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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THEN PLAY ON - JUST AS IT SHOULD BE...
For this particular music buff, this new edition of Fleetwood Mac's expansive 1969 album THEN PLAY ON is quite possibly the key reissue of 2013. Having had to put up with that awful butchered version for all these years and thinking that the genuine UK version of the record would never come out on CD, I gave up the ghost and some months ago forked out some fifty quid on...
Published 11 months ago by Mr. L. F. G. Ballinger

versus
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh Well, maybe they'll get it right next time....
First off, why do Amazon still persist on lumping all the reviews for a particular album together? The older reviews for this album pertain to the original CD release of Then Play On not the new 2013 CD issue. Just makes it more confusing for the casual fan who may be trying to find out about a particular version!

Anyway, rant over (almost!). I've been waiting...
Published 11 months ago by Stratpack


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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THEN PLAY ON - JUST AS IT SHOULD BE..., 26 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Then Play On (Extended Edition) (Audio CD)
For this particular music buff, this new edition of Fleetwood Mac's expansive 1969 album THEN PLAY ON is quite possibly the key reissue of 2013. Having had to put up with that awful butchered version for all these years and thinking that the genuine UK version of the record would never come out on CD, I gave up the ghost and some months ago forked out some fifty quid on an original vinyl copy just so that I could listen to this album in the configuration that it was originally intended. Now, lo and behold, miracles do happen: Rhino Records have put the original 14-track UK edition onto CD at last.

With Peter Green moving away from the pure blues and second guitarist Danny Kirwan being actively encouraged to blossom as a songwriter, THEN PLAY ON represented a major progression for Fleetwood Mac. 'Coming Your Way', Kirwan's pulsating opening track, and his wistful 'Although The Sun Is Shining' stood proudly alongside Green's increasingly introspective compositions like 'Closing My Eyes' and his truly sublime album closer 'Before The Beginning'. THEN PLAY ON is not without its flaws - the cut-up jam session 'Fighting For Madge'/'Searching For Madge' does tend to disrupt the flow of the album to some extent - but overall the collection offers up many indicators as to the Mac's future course.

I've read some negative comments about the remastering (as usual). I would agree that it's perhaps not the most dramatic sound make-over I've ever heard, but compared to the vinyl copy I bought (which was in pretty good nick) I think it all sounds fine. Mick Fleetwood's bass drum patterns really hit home on 'One Sunny Day', for example, while 'Before The Beginning' - surely a number that influenced Santana - has a beautiful resonance to it. I must admit, however, that the associated singles included here as bonus tracks, namely both sides of 'Oh Well', its follow-up 'The Green Manalishi', and the latter's gorgeous Danny Kirwan-penned b-side 'World In Harmony', do sound a little more dynamic than the album tracks for some reason; to be honest, 'Oh Well (Part One)' sounds absolutely awesome on here and is worth the price of the CD alone.

The packaging is perfectly satisfactory. The original gatefold cover has been nicely reproduced around the jacket of the booklet with the design continuing onto the back of the actual jewel case, while journalist David Fricke's eloquent essay lays bare the background to the album, bolstered with some additional quotes from Mick Fleetwood.

To sum up, I have no real complaints over this release. It is just how I've always wanted THEN PLAY ON to be released on CD - the bonus tracks selected are just the right choices - and its welcome appearance fills a long-vacant space in my collection.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't know what the others are listening to??, 16 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Then Play On (Extended Edition) (Audio CD)
I felt I had to write a review of this reissue as after listening to my copy and indeed the original vinyl and the first issue CD I don't know what the other reviewers are carping on about? I think they must be "Aurally challenged" or just plain picky. This remaster is a wonderful, long overdue addition to the FM discography. I found the sound through my modestly expensive system to be wonderful. This work was well ahead of it's time, masterful. Just imagine what Peter could have achieved if not for drugs and disrupted health.

So the message from me is don't listen to the carpers, if you like this era of FM get this reissue. Carpers go put your anoraks on!!
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best blues Rock albums ever., 6 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Then Play On (Audio CD)
Then Play On features Peter Green near the peak of his songwriting and guitar playing powers. I know that sounds cliched but it is true. This album has a range of styles that showcases the incredible talents of the band as a whole but it is worth buying simply for the classic playing of Green. It is a classic Rock album and has everything from hit single material (Oh Well) to free flowing jams (Searching for Madge) to heartbreaking soul searching. Wonderful drumming and percusion (listen to Coming your way) great guitar courtesy of Green and Danny Kirwan (Jeremy Spencer did not play on this one..See Vaudville Years for the Spencer contributions and the outtakes of this album)and well...what more could you want? It is a great album.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh Well, maybe they'll get it right next time...., 26 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Then Play On (Extended Edition) (Audio CD)
First off, why do Amazon still persist on lumping all the reviews for a particular album together? The older reviews for this album pertain to the original CD release of Then Play On not the new 2013 CD issue. Just makes it more confusing for the casual fan who may be trying to find out about a particular version!

Anyway, rant over (almost!). I've been waiting for this album to be properly remastered and reissued for YEARS. I'm a huge fan of the Peter Green era of FM. I have all the Blue Horizon remastered CD's and they sound fantastic - which makes this album all the more frustrating. They've got the running order right, seperated Oh Well into parts 1 and 2 as it should be, added the singles as bonus tracks and supplied a great booklet. (I doubt Mick Fleetwood was interviewed for this album, more likely his quotes about the album have been lifted from elsewhere, but hey-ho). Even the pre-order price of 6.99 was great. But the sound.....come on!?

I was hoping to hear Oh Well properly remastered in stereo, but no, its still the mono version. The sound is identical to the CD issue of the old CBS Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits that came out 25 years ago (at least). Here was an opportunity to offer properly remastered, complete sterephonic sound of this album and singles and its been squandered. Ok, I know theres the argument about mono v stereo (Beatles etc) but why not offer both versions as bonus tracks?? As said elsewhere there is hiss all over the place and the high end is clipped badly, especially during Oh Well Part 2 - its sounds like its being played off an old cassette from years ago (and not a Maxell even, one of those cheap ones from Poundstretcher!). I can only imagine they couldn't find the master tapes, that's the only excuse thats close to forgiveable! The main album is a little better mainly because its in stereo but I can't hear too much improvement over the original CD.

Its a double edged sword, I'm glad the album has been reissued and I can now complete the studio output of that era of the band. The UK version of the album has been neglected for such a long time and now its available for people to discover. But... on the other hand I feel that someone from Rhino has been on the blogs regarding the The Top Ten Forgotten Albums and someones thought, "we could license that and put it out". Unfortunately, not taking the proper care and attention that a release such as this deserves. After all, the sound is what its about, not the fancy booklet.

I've given the album a generous 3 stars. 5 for the music and genius of Peter Green but 1 for the poor sound. It sounds like this CD was put out in 1983, not 2013.

Also, have a look at the reviews of the Fleetwood Mac 1969-72 Vinyl box that Rhino have just released which also includes the vinyl version of this album. People are complaining that they've been skimping on the vinyl and they're being put out on 120g not 180g so they're warped. Maybe this cost cutting can also explain why they haven't invested in properly dealing with the sound on the CD. They've probably cut a master with the vinyl box set in mind and used that, rather than mastering one specifically for the audibility of CD. Just a hunch though.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AT LAST IN 2013 THE MASTERPIECE UK VERSION ARRIVES!, 22 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Then Play On (Extended Edition) (Audio CD)
It's taken 44 years for this original 1969 UK LP version of "Then Play On" to finally appear on CD! This was the swan song album of the original Fleetwood Mac founded by Peter Green in 1967. This final incarnation of this group included Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer & Danny Kirwan (guitar & vocals), John McVie (bass) and Mick Fleetwood (drums).
Since the earlier days of CD we have had to be content with the inferior American version of this album. This new remaster of "Then Play On" reflects the multitrack technology of the time. It was not a very dynamic sounding recording in the first place, however this new digital transfer gives us what's on the master tapes with more punch. At last we have the original 54 minute edit of the UK LP running order along with bonus tracks of the last two 45 singles from this group, "Oh Well" (Parts 1 & 2), "The Green Manalishi (with the Two Prong Crown)" and "World in Harmony". The total playing time for this new CD reissue with it's original feel and segues is a generous 69:53. All tracks are stereo except for "Oh Well" (in it's original mono mix). Also included in the booklet are 8 pages of fascinating new liner notes and graphics.
"Then Play On", one of the masterpiece British albums of the late 60's, alongside John Mayall's "Bare Wires", demonstrated how the British blues movement had evolved into a polished art form all of it's own. The darkness of "Then Play On" anticipates the murkiness of "Exile on Main St." by the Rolling Stones 3 years hence. We will never know where this Fleetwood Mac might have gone next...
This is a desert island disc.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware of Japanese Re-Issue!, 8 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Then Play On (Extended Edition) (Audio CD)
Like many others I have waited for a decent re-issue of this masterpiece. When I read that Then Play On would get the long deserved make-over and be presented with the correct running order of songs as in the original English vinyl release I was more than happy. When I saw that there will be also a Japanese cardboar cover edition I ordered both the jewel box extended edition at Amazon as well as the Japanese edition directly in Japan. I was very pleased with the normal edition but was shocked to realize that the Japanese edition was released with the wrong running order. Why they should do this is beyond my comprehension. So anybody who considers ordering the Japanese editon, which is by the way done with perfect artwork as usual, should know that this will come neither with the correcet running order/original tracklisting nor with the bonus tracks.
As mentioned by other customers, Amazon should really separate comments and reviews according to the issues and not pack them all together. I give Then Play On (Extended Edition) gladly 5 stars. For the Japanese edition I can only give 3 stars.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its about time.., 20 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Then Play On (Extended Edition) (Audio CD)
I first stumbled across this oft-ignored Fleetwood Mac album in a box of LP's left in an old office I took over (oh it was joyous, An Electric Storm was in there too). It had the black (UK issue I think) cover. The difference between it and even the comparatively recent Fleetwood Mac was startling.
I sold or lost that LP many years ago, and have been struggling along with the appalling CD issue with the US / mixed up tracklisting... until now.
Finally Fleetwood Mac (well, Rhino) have done a superb remastering job, and re-aligned the original UK track listing. So now we have the missing tracks back, the giggle at the beginning of Like Crying, and my favourite Showbiz Blues - well, turn it up.. sounds amazing.
There are three bonus tracks in the form of Oh Well, rightly split into two tracks, The Green Manalishi and a gorgeous Kirwan track World In Harmony.
Trust me folks, you can FINALLY play frisbee with the old Reprise CD and buy this. Its awesome, and about flipping time.

Now, dare they issue remastered UK track listing Blue Horizon Mac stuff, but without all the stupid studio false starts etc?!?!
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61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Flawed Release, 7 Feb 2005
By 
Mark Harris (Bath, Somereset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Then Play On (Audio CD)
While 'Then Play On' is a masterpiece, beware that this is not a straight reissue of the original UK release - 2 tracks are missing and 'Oh Well' has been grafted in to a revised running order, as was done on European & US releases at time of issue. However, it will have to do until WEA or an enlightened re-issue specialist decides to issue the album in its entirity - hopefully boosted by the 'Oh Well' and 'Green Manalishi' singles.
In the meantime, as other reviewers say, marvel in the talent on show - a band at their peak.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ONE SUNNY DAY WITHOUT YOU, 11 Nov 2009
By 
Mr. Sr Harrup "nehpetsrh" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Then Play On (Audio CD)
It has been correctly mentioned that this release of 'Then Play On' is the U.S. listing, not the original U.K. listing. We all know that 'Oh Well' was added, but, which two tracks were omitted? Both songs that were left off were written by Danny Kirwan, 'One Sunny Day' & the beautiful 'Without You'. In this age of 70+ minute CDs, omitting these two tracks is really stupid, take the 14 original tracks, add 'Oh Well' and you have a playing time of just 60 minutes, well within the scope of a single CD. So shame upon the record company! If, like me, you want the missing tracks, well, they are on an album called 'Original Fleetwood Mac', but be warned, I think there may be 2 albums with that title! So check the track listing (I think they are tracks 17 & 18).

As for 'Then Play On', a masterful album with some wonderful tracks, well worth adding to any collection, too many good tracks to mention, just listen to the album.

And why only 4 stars? That is for the record company.

BTW, the original CD releases by the Rolling Stones suffered that same fate - U.S. listings instead of the original U.K. Someone should tell record companies that we are not the 51st State! (or are we?)
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "...Baby You Gotta Rock..." THEN PLAY ON Remastered & Expanded, 19 Aug 2013
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Then Play On (Extended Edition) (Audio CD)
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2013 CD REMASTER ***

OK - here goes.

THE LP: When "Then Play On" was first released on vinyl in the UK and USA in September 1969 - fans found that the album differed on both sides of the pond. The British LP had 14 tracks while the USA issue had only 12 - and a slightly different track running order. To add further confusion to the album's history - the split 7" single "Oh Well" became a sizeable chart hit in the UK in September and radio presence in the USA in November 1969 - so Reprise USA decided to relaunch the US album that November with 11-tracks - this time incorporated the hugely popular "When I Talk To God..." song. But instead of including "Oh Well" split into Part 1 and Part 2 (like the UK single) they edited it together as one long song with a small amount of repetition added on in error (the American album version runs to just over 9 minutes). The two Danny Kirwan tracks "Without You" and "One Sunny Day" that appeared on the original UK LP were dropped from the US variant because they'd already appeared on the band's 2nd US album "English Rose" in February of that year. There are also giggles and huffs and puffs at the end and beginning of certain tracks that got messed around with too. What this all means is that 1969 effectively saw the release of three "Then Play On" LPs.

THE CD: The dull-as-dishwater basic CD on Reprise that we've had to live with all these decades (released in November 1988) is an un-remastered mishmash of all those line-ups (13 tracks, 54:14 minutes). So for the sake of clarity I'm going to show how this 19 August 2013 Extended CD on Warner Brothers/Rhino 8122796443 (18 tracks at 69:53 minutes) will finally allow fans to sequence all three variants of "Then Play On" LP - and the singles that surrounded it (just about). The track number is after each song title...

ALBUMS:
September 1969 UK LP on Reprise RSLP 9000 with 14 Tracks:
Side 1:
1. Coming Your Way [1]
2. Closing My Eyes [2]
3. Fighting For Madge [3]
4. When You Say [4]
5. Show-biz Blues [5]
6. Under Way [6]
7. One Sunny Day [7]

Side 2:
1. Although The Sun Is Shining [8]
2. Rattlesnake Shake [9]
3. Without You [10]
4. Searching For Madge [11]
5. My Dream [12]
6. Like Crying [13]
7. Before The Beginning [14]

September 1969 USA 1st Pressing LP on Reprise RS 6368 with 12 tracks:
Side 1:
1. Coming Your Way [1]
2. Closing My Eyes [2]
3. Fighting For Madge [3]
4. When You Say [4]
5. Show-biz Blues [5]
6. Underway [aka Under Way] [6]

Side 2:
1. Although The Sun Is Shining [8]
2. Rattlesnake Shake [9]
3. Searching For Madge [11]
4. My Dream [12]
5. Like Crying [13]
6. Before The Beginning [14]

November 1969 "Reissued" USA LP on Reprise RS 6368 with 11 tracks:
Side 1:
1. Coming Your Way [1]
2. Closing My Eyes [2]
3. Show-biz Blues [5]
4. Underway [6]
5. Oh Well (Full Length Version) [15 and 16 - minus the minute in error]

Side 2:
1. Although The Sun Is Shining [8]
2. Rattlesnake Shake [9]
3. Searching For Madge [11]
4. Fighting For Madge [3]
5. Like Crying [13]
6. Before The Beginning [14]

SINGLES:
Rattlesnake Shake b/w Coming Your Way - September 1969 USA 7" single on Reprise 0860 [NO UK Issue]
Oh Well (Part 1) b/w Oh Well (Part 2) - September 1969 UK 7" single on Reprise RS.27000
Oh Well (Pt. 1) b/w Oh Well (Pt. 2) - November 1969 USA 7" single on Reprise 0883
The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown) b/w World In Harmony - May 1970 UK 7" single on Reprise RS.27007 (Rare Copies Have A Picture Sleeve)
The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown) b/w World In Harmony - June 1970 USA 7" single on Reprise 0925

First up it's in a stickered jewel case and not a digipak. The booklet is superbly extended to 12-pages with great liner notes by DAVID FRICKE of Rolling Stone magazine which also features a Mick Fleetwood interview that is both witty and informative. Photos of US demo 7" singles on Reprise and boxes of master tapes festoon each page and the band photo that was the inner sleeve of the gatefold is reproduced on the last pages. There's even master-tapes pictured under the see-through CD tray.

The original British track running order has been re-instated also (Tracks 1 to 14) which for US fans will mean that the album they've grown up with (including the erroneous 9-minute "Oh Well") technically isn't here. But as it's a British band and Peter Green sanctioned the UK track list - in my mind Rhino gets it right. Besides the bonus tracks more than make up for any niggles on that one.

SOUND: the original 1988 CD has been described by some as a benchmark on how 'not' to master an old album. The new disc is 'mastered' by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman mastering (says remastered on the sticker but not in the booklet?) and isn't really an improvement. Those expecting sonic miracles will be massively disappointed. In fact I think the results will probably ranker more than please. It has to be said that there's very audible levels of hiss on almost every track and the top end still seems muddied and ragged. I suspect this has more to do with the original tapes and how the songs were recorded - but bluntly - on a good turntable my original UK vinyl LP sounds better than this...

MUSIC: You'd have to say that "Then Play On" in its English form is an acquired taste. Parts of it sound horribly dated ("Coming My Way") while "Without You" has that amazing "Albatross" vibe that sounds eons ahead of its time. One of the albums other great unsung heroes turned up on 1971's "Greatest Hits" - the blasting "Rattlesnake Shake" (lyrics from it title this review) and here it sounds just fabulous. The re-instating of the two Danny Kirwan songs (especially the rocking "One Sunny Day") bolster the listen experience hugely. They certainly show that both the album and the band at that time wasn't all Peter Green. The bluesy "Show-Biz Blues" and "Under Way" are other highlights and I love the quiet majesty of "Although The Sun Is Shining". And what can you say about the truly astonishing "Oh Well" (either part) - it's 44 years old and rock magic - every time you hear it - it has the power to amaze and influence.

I've had the non-album b-side "World In Harmony" on some CD compilation these past few years - but Rhino are claiming the first official worldwide release of it on this CD. I wish I could say it was a bit of a find but it isn't - it's starts out nicely but descends into a rather dull and meandering Danny Kirwan instrumental. You can't say the same for the blistering A-side which astonishes to this day - "The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown)". WOW! Musically - lyrically - what a blast. It would have been nice to have the rare UK Picture Sleeve (I proudly own one) pictured in the booklet (along with other European variants) - but alas.

To sum up - there's good liner notes for sure, but the sound is iffy at best and bound to divide and disappoint fans who've waited decades for this reissue. The four extra tracks are mostly worthy of the moniker 'bonus' and it has a price tag that isn't some ludicrously inflated deluxe box set rip-off. But in truth - a lot of me wishes this was a lot better than it is.
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