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life, and Neil Diamond's Hot August Night.
Amusingly, anyone I know would always play the first three tracks from Hot August Night, and then put another album on afterward. 😁 Although in the right mood, I've enjoyed the entire album as-is, and I believe they even expanded it on CD with more tracks that were performed but missed the double album.

That Stevie Wonder album can be a mixed bag, though. It was two LPs plus a 45 RPM EP with four tracks on it. So it was a handful to consume in one sitting. I would have a hard time trimming this one since there are only maybe four or five tracks I don't care for.
 

Mike Blakesley

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I think Hot August Night was given the deluxe treatment twice -- the first time with two additional songs, and then again with two or three MORE songs plus some stage dialog that had been trimmed out. That's the one I've got, supposedly it has the entire concert on it.
 

Rudy

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Just looking at different versions I own, plus what is available on Qobuz, the Mobile Fidelity 2-CD set shows 22 tracks, where recent releases show 29 tracks, one of those being the musician introductions. I need to do a direct comparison to see what songs were added.

I bought the Mobile Fidelity LP when it came out and much later, got a used copy of the Mobile Fidelity 2-CD set. Prior to that, I had borrowed copies to make a cassette and they were always trashed. More like Hot August Popcorn.

Speaking of double live albums, I can't say the 2-LP Fleetwood Mac Live album ever did much for me. But I'm generally not a fan of live albums anyway. They have always felt like rushed versions of the studio tracks, with some "you had to be there" moments that sound embarrassing on record.
 

Bobberman

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My sister used to play Rumors and every follow up album afterward constantly that was originally my entry into the world of Fleetwood Mac it was much later when I heard the pre Buckingham and Nick's incarnation as the previously mentioned Bare trees album.up to that time I had no idea they were around since the late 60s back when I was just a Baby
 

Mike Blakesley

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FM did another Live album after the Say You Will album came out, called Live in Boston. I have not heard it, because I'm not much of a fan of Mac Minus Christine. After Chris left, they would still usually do "Don't Stop" in concert, but the CD of the album didn't contain anything except Nicks and Buckingham material. It was on the DVD, though.

I'm not a huge fan of live albums either, outside of the aforementioned Hot August Night, and I always liked Frampton Comes Alive. Bob Seger's Live Bullet is also very good.

Another one I like, which is probably off many folks' radar, is Sudan Village by Seals and Crofts. They took the brave step of making a live album that did NOT contain any of their greatest hits. None of their prior singles are on it at all, in fact. But the title song is terrific, I think.

The Fleetwood Mac Live version of "Monday Morning" is better than the studio version, I think -- and that album does contain a few unusual items like "The Farmer's Daughter" (a Beach Boys tune) and stretched-out versions of some songs, so it's not like they were just parroting the studio versions. But, Fleetwood Mac is a band that sounds best with a couple layers of studio polish on it, so the raw live tracks in general are harder to like than the originals.... for me at least. That was their biggest problem after Tusk, I thought.... they started sounding too polished.
 

rockdoctor

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Yeah, Welch gets awfully overlooked these days, both for his tenure with the band and his solo career (I can't remember the last time I even heard "Ebony Eyes" or "Sentimental Lady" on any of the terrestrial radio stations in my area; I also find it odd that none of his post-3 Hearts singles even so much as dented the Hot 100, 'cause there are some later singles of his that are every bit as infectious, especially the ones from Man Overboard). Welch may no longer have been in the band by the time they shot to superstardom in the U.S., but he both kept the band afloat in the years immediately following the exits of Green, Kirwan, and Spencer, and he's responsible for both inspiring the group to move to the U.S. and taking their music in a considerably more pop-oriented direction in the '70s. If not for that, they might have continued on as more of a blues-rock-oriented outfit, and neither Buckingham nor Nicks would have been a good fit for the band.

And I wholeheartedly agree that the first side of Mystery to Me is amazing - all solid songs in my book. "Hypnotized" is the one that gets all the raves - and rightfully so (it's arguably the most underrated single the band ever made) - but "Emerald Eyes," "Forever," "Just Crazy Love" and "Keep on Going" are nearly just as appealing. (The second side is spottier, but I do like "Miles Away" and even the much-criticized cover of "For Your Love," which I actually think I prefer to the Yardbirds' version, though I realize I may be completely alone on that one!) Next to Tusk, it's probably the Fleetwood Mac album I listen to the most, actually!

Agreed that Say You Will was disappointing. There are some fairly good tunes scattered throughout (my favorites being "Peacekeeper," "What's the World Coming To," "Bleed to Love Her," and "Steal Your Heart Away"), but the album is just too doggone long for its own good (I'd have excised at least six or seven songs, maybe even eight); Nicks' material in particular doesn't strike me as being anywhere nearly as infectious as the songs she's offered to the band in the past, either, though I like the title cut; and McVie's absence is most definitely felt.
Bob Welch gets some airplay now and then here. Sentimental Lady is the top pick for play but Ebony Eyes sneaks in now and then. Precious Love, my personal favorite of his, never gets airplay anymore.
 

rockdoctor

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FM did another Live album after the Say You Will album came out, called Live in Boston. I have not heard it, because I'm not much of a fan of Mac Minus Christine. After Chris left, they would still usually do "Don't Stop" in concert, but the CD of the album didn't contain anything except Nicks and Buckingham material. It was on the DVD, though.

I'm not a huge fan of live albums either, outside of the aforementioned Hot August Night, and I always liked Frampton Comes Alive. Bob Seger's Live Bullet is also very good.

Another one I like, which is probably off many folks' radar, is Sudan Village by Seals and Crofts. They took the brave step of making a live album that did NOT contain any of their greatest hits. None of their prior singles are on it at all, in fact. But the title song is terrific, I think.

The Fleetwood Mac Live version of "Monday Morning" is better than the studio version, I think -- and that album does contain a few unusual items like "The Farmer's Daughter" (a Beach Boys tune) and stretched-out versions of some songs, so it's not like they were just parroting the studio versions. But, Fleetwood Mac is a band that sounds best with a couple layers of studio polish on it, so the raw live tracks in general are harder to like than the originals.... for me at least. That was their biggest problem after Tusk, I thought.... they started sounding too polished.
I am not a huge fan of live albums as well. I have less than 10 but for me, they are very enjoyable. Three of them are doubles( 2-Joni Mitchell and 1-5th Dimension) and the rest are single cd's. Some of the selections are better in studio but then there are the non previously recorded songs that can be the real gems. Most of what I have was not too overproduced such as Carole King's Carnegie Hall Concert from 1971. It was very basic.
Maybe a Live Album Thread is in order for later discussion.
 
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