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on 12 October 2010
Please note this review is only for the July 2004 re-issue of the album, and not the original album which I love.

A bit of background first, when I bought this version of the album the track listings were incorrect, using the original album's track list. To be honest I can't see how this version can even justify using the same album name as so many of the original tracks are not included (as noted in a previous review).

I suppose it's 'horses for courses' here as some people may like the changes made, but for me including five versions of the same track while omitting original tracks is nothing short of a rip-off. This hasn't added value but instead has detracted from a brilliant album. Add new tracks by all means - but please keep the original tracks.
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on 5 May 2017
Good cd a few takes of need your love so bad which is not bad.
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VINE VOICEon 31 July 2007
This is a rather different pious bird to the previous CD incarnation of the same album, which was a straight reissue of the LP that first appeared on vinyl courtesy of their old record label in 1969, at the same time as their Reprise album Then Play On. Two tracks taken from the first two albums and two of the band backing Eddie Boyd have been dropped from the new release (although there was room for them), leaving from the original album only the first four singles the band released, in 1967 and 1968: Rambling Pony/I Believe My Time Ain't Long, Black Magic Woman/The Sun Is Shining and Albatross/Jigsaw Puzzle Blues, between them totalling less than fifteen minutes.

Need Your Love So Bad appeared before in its original edit, fading after 3:45 (its B-side, an alternative take of Stop Messin' Round, was not included, and has not been added), but now this album in its new plumage is a protracted homage to the 1955 Little Willie John standard, as about forty-seven and a half minutes of the CD are taken up with various working versions and remixes. We hear the first abandoned try-outs of the song from 11 April 1968, the first three takes from the second session of 28 April and the completed 6:55 master of take four, with overdubbed horns, and strings arranged by Mickey Baker (who played guitar on Little Willie John's original). At the end, Peter Green can be heard to say, "I mucked the ending up." This didn't matter for the single edit, but when the full-length mix was proposed for an American B-side, he returned to the studio in October to re-do his vocal and guitar parts for it, and this superb 'USA Version' (which was never used) closes the album.

The other additional track is an early take of Like Crying, a song that featured on Then Play On, featuring Danny Kirwan and Peter Green alone. All the tracks have been mixed anew from the session multi-track tapes and sound stunning. Bits of studio chat and the odd musical fluff have been allowed to stand, making this more of a documentary study of a band at work than a "best of" collection.
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The vinyl LP "The Pious Bird Of Good Omen" was released on the now famous and much revered Blue Horizon label in the UK in August 1969. With its racey "nun" sleeve, band name in place and distinctive title - an unsuspecting punter could have been forgiven at the time for believing it to be their 3rd "new" album. But it wasn't. Instead it was a 12-track ragbag of non-album 7" singles & their b-sides, collaborations and other rarities difficult to find on LP.

The reason I mention this is that there are now TWO variants of this album on CD. The standard version from CBS re-released in 1995 has the original 12-track line up and is exactly as per the LP release (a non-remaster), but this 2004 remastered and remixed version really screws it around and some explanation is in order because this new variant actually 'loses' tracks from the original...

Here's what the original album 12-track line-up looked like (with added extra info):
(all tracks are credited to FLEETWOOD MAC except 4 and 9 which are credited EDDIE BOYD with PETER GREEN'S FLEETWOOD MAC)

1. Need Your Love So Bad (a Little Willie John cover) (their 3rd UK single on BH in July 1968)
2. Coming Home (an Elmore James cover) (on "Mr. Wonderful", their 2nd BH album from September 1968)
3. Ramblin' Pony (Peter Green original) (Non-Album B-side of their 1st UK 7" single on BH from November 1967)
4. The Big Boat (Eddie Boyd track) [by Eddie Boyd with Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac] (Non-Album A-side of BH 7" single from 1967)
5. I Believe My Time Ain't Long (Jeremy Spencer song) (Non-Album A-side of their 1st UK 7" single on BH from November 1967)
6. The Sun Is Shining (an Elmore James cover) (Non-Album B-side to "Black Magic Woman" their 2nd UK 7" single on BH in March 1968)
7. Albatross (Peter Green original) (November 1968 4th UK 7" single on BH)
8. Black Magic Woman (Peter Green original) (Non-Album A-side, their 2nd UK 7" single on BH in March 1968)
9. Just The Blues (Eddie Boyd track) [by Eddie Boyd with Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac] (Non-Album B-side of BH 7" single from 1967)
10. Jigsaw Puzzle Blues (Danny Kirwan track) (Non-Album B-side of "Albatross")
11. Looking For Somebody (Peter Green original) (from their debut LP "Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac" on BH February 1968)
12. Stop Messin' Around (Peter Green co-write with C.G. Adams) (as per track 2)

Now here's the track list of this re-sequenced re-issue so you can see the differences and omissions:

1. Need Your Love So Bad (Master Version)
2. Rambling Pony
3. I Believe My Time Ain't Long
4. The Sun Is Shining
5. Albatross
6. Black Magic Woman
7. Jigsaw Puzzle Blues
8. Like Crying
9. Need Your Love So Bad (Version 1)
10. Need Your Love So Bad (Version 3)
11. Need Your Love So Bad (Version 2)
12. Need Your Love So Bad (Take 2)
13. Need Your Love So Bad (USA Version)

When you compare the track list of the original 12-song LP with this 13-track re-issue, you see they bear little resemblance to each other! Why so different? What happened was this. 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. Also, what you can't see from the track listing of the new CD is that Track 9 "Need Your Love So Bad (Version 1)" is Take 1, 2 and 3 combined and runs to 11:35! Track 10 is worse; it has Take 1 and 2 and runs to 13:06! The novelty was ok for the box set, but it quickly wears off. I doubt any casual buyer wants 6 variants of this track on anything - and of course, it isn't the album "Pious Bird Of Good Omen" as it was released.

With regard to the Eddie Boyd collaborations on tracks 4 & 9, I've bought the EDDIE BOYD CD "The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions", which features PG's Mac and it's a genuine peach - an absolute must-own if you're a fan of either artist. I've also acquired the OTIS SPANN 2CD set "The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions" again with PG's Mac, which is also fantastic - not just in its breath, but also in its truly awesome remastered sound and huge haul of primo unissued material on CD2 (see my separate reviews of these for fuller details).

I would advise fans of this period to purchase ALL the Blue Horizon issues that feature Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac because there's magic dripping off all of them! And in order to actually get "Pious Bird" in remastered form, you'll probably have to!

As it stands "Pious Bird" is a still a rocking good bluesy offering (in any configuration) and only makes you pine for more. And "Albatross" - arguably the best rock instrumental ever made - is still truly gobsmacking to this day.

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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on 24 December 2012
If you ignore the language on a couple of the tracks, great british blues and" need your love" brilliant

If you enjoy blues guitar it's a must.
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on 15 November 2010
While I can understand that someone liking the original album would object to the rearrangement of what tracks appear on this reissue I have to admit to this release being one of the most illuminating CDs I've listened to from the point of view of a guitarist, and particularly from the point of view of a guitarist who rates the work of Peter Green, before illness took hold, as some of the most emotional and beautiful electric guitar blues ever recorded.

Having the multi-take versions of I Need Your Love So Bad for me was an education. The intensity put into all these takes and the different interpretations were a joy to hear. I also find that hearing this song slimmed down of production and strings so we can hear the musicianship so clearly of Pater Green and also the rest of Fleetwood Mac was a wonderful experience. Also it helps to hear the vocals more clearly too - Peter Green was a very high class British Blues singer. Interesting too hearing the different effect on the takes that using piano or organ or Sax has.

I maybe should also admit to maybe being biaised in that "I Need Your Love So Bad" is one of my favourite songs.
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on 11 February 2016
Until I see a CD with every original track on it , I won't even waste £4.99 on this
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on 30 July 2015
Albatross & Black Magic Woman - and splendid Peter Green & Jeremy Spencer
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on 14 December 2016
FANTASTIC as I new it would be.
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on 5 March 2016
I like it but "special'
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