Some sections on our site are hard to find. Here’s one with lots of cool records in it:
You just can’t write better songs than Love That Burns or Black Magic Woman, both of which can be found here. And Albatross, the mellow instrumental that closes out side four, was a Number One hit in the UK in 1969, can you believe it? It was backed on some releases by Need Your Love So Bad, another one of our all time favorite Fleetwood Mac songs. The band was on fire back when Peter Green was at the helm. These two LPs are proof enough.
The material found on this American-only compilation is tough to come by on vinyl; their early albums barely charted in the states and are anything but plentiful. The Peter-Green-led blues band that performed this music was huge in England however, and for me, personally, I would take Fleetwood Mac as a blues band over any other blues band from the period.
Keep in mind that some of these recordings are engineered to sound like old blues songs from the thirties and forties. Don’t expect audiophile sound on those tracks because it’s just not on the master tapes that way.
But it’s easy enough to tell when the material sounds right, and that’s all we are after here — the right sound.
What the amazing sides offer is not hard to hear:
. The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
. The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. The CDs can give you clean and clear. Only vintage vinyl gives you the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1971
. Rich, full-bodied bass, with plenty of weight down low for the big toms Mick Fleetwood is so fond of
. Natural tonality in the midrange — with the vocals, guitars and drums sounding right
. Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
. Etcetera, etcetera
UK Vs. Domestic
Don’t assume the UK pressings containing this material have better sound. Most of them are dull and opaque, clearly mastered from dub tapes. You have to work very hard to find these songs with good sound, and early pressings such as this one do not come cheap in the stores in this kind of condition.
One and Done?
Not quite. Some of the early Mac’s songs from the British Greatest Hits compilation we have offered in the past are not to be found on Black Magic Woman. Oh Well Parts One and Two spring immediately to mind. That said, with this album and the Brit Greatest Hits you’re in better shape than you would be with any other three LPs I can think of. Two and done? For all practical purposes, yes.
Other recordings that we have found to be especially Tubey Magical can be found here.
Transparency, the other side of the Tubey Magical coin, is also key to the better pressings of this album as well as many of our other favorite demo discs.
The entries linked here may help you gain a better understanding of the issues surrounding Hot Stampers.
And finally we’ll throw in this old warhorse discussing How to Become an Expert Listener, subtitled Hard Work and Challenges Can Really Pay Off.
Because in audio, much like the rest of life, hard work and challenges really do pay off.