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Michael Jefferson
12.13.07, 4:11 PM
When Danny Kirwan, Christine McVie and Bob Welch Reigned

Reviewed for Coffeerooms by Mike Jefferson
http://www.w3pg.com/images/mt/music/mac1.jpgYes Virginia, there really was a Fleetwood Mac before the squirrelly musings of Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks’ nanny goat vocals. If you back track through the group’s catalogue you might discover, as I did, that there were many other editions of the group that were much more creative and more worthy of praise than the money-making Buckingham-Nicks aggregate. Blues man Peter Green (composer of “Black Magic Woman” and “Oh Well”) formed the group in 1967, although he selflessly named it after drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie. Critics of the day anointed Eric Clapton as the Dali Llama of Brit blues, and his fanatics were scribbling “Clapton is God” on the walls, but it was Slowhand himself who said Peter Green was as good, if not better than he was. B.B. King agreed wholeheartedly, and has been quoted as saying Green was the only guitarist who ever gave him “The cold sweats.” Green, who claimed he got his distinct mournful vocal style from listening to the cantors in Jewish synagogues, did indeed sound far more genuine in his sorrow than Clapton. In 1970, unhinged by too many pharmaceuticals, Green melted under the harsh spotlight of fame, leaving Elmore James acolyte/50s fan Jeremy Spencer and 16 year-old prodigy Danny Kirwan in charge of the group. After collaborating with Kirwan on the anemic “Kiln House” (2 out of 5 stars), Spencer wigged out as well, joining The Children of God cult, leaving Fleetwood Mac’s fate in the hands of Kirwan and two new recruits, keyboard player/vocalist Christine McVie and American guitarist Bob Welch. The group members took stock of England’s dissolving blues scene, and instead of folding, reinvented themselves as folk/rock band, releasing their strongest effort to date, 1971’s “Future Games.”


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