- Stunning sound from start to finish with side two earning our top grade of Triple Plus (A+++) and side one earning a solid Double Plus (A++)
- Big, rich, energetic, with tons of Analog Tubey Magic, this original Orange Label British pressing has exactly the sound you want
- Oh Well, Parts One and Two, Black Magic Woman and Albatross are all KILLER here
- Peter Green is hands down our favorite British Blues Guitarist of All Time – this record single-handedly will show you why
If you’re a fan of early Fleetwood Mac, this copy will blow you away. Like any good vintage British pressing, the sound is smooth, rich and full. This is ANALOG baby; they don’t make ’em like this anymore because they don’t know how to.
Tubey Magic Is Key
This original British pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
We Love the Early Fleetwood Mac
This is the first iteration of the band from way back in the day, back when they were playing their unique brand of Blues Rock with Peter Green leading the band — about as far from Rumours as you can get. If you like British Blues Rock I don’t think any other band can hold a candle to the Mac from this period. Clapton may have been considered a god but Green is the better guitar player; this album is proof of that.
The best track that the early F Mac ever did? Oh, it’s here all right: “Need Your Love So Bad”. If that one doesn’t get to you deep in your soul, check your pulse. You may be dead.
The Best of British Blues Rock
What the best sides of this Classic Compilation from 1971 have to 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. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl import pressings like this one offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1971
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with the guitars and drums having the correct sound for this kind of recording
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now
Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
What to Listen For (WTLF)
Most pressings are compressed, murky, veiled and recessed. To find one that is transparent, clear, present and punchy is no mean feat.
On either side listen for the drums to punch through the mix.
Mick Fleetwood is banging the hell out of his toms on Black Magic Woman. If it doesn’t sound like he’s really banging away, you need a better copy (or a better stereo; one must always be open to the possibility that the system may not be up to reproducing punchy drums properly).
Oh Well Part 1 has some big drums too, so now you can check both sides of your copy.
The Green Manalishi
Oh Well (Part 1)
Oh Well (Part 2)
Shake Your Money Maker
Need Your Love So Bad
Rattle Snake Shake
Black Magic Woman
Man Of The World
Stop Messin’ Round
Love That Burns
AMG 4 1/2 Stars
Unissued, unfortunately, in the United States, this is a well-chosen, concise 12-song best-of covering the Peter Green era. Besides “Black Magic Woman,” “Albatross,” and “Man of the World,” it includes the hard-to-find (in the States, anyway) British hit single “The Green Manalishi.”
1975 / Finding the Magic
On a personal note, I saw the Buckingham Nicks iteration of the band at a big stadium all day picnic concert shortly after the release of the first album they did with Mac, and they did a lot of this early bluesy material. And they played the hell out of it. They rocked! At the time I didn’t know much about that early material, and didn’t fully appreciate what a special gesture of honor that was to the early band’s players.
Now those songs are some of my favorites by the band, and I play the early stuff ten times more often than the later stuff. Of course I’m a big fan of the middle period (with Bob Welch) and our commentaries forthose albums from the shootouts we’ve done for them are all over the site as well.
Finding the Magic
Here is commentary for the copy we had more than ten years ago that you may find of interest.
This record was returned by one of my customers for poor sound quality, so I threw it back on the turntable to see if I had been mistaken. Hearing the first track again was painful — it’s the worst sounding song on the album! But then Oh Well starts up, and it’s full of midrange magic, ambience and transparency.
The sound varies from track to track after that, but if your stereo can’t find the magic on records like this, you seriously need to look into some better equipment. This record sounds amazing over here and it ought to at your house too.