Monday, June 24, 2013

Rhino to Reissue Early Fleetwood Mac Classic "Then Play On"

By Matt Rowe, Columnist

If we begin to talk about Fleetwood Mac, most will immediately think of the version that employed Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. They will remember "Second Hand News," "Sara," and "Go Your Own Way," but likely couldn't hum the first note of a song called "Oh Well." What may surprise many is that the Fleetwood Mac they remember is a refresh of a much older band, older than they realize.

As a brief biographical sketch, Fleetwood Mac began way back in 1967, a full eight years before the self-titled 1975 classic that broke them wide open with "Over My Head," "Say You Love Me," and "Rhiannon." Moreover, the band had already released nine studio albums with several different incarnations of the band. Essentially, the band began with the highly regarded (among fans) but heavily underrated guitarist, Peter Green as well as Jeremy Spencer, soon transitioning with both Danny Kirwan and Bob Welch. The great thing was that all incarnations of the band were great in their own way. And they created vastly different sets of albums. All their albums are loved by various groups of fans. Believe it or not, some fans find earlier incarnations of Fleetwood Mac to be intrinsically better than the one that most know, you know—that famous version.

Without getting into a grand discussion of what albums preceded that groundbreaking 1975 classic, and their various virtues (and we could do that, easily), it is sufficient for the sake of brevity to just simply announced that Rhino Records will be releasing a deluxe edition reissue of the last Peter Green involved album, Then Play On (1969).

Then Play On was Fleetwood Mac's third studio album and is highly regarded by many FM fans. It comes as a bit of a surprise that the major label would green-light an early era reissue of this band that doesn't guarantee a rabid reaction by most people like Rumours would. But there we have it. They are. And early fans couldn't be happier.

The details are quite sketchy at this point concerning bonus track inclusions (if any) or whether they will go with the original UK track-listing rather than the punctured US release that left several songs off from the UK edition. Nevertheless, it's exciting news.

Currently scheduled for August 19 (UK) and August 20 (US), the Rhino-shine edition of Then Play On will make scores of early Fleetwood Mac fans very, very happy. And what is even more exciting is the possibility that if this does well, Rhino Records might revisit Heroes Are Hard To Find (1974), Bare Trees (1972), Kiln House (1970), and even Mystery To Me (1973). Of course, there are others. But the above mentioned hopefuls will be a great start if they see the light of day.

Fleetwood Mac – 1969-1972

As if this weren’t enough exciting Fleetwood Mac news, Rhino also has plans to release a 4LP set, Fleetwood Mac – 1969-1972, also on August 20.  Included in this massive LP collection will be a bonus 7″ vinyl single.


Anonymous said...

This is fantastic. I'm so tired of Rumours and LB and SN. They've become the music McDonald's. So it's nice to see that someone realizes there's still a whole lot of people interested in these older records.

Then Play On is a great album, as are all those between that point an 1974. I won't buy it of course, as I have the original and a CD copy and don't feel like giving this band any more money, but it will give some fans a thrill for sure.

Anonymous said...

I think it's good that they're doing this but it's not exactly going to do well sales wise is it. I would like to see a re-issued 'Mirage' as the songs 'Gypsy' and 'Eyes of the world' have been popularised recently with the tour and this album is very underrated indeed, I think people forget that it was #1 for five weeks.....

Peter said...

I've been waiting for this reissue for years. According current info the track listing follows the UK running order and adds the Oh Well single and Green Manalishi and World in Harmony. As I do not have either LP or CD versions I will buy this for sure.

james prichard said...

danny kirwan wrote half of the songs of 'then play on', two of which ( 'without you' and 'one sunny day') were removed for green's 'oh well parts 1 and 2'. jimi hendrix admired danny more than any other guitarist. if there is a singer or songwriter or guitarist on this planet more wonderful than danny kirwan i have not heard him. peter green and others may have gotten the recognition , but danny kirwan is the only supergiant.

Dale said...

I love THEN PLAY ON because of the interplay and contrasting styles of Danny Kirwan and Peter Green. It was a beautiful combination. There is no need to compare or pit one against the other.That said,Danny is certainly unsung and deserving of greater recognition. Hopefully all the earlier FM albums will be given the deluxe treatment but TPO has existed in such a horrible CD edition for so long (beyond horrible)that this welcome news!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see what Jimi said about Kirwan. Link?

Anonymous said...

I'm very happy and almost speechless - voice giving rise to cheers more than anything. Current CDs of all these classics are awful and all moaned for a remaster. I just ordered the vinyl box--a long overdue tribute to this band's early era and the incomparable Danny Kirwan. I hope it gets here real fast!

Post a Comment