Monday, 13 August 2018
Fleetwood Mac - Crazy About The Blues (1970)
This is a compilation of early Fleetwood Mac material from 1969-1970, including both studio and live material - which feature the line-up featuring Jeremy Spencer and the recently-departed Danny Kirwan (June 2018). Peter Green had left by now. The first four tracks are from Christine Perfect's pre-Fleetwood Mac "Christine Perfect Band".
The Christine Perfect tracks are all excellent, both in delivery and sound quality. The bluesy "Hey Baby" and "It's You I Miss" are followed by two more folky, ethereal tracks, which see Christine sounding almost Fairport Convention-esque, particularly on "Gone Into The Sun". "Tell Me That You Need Me" ends up quite rocky. Christine continues on vocals on the upbeat, lively "Crazy About You (Can't Hold Out Much Longer)". This song really reminds me of something else in places, but I am not sure what, something by Paul Weller, I think. "Broken Stones", possibly, but faster. The guitar on this is seriously good. It is amazing just how different early Fleetwood Mac were from their stadium rock eventual incarnation. "Down At The Crown" is sort of beardy pubby folk meets blues rock. Not the best cut, but still in possession of some powerful guitar. The first take of "Tell Me All The Things You Do" is nowhere near as good as the second (live) one that is included, either in sound quality or performance.
"Station Man" is a more convincing blues rocker, with a nice, melodious bass hook. "Purple Dancer" is a bit hippy-ish, with hints of folky psychedelia. It is better in its live format, however. You do feel, though, that without Green, the band had lost some of its innate bluesiness.
The final seven tracks are all live, which, although retaining a little bit of hiss to the sound, have a raw "upstairs at a London pub" sort of live appeal. The second, extended cut of "Tell Me All The Things You Do" is a great slab of searing, guitar-driven blues rock and is a suitable epitaph for the guitar talents of Danny Kirwan. Indeed, Christine McVie named the track exactly thus, speaking after his death.