Kiln House is one of the all-time great Fleetwood Mac albums. It’s the first they recorded after Peter Green left. With Green gone, Jeremy Spencer’s influence came to the fore. He was apparently quite a fan of Buddy Holly. His songs are straightforward and unerringly melodic.
The co-leader here is Danny Kirwan and he rocks the hell out of this album. Three of the best songs the band ever did, regardless of incarnation, are here: Tell Me All The Things You Do, Station Man and Jewel Eyed Judy, all written by Kirwan (with the help of others). His guitar work on these three songs is blistering.
Any Fleetwood Mac greatest hits collection would be a joke without these tracks. Of course they are consistently missing from all such compilations, at least the ones with which I am familiar. The sad fact is that few people miss them because few people have ever heard them.
And Let’s Not Forget Christine McVie
It’s amazing to realize that this album was made by just four guys. Actually that’s not true. Christine McVie (known as Christine Perfect at the time) not only did the lovely artwork for the cover, but she sings uncredited background vocals on some of the songs. Her contribution to Station Man is especially lovely. She would officially join the band on their next album, a personal favorite of mine, Future Games.
Before The Mac Was Huge
This period Fleetwood Mac, from Kiln House through Mystery to Me (both are the kind of records I would take to my Desert Island), has always been my favorite of the band. I grew up on this stuff, and I can tell you from personal experience, having played a dozen copies of Kiln House practically all day at some pretty serious levels, that it is a positive THRILL to hear it sound so good!
British Band, British Vinyl, right?
That old canard isn’t doing audiophiles any favors. The British copies we played weren’t even in the same league as our best domestic copies. We hear over and over that you’re supposed to seek out pressings that come from the same country that the band does, but then how come the German copies of Please Please Me DESTROY the Brits?
How come the British pressings of Mona Bone Jakon are never even close to as good as the best domestics? [Woops, there are exceptions to that rule. We hope to write about it soon.]
Once again folks, it’s not about the label, it’s not about the country of origin, it’s not about original vs. reissue — it’s about the sound, and the only way to know what the best sounding pressings are is to collect ’em, clean ’em and play ’em. It’s a time consuming process that most of you don’t have time for. Lucky for you, we do all that hard work and report our results right here.