TWO AMAZING SIDES, including an incredible A+++ side one! The transparency and lack of distortion are shocking, and the clarity and presence are out of this world. If you’re a fan of early Fleetwood Mac, this copy will blow you away. Nothing else in our shootout came close.
Revolutions in Audio anyone?
How else would this record have come to sound so much better? This copy wasn’t the only one that sounded great; a number of them did.
Better cleaning technologies have a lot to do with it too, but they alone cannot account for this much of a difference, something in the “night and day” range. We make improvements to our stereo regularly. If you do too, then this record may just blow your mind the way it did ours!
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.
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.
What to Listen For
Many pressings are compressed, murky, veiled and recessed, especially the early ones. 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. Oh joy.
A+++, As Good As It Gets! These songs sound like the originals wished they did! (Note that most British pressings of early Mac are pretty bad sounding. This pressing will murder 98% of what’s out there.)
A++ to A+++, very nearly as good as side one! The drums are punchy and present, the vocals are breathy and textured, and the dynamics and energy are off-the-charts. The typical copy just doesn’t come close.
Finding the Magic
Here is commentary for the copy we had 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 was mistaken. Hearing the first track again was painful — it’s the worst sounding song on the album! Bright, thin and spitty. Whatever tape they got for The Green Manalishi, it was the wrong one.
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 one, you seriously need to look into some better equipment. We recommend VPI turntables and lots of other equipment, as well as tweaks that can make all the difference in the world. This record sounds amazing over here and it should at your house too.
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
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.”