Live Fleetwood Mac
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- 1Monday Morning04:00
- 2Say You Love Me04:17
- 4Oh Well Pt. 103:41
- 5Over & Over04:56
- 7Not That Funny09:00
- 8Never Going Back Again04:18
- 11Over My Head03:23
- 13Don't Let Me Down Again03:57
- 14One More Night03:45
- 15Go Your Own Way05:50
- 16Don't Stop04:04
- 17I'm So Afraid08:24
- 18The Farmer's Daughter02:29
Info for Live
Fleetwood Mac had existed for more than a dozen years before they issued their first authorized concert recording -- sort of astonishing given their reputation as a fine live act going all the way back to 1967. This is, of course, the Buckingham-Nicks version of the group, though they do acknowledge Peter Green with a fierce performance of his 'Oh Well,' from 1969. Conversely, the double-LP/CD set also introduces a pair of new songs, Christine McVie's brooding, lovely 'One More Night' and Stevie Nicks' 'Fireflies,' neither of which appeared in subsequent studio renditions, not that there would have been much reason to give them that treatment, as they sound fully developed here, with 'Fireflies' a fine showcase for Nicks' pop-diva impulses at their most pleasingly restrained.
Elsewhere, she, Buckingham, et al perform at times like those possessed, and determined to push their limits, and remind the listener that for all of their pop success, this version of Fleetwood Mac played highly credible hard rock, exemplified by the neat jump from 'Dreams' to Green's 'Oh Well,' but juxtaposed on the same disc with the sublimely beautiful acoustic 'Landslide.' (And Nicks' rendition of 'Sara,' also on Disc One, is a rival to the studio recording as a definitive performance).
This is actually an album of many parts -- pop/rock, soft rock, hard rock, and a little blues, all laced with lots of bittersweet sensibilities in the lyrics -- and purposes. It is a cash-in effort off the mega-tour following Tusk, and heralded (as well as perhaps enabling) a three-year absence from any new recording. But it's also a suitably heavyweight farewell to the first era of Fleetwood Mac Mark 2 (or is it Mark 3, or Mark 4, depending on how one thinks of Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, and Bob Welch). And heard several decades on, it is a kind of revelation: the band somehow finds the impetus to rise above the tangled personal histories and excel at what they do. Mick Fleetwood and John McVie handle the rhythm section as though they're one person (check out 'Not That Funny'), while Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, and Christine McVie get lots of great moments in the spotlight (joined occasionally by Fleetwood, whose drumming is often notable in its own right as a bold voice here).
It's a snapshot of a band near its best, though also not as exciting as it should be, lacking the focus and unified arc of energy that one would find in a single show: Fleetwood Mac Live is an array of presumed high points recorded at various venues along the tour. Additionally, there's a near-studio level perfection across a lot of the album, which replaces the virtually non-existent crowd ambience. The sound isn't impressive by modern standards, but the band -- with Buckingham definitely out to prove something with his playing -- succeeds at making their mid-'70s repertory sound fresh and renewed in these settings.“ (Bruce Eder)
Lindsey Buckingham, vocals, guitar
Christine McVie, vocals, keyboards
Stevie Nicks, vocals
John McVie, bass
Mick Fleetwood, drums
Ray Lindsey, guitar
Jeffrey Sova, keyboards
Tony Todaro, percussion
Recorded on the 'Tusk' tour, October 1979-September 1980
Engineered by Trip Khalaf, Richard Dashut
Produced by Fleetwood Mac, Richard Dashut, Ken Caillat
The Fleetwood Mac story is an episodic saga that spans more than 30 years. It is the saga of a British blues band formed in 1967 that became a California-based pop group in the mid-Seventies. In between came a period where Fleetwood Mac shuffled personnel and experimented with styles, all the while releasing solid albums that found a loyal core audience. Despite all the changes, two members have remained constant over the years: drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie, whose surnames provided the group name Fleetwood Mac. Though most rock fans are familiar with the lineup that includes Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks-by far the longest-running edition of the band, responsible for the classic albums Fleetwood Mac and Rumours-the group possesses a rich and storied history that predates those epics. Earlier Fleetwood Mac lineups included guitarists Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan and Bob Welch. Fleetwood Mac when Green, Fleetwood and McVie, who were all expatriates from British bandleader John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, decided to form a band. McVie and Fleetwood had been playing with Mayall, a British blues legend, since 1963 and 1965, respectively, while Green replaced Eric Clapton (who exited to form Cream) in 1966. Initially a quartet, the original Fleetwood Mac also included guitarist Jeremy Spencer and then expanded with the addition of Danny Kirwan prior to their second album. Not surprisingly, the group’s first two U.K. albums-Fleetwood Mac (1967) and Mr. Wonderful (1967)-were heavily blues-oriented. “Black Magic Woman,” a Peter Green song from the latter album, later became a major hit for Santana. In 1969, Fleetwood Mac recorded at Chess studios with American blues musicians, including Willie Dixon and Otis Span; it was released as the two-volume Blues Jam in the U.K. and as Fleetwood Mac in Chicago in the U.S. By decade’s end, however, Fleetwood Mac had begun moving from traditional blues to a more progressive approach. Around this time, the group adopted its distinctive “penguin” logo, based on zoo-lover and amateur photographer McVie’s interest in the birds. There are arguably three “definitive” Fleetwood Mac lineups. One of them is the blues-oriented band of the late Sixties, which arrayed three guitarists (Green, Spencer and Kirwan) around the rhythm section of Fleetwood and McVie. They are best represented by 1969’s Then Play On, a milestone in progressive blues-rock. After Green’s exodus in mid-1970, the remaining members cut the more easygoing, rock and roll-oriented Kiln House. Early in 1971, a born-again Spencer abruptly left the band during a U.S. tour to join the Children of God. The second key configuration found Fleetwood, McVie and Kirwan joined by keyboardist Christine McVie (born Christine Perfect, she’d married bassist McVie) and guitarist Bob Welch, a Southern Californian who became the group’s first American member and a harbinger of new directions. This configuration produced a pair of ethereal pop masterpieces, Future Games (1971) and Bare Trees (1972). Kirwan, who was having personal problems, was asked to leave in August 1972. The remaining foursome, joined by new recruits Dave Walker (vocals) and Bob Weston, recorded Penguin (1973); sans Walker, they cut Mystery to Me (1974). Again reduced to a quartet with Weston’s departure, they released Heroes Are Hard to Find later that same year. Finally, the platinum edition of Fleetwood Mac came together in 1975 with the recruitment of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. The San Francisco duo had previously cut an album together as Buckingham-Nicks. Drummer Fleetwood heard a tape of theirs at a studio he was auditioning, and the pair were drafted into the group without so much as a formal audition. This lineup proved far and away to be Fleetwood Mac’s most durable and successful. In addition to the most solid rhythm section in rock, this classic lineup contained strong vocalists and songwriters in Buckingham, Nicks and Christine McVie. Male and female points of view were offered with unusual candor on the watershed albums Fleetwood Mac (1975) and Rumours (1977). Fleetwood Mac introduced the revitalized group with such sparkling tracks as “Over My Head,” Fleetwood Mac’s first-ever Top Forty single; “Rhiannon,” which became Nicks’ signature song; “Say You Love Me,” which showed of the group’s three-part harmonies; and “Monday Morning,” the driving album opener and FM-radio favorite. Rumours was written and recorded as three long-term relationships-between Buckingham and Nicks, the married McVies, and Fleetwood and his wife-publicly unraveled. The album is a virtual document of romantic turmoil, and its timing reflected the interpersonal upheavals of the liberated Seventies. Resonating with a mass audience like no other album in rock history, Rumours yielded a bumper crop of songs with enduring appeal, among them the Top Ten hits “Go Your Own Way,” “Dreams,” “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun.” Fleetwood Mac toured for seven months behind Rumours and reigned as the most popular group in the world. Rumours has to date sold 18 million copies, making it the fifth best-selling album of all time. As a group, Fleetwood Mac has sold more than 70 million albums since its inception in 1967. Under the creative guidance of Lindsey Buckingham, whose skill as a producer and pop visionary became increasingly evident-Fleetwood Mac grew more emboldened with the double album Tusk, released in 1979. A more experimental album, Tusk didn’t match its predecessors sales, but it did earn two more Top Ten hits-"Sara" and “Tusk"-while extending the group’s longevity by forswearing formulas. Solo careers commenced during the three-year layoff that followed another extensive tour. Stevie Nicks, in particular, nurtured a career that rivaled Fleetwood Mac’s for popularity. Fleetwood Mac released two studio albums in the Eighties-Mirage (1982) and Tango in the Night (1987)-but its front-line members were increasingly drawn to their solo careers. Disinclined to tour, Buckingham announced he was leaving Fleetwood Mac shortly after Tango in the Night. He was replaced by guitarists Billy Burnette and Rick Vito, who appeared on the 1990 album Behind the Mask. Eventually, both Nicks and Christine McVie revealed they, too, would no longer tour with Fleetwood Mac. Nicks officially left the band a month after Fleetwood Mac regrouped to perform “Don’t Stop” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in January 1993. The indefatigable core of Fleetwood and the McVies recruited guitarist Dave Mason and singer Bekka Bramlett, but the proverbial link in Fleetwood Mac’s chain had been broken one too many times and this lineup’s one album, Time (1995), fared poorly. Then, in 1997, Fleetwood Mac’s classic lineup set aside their differences for a reunion that marked the 30th anniversary of the original group’s founding and the 20th anniversary of Rumours’ release. A concert was filmed for an MTV special and saw release on video and audio formats as The Dance, which found the group revisiting old material and premiering new songs. A full-fledged reunion tour followed.
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