Monday, 13 August 2018
Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac (1968)
Released February 1968
Recorded in London
Fleetwood Mac's debut, blues-soaked album, featuring the now legendary talents of guitarist Peter Green, the album followed, quite belatedly, in the bluesy footsteps of The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, John Mayall's Blues Breakers, The Kinks, Chris Farlowe, Them and The Animals to name just a few who caught the blues bug in the mid sixties.
The first track, "My Heart Beat Like A Hammer" is a strident, lively blues rocker, as is the blues guitar-driven magnificence of "Merry-Go-Round". "Long Grey Mare" sounds like a old blues cover, but it is, in fact, a Peter Green song. The stark, piano-driven "Hellhound On My Trail" is the real thing, a Robert Johnson song, but it is less blues rock than the others, funnily enough. Elmore James's "Shake Your Moneymaker" is in direct contrast, though, as searing a slice of blues guitar you will have trouble finding. It rocks at a hundred miles an hour from beginning to end.
"Looking For Somebody" is another authentic-sounding Green song, featuring some intoxicating harmonica from him. Chester Burnett's "No Place To Go" is a slow burning, grinding blues, with a thumping, typical metronomic beat and more superb harmonica. As I said in another of my reviews of early Fleetwood Mac, it is incredible just how different the two incarnations of the band were. Basically, they are two different bands, despite the name. "My Baby's Good To Me" has an excellent, convincing vocal and more wonderful slide guitar from Jeremy Spencer. "She got a fine pair of legs, my baby's a sight to see..." They don't write 'em like that anymore!
"I Loved Another Woman" is an atmospheric. Deep, bassy blues chugger with shades of "Black Magic Woman". I just love the full, rich sound on this one. "Cold Black Night" ploughs the same fertile furrow and is another great track. It ends abruptly, however. These songs sound so authentic too, yet they are self-penned. "The World Keep On Turning" is a stark, acoustic blues guitar and vocal track that sounds so "Delta", it's untrue. "Got To Move" is a cover and is energetic in its delivery, with an impassioned vocal, with some more stonking slide guitar. Overall, an impressive and totally uncommercial debut album.