Friday, 16 November 2018

Fleetwood Mac - 50 Years - Don't Stop




I am exactly the sort of Fleetwood Mac fan that this excellent compilation is aimed at. Yes, I have all the early blues albums from the Peter Green period, "Rumours" and "Tango In The Night" but that's as far as it goes for me with the Mac. So, this one suits me fine. I am not sure whether the remasters on here are new ones done specifically for this collection or whether they are taken from the recent "deluxe edition" remasters of their classic albums. Either way, I have to say that the sound quality is simply superb. (Just trying to ascertain it, I think the remasters date from 2015). Check out "Seven Wonders" or "Don't Stop" as they pound out of your speakers and you realise that, as clich├ęd a band as they were in the seventies, rather like The Eagles, for what they did, there were not many better. The musicianship is peerless and the vocals of either Stevie Nicks or Christine McVie (or both of them in their perfect harmony) are sumptuous. Both melodious and strong when necessary.

You can't move for 50th anniversary collections at the moment and this, of course, in this case, (as with all of them) emphasises that Fleetwood Mac have been around for one hell of a long time. They are one of those bands that had two incarnations - the early, raw bluesy one featuring the talents of guitarist Peter Green is completely different to the West Coast, easy rock of the one most people will be buying this collection for. No group had two so utterly different styles under the same group name and some of the same members. Yes, that smooth, easy on the ear, warm sound of tracks like "Think About Me" or "Love Shines", the slick disco of "Family Man", the radio-friendly pop of "Oh Diane" and the huge hits from "Rumours" is pretty irresistible at times, but, for me, you can't beat that stonking early blues sound. So, I urge people not to dismiss that part of their career and try not to listen to the seventies/eighties material only. Highlights are "Black Magic Woman"; "Shake Your Moneymaker"; "Need For Love So Bad"; "Man Of The World" and "Station Man". These are all energetic, muscular blues cuts of the highest quality, dating from the "British Blues Explosion" of the mid-late sixties. Fleetwood Mac came in at the end of that, but they were good, of that there is no doubt. Check out the psychedelic, dreamy rock of "Hypnotized" too.

So, as a "casual" Fleetwood Mac kind of guy I can heartily recommend this to anyone of a similar outlook. It is a really enjoyable listen from a quality band(s).

B+

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