ARTIST: Fleetwood Mac
TITLE: Fleetwood Mac (Later known as Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac)
YEAR RELEASED: 1968
CHART ACTION: #198 US, #4 UK
SINGLES: Shake Your Moneymaker
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They do a couple of standard blues songs, but mostly these are originals that got no airplay.
LINEUP: Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The original incarnation and vision of Fleetwood Mac makes an electric blues album full of originals that sound like lost classics and filled with Peter Green’s great blues guitar.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The blues. Fleetwood Mac had the blues in their earliest incarnation and the British blues scene went totally bonkers for them. Mainly, they went bonkers for Peter Green and his guitar. He already made his bones in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (as so many have done) so forming his own band was a low risk proposition.
The band gigged around a bit, then recorded this album. Most all of the songs are originals from either Green or Spencer and are played with the same grit and ferocity that the old bluesmen played their standards. Green’s tone and control of his guitar is what makes him stand out; all of the great UK guitar players were awed by him, and this album shows why.
However, there are downgrades here. Many songs have extraneous studio chatter and false starts. It seems that the deluxe version they use for streaming didn’t have the true master takes as they appeared on record, but they decided to use the entire take with the extraneous stuff. Also, the piano version of “Hellhound on My Trail” doesn’t really work.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Originally, John McVie didn’t want to leave Mayall’s band, so Green named the band after him and his buddy Mick Fleetwood, and it didn’t work until they already did a few well-regarded gigs.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with even more false starts and incomplete takes
GRADE: B+: If you can find a straight version of this without the extra chatter on a few songs, it’d be an A-. Alas.