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Then Play On Limited Edition, SHM-CD

Price: £22.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Amazon's Fleetwood Mac Store


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While most bands undergo a number of changes over the course of their careers, few groups experienced such radical stylistic changes as Fleetwood Mac. Initially conceived as a hard-edged British blues combo in the late '60s, the band gradually evolved into a polished pop/rock act over the course of a decade. Throughout all of their incarnations, the only consistent members of Fleetwood Mac ... Read more in Amazon's Fleetwood Mac Store

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Product details

1. Coming Your Way
2. Closing My Eyes
3. Show-Biz Blues
4. My Dream
5. Underway
6. Oh Well
7. Although the Sun Is Shining
8. Rattlesnake Shake
9. Searching for Madge
10. Fighting for Madge
11. When You Say
12. Like Crying
13. Before the Beginning

Product Description

Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue series from Fleetwood Mac features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player), and comes with a description and lyrics. Part of seven-album Fleetwood Mac cardboard sleeve reissue series features albums "Then Play On," "Kiln House," "Future Game," "Bare Trees," "Penguin," "Mystery To Me," and "Heroes Are Hard To Find."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"FINALLY, Someone Gets It Right......!!!" 9 Oct. 2013
By John H. McCarthy - Published on
On September 9, 2013 Warner Music Japan released all seven of FLEETWOOD MAC's "Wilderness Years" albums on SHM-CD in exact replica mini-LP album sleeves with replicas of the contemporary inner sleeves. All sport tan-orange Reprise Record "steamboat" labels. The seven albums, 'THEN PLAY ON', 'KILN HOUSE', 'FUTURE GAMES', 'BARE TREES', 'PENGUIN', 'MYSTERY TO ME' and 'HEROES ARE HARD TO FIND' span what are referred to as "The Danny Kirwan Years" (the first four, my personal favorites) and "The Bob Welch Years" (the last four).

'THEN PLAY ON' was the first complete non-compilation album with singer/songwriter/guitarist Danny Kirwan's contributions throughout. The original U.K. release of this seminal album consisted of fourteen new compositions, pretty evenly split between founding member Peter Green and Kirwan, with a few instrumentals credited to all. The U.S. version had only thirteen tracks, deleting two of the U.K. tracks, "One Sunny Day" and "Without You," both Kirwan compositions. The two deleted tracks were to see release on the Epic Records compilation 'ENGLISH ROSE'. The U.S. 'THEN PLAY ON" also added their double-sided U.K. hit single "Oh, Well Pt. 1 & Pt. 2." Their other triptych guitarist, Jeremy Spencer made his only contribution to the album playing some piano on this track. It was originally planned to be a double album, with the second LP featuring the raw blues and oldies that were usually Spencer's domain. Many of these tracks ended up on the eponymously titled 'JEREMY SPENCER', hard to find and expensive, but worth it!

Many refer to 'THEN PLAY ON' as MAC's first non-blues related album. I strongly disagree, I find it to be their MOST blues drenched, just not in a traditional sense. Green and Kirwan's atmospheric new compositions are alternately soul-searching and troubled, with a palpabale sense of hurt, loss, pain and dread. It's telling that soon after the album's release Peter Green was to undergo a supposedly LSD-fueled breakdown, but even if the drug was a factor, most of his songs here hold part of the key. It would only be a couple more years until Kirwan underwent his own devastating breakdown, from which he's never fully recovered. His haunting and ethereal compositions, here and on his two final MAC albums seem to portend a troubled soul. Not all is doom and gloom however, Green's "Oh, Well" is a terrific achievement, a balls-to-the-wall rocker with a lengthy ebb and flow coda topped off with an orchestral flourish. His lighthearted ode to onism onanism "Rattlesnake Shake" with it's funky pulsating guitars has been rumoured to exist in a twenty minute version. The two hard driving band-credited instrumentals, "Searching For Madge' and "Fighting For Madge" have been doubtfully credited as part of the supposed epic. Reprise Records have also recently released a Deluxe Edition consisting of ALL the tracks present on both the U.K. and U.S. releases along with their final single release with Green, his smashing "The Green Manalishi (with the Two Prong Crown)" and it's B-Side, the also excellent Kirwan-pened "World In Harmony," making it's CD debut. "Manalishi" is familiar to many from JUDAS PRIEST's great cover version......

Now for the elephant in the does it sound? For years since it was first available on CD (1988) fans of 'THEN PLAY ON' have clamored for a remaster to replace the original's HORRIBLE transfer. Many fans are unaware that a few years after the initial CD release Warner Brother's DID put out a revised version along with several other sub-standard releases by other artists, but was not publicized. You can tell if you have this version by checking it's inner ring on the playing (shiny) side. If the code "RE-1" appears, then you own it. Produced by the band, the music has always had a compressed and over-driven levels-in-the-red sound, buried under a layer of hiss. The recent Deluxe Edition was somewhat clearer with less hiss, but upon close listening there are many subtle and suspiciously vinyl-like "clicks and pops," belying the photos of the "original" tapes. The engineers at Warner Japan must've had accessed a completely different master than was used for the multiple U.S. editions. The album sounds the cleanest EVER with almost NO audible hiss or distortion. Even though no remastering credits appear it is hands-down the best version. If I were to speculate, the result is probably due to the persistence of the Japanese team to find the best possible master instead of lazily trying to squeeze one more try out of the substandard U.S. master. My only complaint is the lack of the Deluxe Edition's extra tracks. If you're a fan of Peter Green, Danny Kirwan and FLEETWOOD MAC, don't hesitate, grab one before it goes out of print......

AN ADDENDUM: Many years ago, a VHS, LaserDisc and in 1994 a DVD titled "The Original FLEETWOOD MAC: The Early Years" was available. Featuring fifteen rare TV performances, some mimed but many live, the video is a MUST for fans of this era of the group. If you can find one now prices are astronomic, but if you ever run across a copy or can afford it the performance are mind-boggling......

ADDENDUM #2: "The Original FLEETWOOD MAC: The Early Years" DVD is now again available in the reissue of THE VAUDEVILLE YEARS OF FLEETWOOD MAC: 1968 to 1970 (reissue).' This reissue does NOT contain the thick booklet noted in the mention of it's previous incarnation below. Also, in the review section there are opposing views comments stating the DVD will and will not play in U.S. drives. Proceed at your own risk......

ADDENDUM #3: To be completely honest, instead of editing my original review I'm correcting my information here regarding the two "Madge" instrumentals. As H. Walen states in his comments, there IS a full length version of "The Madge Sessions" on the 'MEN OF THE WORLD' set. I would like to point out though, that the 'MEN OF THE WORLD' set is a bargain compilation of material from three other sets, 'THE VAUDEVILLE YEARS OF FLEETWOOD MAC: 1968 to 1970 (original release),' 'SHOW-BIZ BLUES: 1968-1970' and 'BOSTON.' The first two sets come in nice digi-books with copious notes and photos, and the latter, which was previously released on three separate discs ('LIVE IN BOSTON: REMASTERED, Volumes 1,2 & 3), now comes in a round cardboard box similar to the recent 3CD set of SMALL FACES 'OGDEN'S NUT GONE FLAKE' (same company). I don't own 'BOSTON' but I do have the separate disc and can highly recommend it, grab it while it's still at a reasonable price! The digi-book sets are pricey compared to the bargain 'MEN OF THE WORLD' comp, but if you're a rabid fan of the Peter Green version of FLEETWOOD MAC they are essential purchases, especially due to the thick informative booklets. The reissue of 'THE VAUDEVILLE YEARS' contains the GREAT out-of-print DVD "The Original FLEETWOOD MAC: The Early Years" but NOT the booklet (see above). I forgot that I had "The Madge Sessions" when I wrote the initial review but hopefully this additional information will point fans and newbies in the direction of some fine music......
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Peter Green's Swan Song 6 Feb. 2014
By The Peripatetic Reader - Published on
When this album was recorded in 1969 Peter Green was in a restless state of mind. Many attribute his downfall from an extremely high dose of strong acid taken at a commune in Germany. His restlessness started far earlier. There was no question that he was the guiding light of the band, but he named Fleetwood Mac after rhythm backup of Mick Fleetwood (drums) and John McVie (bass). Long before that fateful trippy night in Germany, Peter Green never felt comfortable being in the limelight and had doubts about the path he had chosen and where he was going.

Then Play On is indeed Peter Green's swan song, his farewell to the music business that made him one of the greatest blues guitarists, the only British guitarist that "made B.B. King sweat." Then Play On brilliantly -- tragically -- reflects Peter Green's fitful, isolated, state of mind.

Peter Green said "Goodbye" on the first side, with the three songs of the US LP lineup. Listen, for instance he sang the words of his first song, "Closing My Eyes." With the sparse use of a guitar, lone drums, and the sad droning of a Hammond organ, he sings

Now it's the same as before
And I'm alone again.

With no sorrow for myself
And I'm blaming no one else.

We're still a world apart
As now I am back to the time
Where I would search for a dream
But no use to try anymore as before
Someday I'll die, and maybe then I'll be with you.

The heart-felt sadness of this song was transformed to his indictment of the music business in the appropriately named, "Show Biz Blues." In his plaintiff refrain he sings

Tell me anybody
Now do you give a damn about me?

He couldn't help but throw in a pun:

And you're sitting there so green
Believe me man I'm just the same as you.

No doubt that was his answer for the name his fans gave him: the Green God. He starts to lash out in the next song, "Oh Well." The song is composed in two parts; the first featuring a feverish acoustic guitar riff with the words:

I can't help about the shape I'm in
I can't sing, I ain't pretty and my legs are thin
Don't ask what I think of you
I might not give you the answer that you want me to

At this time Peter Green had taken to playing with flowing robes and wearing a crucifix. He grew out his hair and beard. He looked like, indeed wanted to be, a monk. This is reflected in the other lyrics of the song.

Now when I talk to God I knew he'd understand
He said, "Stick by me and I'll be your guiding hand."
Don't ask what I think of you
I might not give you the answer that you want me to

At that point he has found inner peace. The second part of the song is a reflective, soothing dialogue between an acoustic guitar and the rest of the band.

On the US version of this album at least, the second side of the LP featured the type of music he sought -- a rambling improvisational type of rock summarized in the song "Searching for Madge," which is simply a rambling, free form jam, interrupted with Mick Fleetwood saying, "Madge? Madge?" Whoever Madge is or represents only Peter Green knows. There are other songs, but they do not match the emotional grip he unleashed earlier. The album was Peter Green's last collaboration with his band. He released an album following Then Play On, an album of unfocused jams featuring the face of a tiger baring its teeth on the cover, called, appropriately enough, "End of the Game." This is undoubtedly how Peter Green felt and the music he wanted to play. Nothing he released -- before or since -- matched the emotional punch of Then Play On. No other rock album so explicitly exposed a musician's psyche as this one, although the Plastic Ono Band, comes to mind. This album pushed the boundaries of rock music and may have pushed Green past the mental precipice, although as Danny Kirwan's song indicates, Peter Green was "Coming your Way."

Then Play On is required listening and an unforgettable music experience.
Peter Green's Farewell Finally In MLPS! 29 Sept. 2014
By Frederick Baptist - Published on
Before the more famous (or infamous depending upon when you started following them) Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham-heading Fleetwood Mac there was the one headed by Peter Green. He was an extremely talented heavy blues guitarist in the Clapton mode and yet he still had his own unique sound. However, alcohol and drug (especially acid) abuse led to a sadly short career and this album, "Then Play On", became his swansong. One gets the feeling that Green purposely takes a back seat here allowing the young Danny Kirwan's contributions to come to the fore as Green does not dominate as much here as he does in the previous albums. The overall result is a slightly less cohesive-sounding outing with a mixture of styles such as classical guitar and heavy blues for example on my favourite track here, "Oh Well", as well as some pure jamming tracks among other more exotic tracks revealing a more experimental feel throughout as compared with previous albums suggesting a more group-like involvement with inputs from more than just Peter Green alone.

This mini-lp replica sleeve (mlps) release is a real treat for collectors ranking among the finest that I've ever seen. The gatefold sleeve is very well assembled from quality cardboard material and the inner sleeve design very faithfully resembles the original vinyl sleeve. Also included is a 12-page booklet containing all the lyrics in both English and Japanese. The sound quality is decent given the age of the masters although there is some muddiness on the bass notes on a few tracks suggesting some clipping of the signal and compression at the remastering stage but thankfully this does not resemble full-scale loudness wars like I've heard on too many recent cd releases. Overall this album sounds just like it is which is a transition album from the early Peter Green heavy blues to what Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer would take it to over the next few albums before the Bob Welch and finally the Buckingham/Nicks days that most fans are familiar with.

Excellent mlps design and assembly, above average content and average sound quality rates this release as a Recommended.
I would just like to add that I found the Japan issue SHM ... 18 Feb. 2015
By groover - Published on
Verified Purchase
I would just like to add that I found the Japan issue SHM version considerably better than the US issue in terms of clarity, realism, and tone. So much so, I just bought Kiln House in the SHM version. I found the SHM versions of the YES albums fantastically better than US versions. SHM is a manufacturing process meant to make it easier for the laser to read the disc. Even when the same masters are used, the SHM offers an advantage to a machine and digital system capable of making use of it. That advantage should be less error correction/ interpolation, and better accuracy of phase and amplitude data in reading the disc. I didn't think SHM discs had much to offer until I began trying different CD/DVD drives in my server and found one that just sounded WAY better than others. Now, the sonic quality of SHM discs is quite evident. One can often buy SHM, remastered SHM, and Platinum remastered SHM versions of a particular release. In general, each one is a step up in clarity, inner detail, realism, and inner dynamics. Perhaps not mind blowing steps, but I enjoy the music more - thus worth it to me.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
shm disappointment 9 Oct. 2013
By ppcc - Published on
Verified Purchase
well...just received via registered mail...two of my classic rock/blues favourites. Kiln House & Then Play On....SHM format.
I already have 4 other SHM titles (Sticky Fingers, Quadrophenia, Paranoid & The Original Sountrack/10cc). All 4 of these SHM's appear to be worthy of the considerable investment to get the best/most-technological sound available.
I enjoy SACD and DVD-Audio titles on my system Denon AVR5803 & Denon DVD5900 & Krell Resolution-2 speakers, PSAudio power conditioner, PSAudio interconnects. For the testing I did to evaluate these 2 SHM Mac titles...I used headphones (Sennheiser HD600 w/Stephan Audio-Art/Equinox replacement cable. Didn't mean to load you up with this silly hardware drivel...just wanted to point out that upon listening to the SHM versions of Kiln House & Then Play On...the only difference over the red-book versions (not the RE-1 versions)was that the SHM copies played slightly louder. The exact same hiss levels on entrance and exit points on all the same songs were clearly apparent on both versions for both titles. Track-1 exit on Then Play On...and entrance into track-2 had the same hiss levels and even the same pop at the same juncture. Kiln House exit from Earl Gray and into One Together...same thing. C. McVie harmonizing 1/3rd the way through One Together had the same 'wobble' on both versions. I so wanted to hear a difference, but not to be. I purchased through Amazon (other seller in Japan/less $) and for these 2 purchases, I am very disappointed. John H. McCarthy...I see you reviewed Future Games/SHM quite similarly. I thought some other descriptions of Warner's poor efforts on these SHM's was right on. BTW....I rate both these titles as 5++ artistically. I have all the Mac/Kirwan/Spencer...Chicken Shack, Savoy Brown, Mayall, Rory...LP's/CD's...etc. I even saw Peter Green play at the State Theatre/Falls Church a few years back. I hope this helps. Cheers!
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