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Two CDs of cast-offs, rehearsals and muck-abouts from the Peter Green era. This was the period when Fleetwood Mac was shuffling off its purist's blues incarnation in favour of Peter Green's sophisticated and eerie pop compositions. Included are tentative stabs at Drifting (here named Fast Talking Woman Blues) and much of the sessions for the wonderful Then Play On - the Working For Madge jam, Underway, Coming Your Way, Oh Well and so on. There's also an unembellished, unfinished take of that apogee of British blues-psych, Green Manalishi; the very first attempts at Man Of The World and several mirth breaks for Jeremy Spencer's rock'n'roll pastiches. These include a posh-blues piss-take of Alexis Korner and the always amusing B-side, Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight, featuring Elvis as a malevolent Hell's Angel. It's a rag-bag selection to be sure, but Mac die-hards will find it fascinating. (Jim Irvin, MOJO Magazine, October 1998)
Fascinating 2CD of offcuts from Peter Green's brief creative peak. Forget the misleading title: blues-boom Fleetwood Mac enjoyed a laugh but this set of outtakes casts valuable light on Peter Green's troubled transition from sensitive guitarist to acid-led visionary. Mostly from the time of Then Play On (the first - and last - flowering of that creative leap), here are lengthy instrumental explorations with some great band playing, previously unissued songs, demos (complete with false starts and larking about), alternate versions (Man Of The World, the disturbing The Green Manalishi) and a live cut of the hugely innovative Oh Well. Truer to the title are some Jeremy Spencer send-ups, including a shelved EP of a club revue which includes some vicious parodies. A bit of a hotchpotch but engrossing listening, especially in the light of the brutally detailed booklet. (Ian Cranna, Q Magazine, November 1998)
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Average Reviewer Rating:
Number of The Vaudeville Years Of Fleetwood Mac: 1968-1970 (1998) Reviews: 2
The green manalishi is the best.
Reviewer: Ivan Nahirnic, September 24, 2005 The green manalishi is the best.
Fascinating Mac legends are filled in
Reviewer: John Fitzgerald, Human resources staff database assistant July 19, 2001 The first four recordings heard here are "liveish" BBC style recordings that although they
sound like they are in mono, are good listening especially "Love that burns" as it's
stripped free of it's horn section which was included on the "Mr. wonderful" version and
tended to be slightly intrusive but one can now appreciate the song even more here.
However, a minor complaint is that the "Intro" part of "Intro/Lazy poker blues" is nothing
more than a snippet from "Oh well (part 2)" which is rather redundant. I would've preferred
it just to have started with "Lazy poker blues" without that tagged onto the beginning.
The studio recordings start with a bang. Just when we seemed to be lead to believe that
the infamous EP of Jeremy's that was to accompany "Then play on" to compensate for his
lack of an appearance on that album was nothing more than a rumor and that it was in fact
his solo album that was to be the accompanying item, here's the lost EP, in all it's glory.
Without giving away too much of the surprise, Jeremy starts each song with a funny
introduction and he mocks flower power rock and John Mayall among others. It works
just as well as those songs recorded for his debut solo album. Fans of that album will love
this. Later, you get to hear the unedited "Someone's gonna get their head kicked in
tonight" which doesn't fade and has a few bodily noises and four letter words that were
not considered acceptable for a single at the time and that would probably apply these
days too. Peter has got two great versions of "Show biz blues" albeit with different titles
as well as an early instrumental workout of "Before the beginning" billed here as "Blues in
B flat minor" which is most haunting. Danny is not to be forgotten either as on disc two,
he's featured on "Farewell" which sounds like an early demo of "Earl Grey", "Love it
seems" which has a "When you say" feel, "Tell me from the start" is a big band style
whimsical tune and two exciting jams billed as "October jam (1 & 2)" the latter is a short
but rocking straightforward number while the former is a lot looser and has a news bulletin
jingle rhythm style but that's some news I wouldn't mind hearing! There's alot of Green
greatness on disc two as well. "The Madge sessions - 1" is an uncut tape which includes
most of what ended up as "Searching for Madge" & "Fighting for Madge" but at least
half of which has not been heard previously. Intriguing that at approximately the 1249
mark, when one of the familiar "Searching for Madge" sections ends, one can hear what is
known in the taping world as a "punch out" in the tapes. One easily imagines that this was
the tape Peter used to decide what would make the final cut for "Then play on" from these
jams and the tape was probably stopped and left there for many years causing the
deterioration in the tape. Maybe not, but it's fascinating to ponder such legends. This is
just as exciting to hear in it's entirety after all these years as is the complete 16 minute
"Underway". This tape shows how hard it must have been to decide which portions of it
to use originally. Surprisingly, "The Madge sessions - 2" is a quiet two minute
instrumental doodle which is not what one would expect from the title especially after
hearing the white noise of number 1 but still keeps you on the edge of your seat
throughout. There are many other great recordings available on here, I've just tried to
highlight a few wonderful moments. This is great classic early Mac that never "was", but
now can "be" in your collection. An essential purchase for those who want the early Mac
to play on. They do here in style.
Tracklistings supplied by Felix Rijnierse and Mark Gale. Album cover image supplied by Mark Gale. Reviews provided by Julie Kedward. Transcribed to HTML by Marty Adelson.
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