From the Vault...


Fleetwood Mac
"Then Play On"

© Warner Bros. Records
Year of Release: 1970

track listing
  • Coming Your Way
  • Closing My Eyes
  • Show-Biz Blues
  • My Dream
  • Underway
  • Oh Well
  • Although The Sun
    Is Shining
  • Rattlesnake Shake
  • Searching For Madge
  • Fighting For Madge
  • When You Say
  • Like Crying
  • Before The Beginning

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    "Then Play On"

    Whenever you think of Fleetwood Mac, two names come to mind: Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie. However, in 1970, Fleetwood Mac's lineup consisted of Peter Green, providing rock with blues. Despite that the Mac's most successful years would be with McVie and Nicks, the Peter Green years are mostly overlooked; as Green would shape Fleetwood Mac's early sound in classic British blues.

    The album kicks of with "Coming Your Way," and WOW! what a tune! Mixing rock with blues, and it's a killer. Fans of the early Santana will enjoy this one, having the latino percussion bongos and blues guitar. "Closing My Eyes" is a slow ballad, having a somewhat late 1960s sound, (likewise "Underway"), as both songs are very impressive.

    "Show-Biz Blues" showcases the guitar in a true blues feel; as it has the sound of the early Rolling Stones, and legendary Blues artists such as John Lee Hooker and the likes proud. The instrumental "My Dream" has an early 1970s Eric Clapton/solo George Harrison sound, with very very impressive guitarwork by guitarist/leader (at this time), Peter Green.

    One of the early tunes of Fleetwood Mac's career was "Oh Well", and it's featured again here on Then Play On. This is the ultimate blues song for any fan of the blues, and is a typical "getting in a blues band, gotta do this song." The guitars throughout this entire song is incredible! The ending of this song changes into true progressive rock, as in bands such as The Moody Blues and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

    Another late 1960s sounding song is "Although The Sun Is Shining," with its almost psychedelic feel, as in the other previous 1960s sounding sougs in this album ("Closing My Eyes" and "Underway"). "Rattlesnake Shake" is another impressive blues rocker, as this one could of easily been recorded by Savoy Brown, having the typical garage rock blues sound. Likewise, the two blues instrumental rockers, "Searching For Madge" and "Searching For Madge" are your typical boogie-woogie rock and roll.

    "When You Say" is another slow ballad, having a solo Lennon-McCartney/late Beatles sound. "Like Crying" is a medium-blues number, focusing on accoustic guitars, as it has a southern rock touch to it. The album's closing song, "Before The Beginning" is another very impressive blues-inspired song, with its driving guitars and blues feel.

    Then Play On is a truly bonafide album for the blues interest. Unfortunately, this would be the last Fleetwood Mac album, featuring this kind of music style, as Peter Green left the group. Many changes followed, and future albums were released, but they would not recapture a distinctive sound and popularity again until 1975, when the group's personnel change included Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, and Stevie Nicks.

    Discovering that their best well-known lineup (and most successful) did not exist when Fleetwood Mac first appeared in 1968, it's always interesting in hearing how a band first emerged onto the music scene, trying to make a name for themselves, and hopefully, add their names to the legendary rock acts who came before and after them. (The early years of Journey comes to mind, before Steve Perry joined.)

    In Fleetwood Mac's case, they already made a name for themselves, by proving that fortune and fame can come true, first and second time around.

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