Friday, October 12, 2007

Classic Pick:-->Fleetwood Mac - "Mystery To Me (1973)


"Now there's too much Warhol hanging off the wall.
And the mystery that there used to be is gone."
~ Fleetwood Mac ~
Many are not familiar with Fleetwood Mac prior to the Buckingham/Nicks era...and that's a real shame. After all...Fleetwood Mac have been together since 1967.

Drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie have been with the band from conception. And keyboardist...songwriter...and vocals Christie McVie has been on all but 2 albums.
McVie & Fleetwood
I'm not going to retell the member history of the band...except to say they went through a number of really good lead guitarists...most notably Peter Green.

But it is important to note the musical evolution of Fleetwood Mac...from blues (early years) jazzy rock (mid years) and pop rock (present). And they were good at what they tried to do...all along the way. Quite respected by peers.

But the album that should have broke the band wide open...filled with one great song after another...was during the guitarist Bob Welch era..."Mystery To Me".

Adding a more jazzy/pop feel...Fleetwood Mac offered the public an album of 12 songs filled with beautiful...biting...haunting...and fun songs that should have easily been on the radio.
B. Welch, C. McVie, J. McVie, M. Fleetwood, B. Weston

And I would rank this album as high as third in Fleetwood Mac’s catalog.

Christine McVie (easily one of the top 10 female rockers of all time)...wrote some of her best songs on this CD...and she never sounded better.
“Crazy Love” and “Believe Me” are songs that would fit easily on any Mac concert tour.
And Christie also wrote 2 of her most beautiful songs. “But it's too late and I know I'm making a fool, a fool of myself. But I can't conceal the way that I feel. (The Way I Feel) is vintage stuff from CM.

“There's no use in crying, it's all over. But I know there'll always be another day. Well my heart will rise up with the morning sun...And the hurt I feel will simply melt away.” (Why) is perhaps her best written and delivered song. And if this one doesn’t make your heart ache...WOW!

Christie also sings a song penned by Bob Welch...”Keep On Going”...and it’s a great...”kiss-it-if-you-don’t-like-it” song.

And the songs performed and written by Bob Welch on “Mystery To Me”...are nothing short of amazing. And short time member Bob Weston plays pretty mean guitar as well.
Bob Welch
Opening with the lovely “Emerald Eyes”, Welch gives a nice jazzy/pop sound that sets the tone for the entire album...and should have been a hit. This is also where the title of the CD comes from.

“Now it's not a meaningless question to ask if they've been and gone. I remember a talk about North Carolina and a strange, strange pond.” (Hypnotize) is the classic gem from this CD.

The song is so mysterious and haunting...with Welch’s guitar fluttering in and out...and the tasty drums delivered by Mick...makes this one of the greatest and most underrated songs of all time. I never tire of it.

And listen to the lick Welch intros on “The City”. Very tasty and will make you pick up your guitar and try to match it.

“You can bend over backwards...I ain't gonna kiss your ring.” (Somebody) is another lost gem that deserves airplay. And you can almost hear Welch and Christie let loose a laugh on this song. Must have been a running joke with this number.

And on “Miles Away”, Welch gives the band a song that every member can jam on. This is a song made for the highway. It builds and builds until you just don’t want the song to end. Good stuff!

Finally, bassist John McVie gets a rare chance to shine on his self-penned song, "Forever"...a light almost Jamaican feel that is rather nice.

This version of Fleetwood Mac surely sounds different from the future pop-laden Nicks/ Buckingham songs that pervade the airwaves.
But the songs from "Mystery To Me" hold up quite well and should be in everyone’s musical crayon box. Good stuff!

Casey

Fleetwood Mac:-->“Miles Away” (Mystery To Me) (1973) (Must Own)

1 comment:

-tom said...

A great take on an often overlooked gem. Nice.