Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Fleetwood Mac - Then Play On

Yet again, I am surprised that I have not talked about this release previously, when I was going through an early FM phase. Of course, Blogger's search function leaves a lot to be desired, so forgive me if I repeat myself.

This was the blues rock band's third album, and it has them in transition - it is the last with Peter Green, the first with Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer, per Mick Fleetwood, only played on a couple of numbers. It is significant that Christine Perfect (later McVie) also sits in on this session.

This opens with Kirwan's "Coming Your Way", with interweaving guitars, surf/salsa drums rolls throughout and a heavy guitar ending. Peter Green's dramatic'n'dynamic ballad, "Closing My Eyes", follows, and then we get a great, stompin' piece of slide blues, "Show-Biz Blues", a mellow slide instrumental, "My Dream", another drum'n'guitar instrumental workout in "Underway" and then their famous, riffin' "Oh Well" that begins as a sassy, fast-paced rocker and all-too-quickly evolves into a slow, meandering acoustic jam. I would have loved to have heard them jam on the rockin' riff instead. Oh well, indeed!

Another minor-key ballad by Kirwan in "Although the Sun is Shining" before Green's terrific blues rockin' tale of Mick's self abuse, "Rattlesnake Shake" - not a fast one, but the heaviness tramples the quietness that came before and is almost a shock - though a pleasant one! One of their best! There's a bit of jazziness before moving into a fast-paced instro rocker in "Searching For Madge" that segues into the appropriately aggressive "Fighting For Madge". "When You Say" is yet another acoustic folk ballad, "Like Crying" is a mid-tempo blues and the album closes with "Before the Beginning", once again with Green and Fleetwood working off of each other dynamically.

As usual, I prefer when the band rocks a bit more and their rambling acoustic numbers don't do much for me. But, there are some great tracks here - worth it for "Oh Well" and "Rattlesnake Shake"!