Then Play On
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ORIGINAL 13 TRACK CD-EAN 075992744829
Before they set sail for California and a new life as consummate pop songsmiths, Fleetwood Mac were pedigreed British blues rockers with roots in Britain's seminal John Mayall's Blues Breakers and their hearts orbiting Chicago and the Mississippi Delta. One of the few surviving albums from that ill-fated, earlier Mac, Then Play On captures them at a potent turning point: the original two-guitar quartet, with founder Peter Green's sinuous leads complemented by Jeremy Spencer's shimmering slide guitar, had been augmented by third guitarist Danny Kirwan, a Green protégé. Buttressed by Mick Fleetwood's muscular yet restrained drumming and John McVie's steady-as-a-heartbeat bass lines, this edition of the band revelled in moody, compelling guitar showpieces that savour texture and line over sheer speed or volume. Accordingly, the lyrics don't benefit from close study, but the guitars surely do--and when the quintet launches into the best-remembered track here, the classic "Oh, Well" (which reunites the separate electric and acoustic sections originally released as two sides of a single), it's understandable that Green, in his day, was mentioned comfortably in the same breath with Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. --Sam Sutherland
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
In a recent issue of Uncut magazine, they rated all Fleetwood Mac`s albums - a mad idea in itself, since the original band were nothing like the later, blander version. They unaccountably, and all too predictably gave the bafflingly overrated Rumours a full ten out of ten, while Then Play On picked up eight. Had I been rating them, Rumours would have got five or six at most, and TPO would have got nine or ten. To these ears Rumours is to TPO what Michael McIntyre is to Dylan Moran, or Dan Brown to Ian McEwan.
Alright, rant over.
TPO has been somewhat neglected since its release. It did well back in 1970, but has fallen off the radar, partly perhaps due to early Mac albums not getting a proper CD reissue programme till now.
This welcome new edition of a unique record is the bee`s knees. It was the last one Peter Green made before his demons sent him into freefall (thank goodness he`s still with us) and he`s very much to the fore, as is Danny Kirwan, their differing styles of both singing and guitar complementing each other beautifully.
The Kirwan-sung tracks are lyrical, melodic and rather innocent - though he was to have his own demons; and he`s still with us too. (Amazingly, against all odds, the Mac are one band who, as far as I can tell, have not lost any members to the Grim Reaper, quite a rare thing in rock.) Green`s songs are both bluesy (the rousing Rattlesnake Shake) and mourfully soulful (the lovely Closing My Eyes).
Jeremy Spencer, as the excellent booklet notes tell, us, hardly plays on this one, seeming content to pop into the studio and lay down only one or two licks.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The blues version of Fleetwood Mac and good they were, indeed. The later, US pop incarnation of FM was a different beast indeed, and I'd guess that those who are fans of that later... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jon Roar Strandenes