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Hypnotized: The Wilderness Years of Fleetwood Mac

Artist Song Buy
Fleetwood Mac  My Dream  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Although The Sun Is Shining  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Station Man  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Jewel Eyed Judy  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  One Together  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Future Games  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Sands Of Time  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Sometimes  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  The Ghost  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Bare Trees  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Sentimental Lady  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Emerald Eyes  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Forever  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Hypnotized  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Why  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Angel  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Bermuda Triangle  buy on itunes
Fleetwood Mac  Born Enchanter  buy on itunes


Not a lot of bands out there name themselves after the rhythm section (ok, maybe the Dave Clark Five), but in the case of Fleetwood Mac it proved a particularly prescient move. As we all know, the band has been around in one form or another for 40 years, the only constants being drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie, with a rotating cast of frontmen (and women). Obviously, the best-known Mac is the mid-70s/early-80s radio-friendly pop incarnation, with the Buckingham/Nicks team (along with holdover Christine McVie) driving stratospheric album sales. And the initial British blues-based version of the band, with legendary guitarist Peter Green at the helm, has long been a critical fave. (No need to mention the execrable post-Buckingham era.)
Sadly overlooked (for the most part) is the half-decade between Green's departure and Buckingham/Nicks' arrival, which, alas, I now must admit to being a huge guilty pleasure of mine. Guilty, because much of this period was characterized by bland mediocrity, a few fine AOR hits aside (particularly the soft rock classic "Hypnotized"). Yet I happen to see a lot of mellow beauty in this era. Green-era holdovers Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan moved the band into a quieter direction, replacing the blues with a more pop/country amalgam. The addition of Bob Welch (and the increasing role of Christine McVie) moved the band towards the mainstream, though they were at their best with Welch's psychedelic-tinged jazzy rock, with much of the music sounding a lot like early-70s Pink Floyd or Steely Dan (the musical theme of mix closer "Born Enchanter" is a direct rip-off of the jam section of Floyd's "Echoes"). Granted, a lot of this was sappy to a fault (i.e. semi-hits "Sentimental Lady," "Emerald Eyes"), and Welch tended to reuse riffs, lending to a sameness to his work, though I've always found it somewhat charming and soothing. However, I've never been a fan of Christine McVie's straight-ahead pop, which became increasingly prevalent as the 70s wore on, so she's pretty much absent from this mix (the gentle "Why" being the exception).
A few caveats. I don't have the album Penguin, finding it the weakest of the bunch, so nothing from that to be found here (wouldn't mind revising this mix if someone's got a copy, though). And, alas, this period of the band is in dire need of remastering; the cd's sound like they were mastered off an old cassette, burying undeniable beauty like "Jewel Eyed Judy" under a sea of hiss.
The mix, arranged chronologically from Green's final album (a couple Kirwan tracks from 1969's Then Play On) through Welch's swan song (1974's Heroes Are Hard To Find) actually came out quite nicely. As most of the albums are fairly inconsistent (with the possible exception of 1973's Mystery To Me, by which time Spencer and Kirwan were long gone and the band was firmly in the hands of Welch and McVie), culling them down to 2-3 tracks per album definitely benefits the band.
image for mix


Date: 5/25/2008
Bare Trees was a favorite from my college days. I like everything thing they did through Tusk. Nicely done.
Rob Conroy
Date: 5/25/2008
This is a period from which I've heard very little, so I'd be interested in hearing your selections....
avocado rabbit
Date: 5/25/2008
I was always a fan of Bob Welch, both with the band a his solo albums. He's a hit-and-miss songwriter but the ones that worked were terrific.
I do have the "Penguin" LP along with all the others from that period (and before) on vinyl, so if you're looking for a particular cut just ask. And the vinyl does sound like the music should sound.
Date: 5/26/2008
Thank you for making this mix! I, too, am a big fan of this Mac era. The best cut on Penguin for me is "Dissatisfied", but maybe that has too much of Christine in for your taste. "Hypnotized" is one of those "ear worms" that linger long after the cut has stopped playing.
Date: 5/26/2008
I guess Mick and John deserved all that success after paying their dues so long. I would like to hear more from this period.
Mr. Mirage
Date: 5/27/2008
Hypnotized is, by far, my favorite Mac cut, outside of the insane Tusk experiment.
Little Spencer Boys
Date: 5/28/2008
I too love this phase of Mac. I believe I have Penguin on CD, I'll check this evening. If I do I'll be glad to burn and send it off to you. Piece of strange trivia... Peter Green formed the group from the core of the Bluesbreakers, naming it Fleetwwod Mac to entice the drummer and bassist. McVie, though, wanted steady work, so he did not immediately join. The first Mac drummer was Bob Brunning (who later wrote the Fleetwood Mac 'biography').
Date: 5/28/2008
Helluva synopsis and good tune selection. I'm also a Hynotized fan, and now realize I haven't heard it in years.

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