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Rocky Mountain News

25 Years: The Chain Fleetwood Mac, Warner Bros.

To those weary of Fleetwood Mac's staggering success - as in endless repetitions of the band's hits on the radio - this will be a pleasant surprise. The delight is in the rediscovery of the group's many musical faces: from blues band to the hit-making machine featuring Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. The only constants in this chain: drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie. (Christine Perfect
, now McVie, arrived for the group's second album.)

This four-disc (or cassette) affair eschews chronology to open with new songs: Paper Doll (featuring Nicks) and Love Shines (featuring Christine McVie). Two other new songs are here: McVie's Heart of Stone and Buckingham's Make Me A Mask. All are fine songs, but pose no threat of obscuring the band's other hits.

From there you're treated to the Mac's best loved music: Sara, Over My Head, Gold Dust Woman, You Make Loving Fun, Warm Ways, Rhiannon, Go Your Own Way, Landslide, Monday Morning and Sentimental Lady. Again, however, the set stays interesting with the inclusion of live songs (Stand Back, Not That Funny) and alternate takes (Second Hand News, The Chain) so as not to be a simple recitation of hits.

And don't be surprised if the final disc - with blues tunes such as I Believe My Time Ain't Long and Rattlesnake Shake, as well as classics such as Oh Well and Heroes are Hard to Find - becomes your favorite.

Fleetwood has said in interviews that he wished he could have included more of the older material, but it would have made this set too large. Here's hoping he finds time down the road to do just that on another set.