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Customer Review

120 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac - Their Stunning 1968 Debut Album EXPANDED and REMASTERED, 5 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Fleetwood Mac (Audio CD)
In its famous 'dog and dustbin' sleeve, Fleetwood Mac's first album was released in February 1968 on Blue Horizon Records in the UK in both MONO (7-63200) and STEREO (S 7-63200) and in August 1968 on Epic Records in the USA in both MONO (LN 24402) and STEREO (BN 26402). In the UK it's referred to by it's label title "Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac" - in the USA simply as "Fleetwood Mac" (which is on both cover and label). And although it's now recognized as a masterpiece of British Blues - this particular reissue of that explosive debut is "The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions 1967-1969" version - the one taken from the 6CD box set issued in 1999 - and its jumbled around enough to require an explanation.

The original album track list ran as follows (35:55 minutes):

1. My Heart Beat Like A Hammer (Jeremy Spencer song) [2:59 minutes]
2. Merry Go Round (Peter Green song) [4:20 minutes]
3. Long Grey Mare (Peter Green song) [2:15 minutes]
4. Hellhound On My Trail (Robert Johnson cover) [2:06 minutes]
5. Shake Your Moneymaker (Elmore James cover) [2:57 minutes]
6. Looking For Somebody (Peter Green song) [2:52 minutes] (End of Side 1)
7. No Place To Go (Howlin' Wolf cover) [3:21 minutes]
8. My Baby's Good To Me (Jeremy Spencer song) [2:51 minutes]
9. I Loved Another Woman (Peter Green song) [2:57 minutes]
10. Cold Black Night (Jeremy Spencer song) [3:17 minutes]
11. The World Keep On Turning (Peter Green song) [2:29 minutes]
12. Got To Move (Homesick James Williamson cover) [3:21 minutes] (End of Side 2)

But this "Box Set" version runs to almost twice the length of the ordinary CD reissue (63:39 minutes):

1. My Heart Beat Like A Hammer (Take 2 Master Version with Studio Talk) [3:33 minutes]
2. Merry Go Round (Take 2 Master Version with studio Talk) [4:20 minutes]
3. Long Grey Mare (same as 3 above)
4. Hellhound On My Trail (Take 1 Complete Master Version/Remix) [2:06 minutes]
5. Shake Your Moneymaker (Master Version with Studio Talk) [3:14 minutes]
6. Looking For Somebody (same as 6 above)
7. No Place To Go (same as 7 above)
8. My Baby's Good To Me (same as 8 above)
9. I Loved Another Woman (same as 9 above)
10. Cold Black Night (same as 10 above)
11. The World Keep On Turning (same as 11 above)
12. Got To Move (same as 12 above)
BONUSES
13. My Heart Beat Like A Hammer (Take 1 - Previously Unissued) [3:43 minutes]
14. Merry Go Round (Take 1 - Previously Unissued/Incomplete) [0:57 minutes]
15. I Loved Another Woman (Takes 1, 2, 3 and 4 with False Starts - Previously Unissued - Incomplete) [6:09 minutes]
16. I Loved Another Woman (Takes 5 and 6 - Previously Unissued/Incomplete) [5:10 minutes]
17. Cold Black Night (Takes 1 through to 5 with False Starts - Previously Unreleased - and Take 6 which is the master version) [5:30 minutes]
18. You're So Evil (Take 2 - Previously Unreleased Jeremy Spencer Track) [3:07 minutes]
19. I'm Coming Home To Stay (Jeremy Spencer song, Previously Unreleased Track) [2:29 minutes]

Why so different? In 1999, Sony issued the stunning 6-disc box set "The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions 1967-1969" by FLEETWOOD MAC to universal acclaim. Mike Vernon, the label's producer, had taken the unusual decision to re-sequence the track line-ups of ALL 5 UK albums (one was a double) to feature outtakes, studio chatter, false starts and so on. This was of course fine and dandy on a comprehensive box set. But this 2004 singular re-issue mimics that release, when it really should have been reverted to the 12 track original LP run and added the outtakes on as bonuses at the end. It sort of does, of course, but the downside is that when you play "My Heart Beat Like A Hammer" for the first time, the studio chatter and buggering about in the studio is quaint - but when you want to actually hear the track and album proper - it becomes a major pain. You can of course edit it with iTunes to play the 12 tracks as 1st released, but that's more work than should be necessary. On the upside - are the two stunning previously unreleased Jeremy Spencer tracks at the end - "You're So Evil" and especially the raucous Elmore James clone "I'm Coming Home To Stay" - fantastic stuff and genuine bonus tracks. Completeists would have enjoyed this disc having both the MONO and STEREO mix of the album - as initially released - and just the two unreleased on the end - but that's another day's work...

As it stands, their 1968 first album is still one of THE GREAT rocking blues offerings - in any configuration - and only makes you pine for more. I'd say BUY IT anyway and then go for 2 to 5 as well...they're all magicial in their own way.

PS: For those wishing for more, the Blue Horizon label Fleetwood Mac UK albums are:
1. Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac (1968)
(original album, known as "Fleetwood Mac" in the USA)
2. Mr. Wonderful (1968)
(original album)
3. The Pious Bird Of Good Omen (1969)
(compilation of non-album 7" singles, their B-sides, collaborations and other rarities)
4. Blues Jam At Chess (1969)
(original 20-track 2LP set often referred to as a Various Artists compilation.
Its full credit is to: Fleetwood Mac, Otis Spann, Willie Dixon, Shakey Horton, J.T. Brown, Guitar Buddy
(Buddy Guy), Honey Boy Edwards, S.P. Leary. Originally a 2LP set on release, it was broken into 2 volumes
for the "Complete" box set and renamed "Blues Jam In Chicago Volume 1" and "Blues Jam In Chicago
Volume 2". It is ONLY these singular re-sequenced releases that are available today.)
5. The Original Fleetwood Mac (1971)
(although released in '71, this LP has recordings from August 1967 through to October 1968, all of which
were previously unreleased at the time)
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Jun 2011 09:55:23 BDT
Chris says:
Great review Mark! - Thanks for finding the time to share this with us - You're a star ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2013 16:21:23 GMT
Mikey Boy says:
Yes, thanks for such an informative review! I've recently bought this issue of the album, and was wondering why all the false starts and studio chat. Thanks for clearing things up :)
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Mark Barry
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   

Location: London

Top Reviewer Ranking: 10