Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fleetwood Mac Kiln House 1970

The first record after the departure of founder Peter Green should have been a let down. Instead, Danny Kirwin and Jeremy Spencer say never mind the blues, we're here to rock. Moreover, this version of the band could swing.

They have this casual, easy feel to much of this record, none more than the opener This Is The Rock. Station Man is a hypnotic jam that digs a very deep groove. Blood On The Floor is a straight-ahead country blues that suffers from an weak vocal. Hi Ho Silver is a Fats Waller cover that plays fast and fun, and rocks. Then the beauty of Jewel Eyed Judy winds up side one by displaying a feel for dynamic nuances ahead of their time. It's a great song, with a big Badfinger/Big Star chorus that makes you just want to play it one more time before you flip the record over.

Side two doesn't disappoint. Buddy's Song opens, a Buddy Holley cover that's great fun. Earl Gray and One Together show the loose, spacey sound that will develop more fully on Future Games 1971. There's instrumental prowess and skilled songwriting on display everywhere. Tell Me All The Things You Do just plain rocks, with a great guitar riff, and a jam band's tight instrumental playing. Mission Bell , a folk-rock ballad, rounds things out on a quiet note.

Ten songs, at least six classics, maybe eight.

The LP is just all the things that make vinyl fun. It's warm, with nice separation between instruments. John McVie and Mick Fleetwood's rhythm just push the whole record along. An uncredited Christine McVie plays keyboards for the first time with the band. The guitar interplay is about as good as it gets in rock, but it's always in service to the songs. I haven't met people that love this record more than me, but everyone that hears it finds something to like.

A classic.

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