Danny Kirwan is the guy who really takes control on Future Games, the band’s 1971 release. Some of the best songs this band ever did are here, many of them written by Kirwan.
The opening track on side one, Woman Of A Thousand Years, and the opening track on side two, Sands Of Time, are both his and set the tone for the whole side, which is folky, ethereal and extended. The best of these pop songs don’t seem to follow any of the standard pop conventions of verse verse chorus. They seem to wander on a journey of discovery. In that way they remind me a little bit of 20th century French classical music, or some of the longer tracks from Neil Young’s Zuma.
Any Fleetwood Mac greatest hits collection would be a joke without those tracks. They are of course missing from most of the compilations I am familiar with. Sadly, few people miss them because few people have ever even heard them.
This period Fleetwood Mac, from Kiln House through Mystery to Me (both are 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 (or more, I lose track there are so many) copies of Future Games practically all day at some pretty serious levels that it is a positive THRILL to hear it sound as good as it does on the best pressings.