February 24 – Not Your Mother’s Fleetwood Mac (but if it is, your mother’s cool)

Fleetwood Mac – Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac

There’s Fleetwood Mac, and then there’s Fleetwood Mac.  And then again, there’s Fleetwood Mac.  As Fleetwood, McVie x 2, Buckingham, and Nicks gear up for their Farewell Cash Grab 2018 World Tour®, today is a reminder that Fleetwood Mac is nothing at all like the band it was when it formed in 1967.  That’s not a judgement, just a fact.  There have been three rather distinct incarnations of the group:  the current, “classic” Rumours lineup, the underappreciated early 1970’s Bob Welch era (Bare Trees is a personal favorite), and the original late 1960’s British blues rock band.  Despite the various lineups and drastic changes in musical direction, the namesakes of the group, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, remain as the rhythm section.  And it was 50 years ago today that their debut album, Fleetwood Mac (a.k.a. Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac) was released.

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In 1967, guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood, and bassist John McVie, all members of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers at the time (actually, Fleetwood had recently been let go), decided to form their own blues group.  They recruited slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer, and Fleetwood Mac was born.  This initial release is straight-forward blues rock, with four covers and eight Green and Spencer originals.  These guys certainly didn’t invent the blues, but along with contemporaries including all the bands where Clapton, Beck, Page, Hendrix, Brian Jones, Mick Taylor, and Alvin Lee resided at one time or another, they played it with reverence for the innovators and continued to spread the word to a mostly white audience not overly exposed to the greatness of Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Elmore James and the rest.

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Fleetwood Mac in 1968:  (L-R) Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Jeremy Spencer

Tracklist:

Side One:

  1. My Heart Beat Like a Hammer
  2. Merry Go Round
  3. Long Grey Mare
  4. Hellhound on My Trail
  5. Shake Your Moneymaker
  6. Looking for Somebody

Side Two:

  1. No Place to Go
  2. My Baby’s Good to Me
  3. I Loved Another Woman
  4. Cold Black Night
  5. The World Keep On Turning
  6. Got to Move

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleetwood_Mac_(1968_album)

-Stephen

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