||From the Vault...
"Then Play On"
© Warner Bros. Records
Year of Release: 1970
Coming Your Way
Closing My Eyes
Although The Sun
Searching For Madge
Fighting For Madge
When You Say
Before The Beginning
Fleetwood Mac related sites:
"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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