Saturday, September 20, 2014

then play on

Fleetwood Mac expanded their lineup and their sound for the mystical rock improvisations of this progressive blues transition.  Their self-titled debut album had established them at the forefront of the British blues movement and their second album  'Mr. Wonderful' continued in that vein; but there were changes brewing.   Christine Perfect of Chicken Shack had played piano for the sophomore release and eighteen year old guitarist Danny Kirwan of Boilerhouse was brought into the fold when the rhythm section of the trio were not ready to go professional.  This new lineup had a number one hit in the UK with "Albatross", which was included in the US release 'English Rose' that combined some songs from  'Mr. Wonderful' with non album singles and two new songs written by Kirwan.  

With their expansive new sound, the band moved from Blue Horizon to Immediate Records before settling on Reprise / Warner Bros. Records for the recording of their next album.  'Then Play On' features Peter Green on vocals, guitar, harmonica, six string bass, percussion, and violoncello;   Danny Kirwan on vocals and guitar;  and John McVie on bass guitar;   Mick Fleetwood on drums and percussion;  with Jeremy Spencer and Christine Perfect on piano;   Big Walter Horton on harmonica;  and Sandra Elsdon on recorders.   The sessions were produced by Fleetwood Mac with engineer Martin Birch and sound consultant Dinky Dawson.  

Kirwan looks back:   "Mick Fleetwood asked me...there I was sitting like a little dum-dum, so he asked me.  I didn't know what to think, once I'd joined because before then I'd just been straddling around and then I was on stage and there were television cameras, and I got a bit paranoid...I always liked Mick Fleetwood - he was like family but nowadays its a bit distant you know, people living in different cities.  But I still think of them as friends.  John McVie is the cleverest person and I could see that at the time.  A nice bloke and highly intelligent, he was like my best friend in the band for a time...[Jeremy Spencer] was a bit sarcastic - you know, those rock 'n roll songs he'd do was...sarcastic. And although I used to get on with John and Mick, it got very cliquey.  The thing with rock bands is that they get very interested in themselves and their own relationships with each other - a cliquey kind of thing.  Spencer and Green, for instance, knew each other well and were...mischievous.  It was a very mischievous band. So I wasn't actually a part of them really. I only got mixed up with them."

 'Then Play On'  reached one hundred and nine in the US, eight in Norway, and number six in the UK.  The title comes from the opening line of Shakespeare's Twelfth night: "If music be the food of love, then play on."

"Oh Well"

 'Then Play On' 
full album:

1. "Coming Your Way"   Kirwan 3:45
2. "Closing My Eyes"   Green 4:51
3. "Fighting for Madge"   Fleetwood 2:42
4. "When You Say"   Kirwan 4:31
5. "Showbiz Blues"   Green 3:51
6. "Underway"   Green 3:04
7. "One Sunny Day"   Kirwan 3:13
8. "Although the Sun Is Shining"   Kirwan 2:25
9. "Rattlesnake Shake"   Green 3:30
10. "Without You"   Kirwan 4:35
11. "Searching for Madge"   McVie 6:56
12. "My Dream"   Kirwan 3:31
13. "Like Crying"   Kirwan 2:25

14. "Before the Beginning"   Green 3:30

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