Many years ago, more than 20 in fact!, a copy of 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 in my judgement of its sound.
I confess that hearing the first track again, The Green Manalishi, 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 is exceptionally transparent.
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 on our system and it ought to at your house too.
The real test for a stereo is to get difficult to reproduce recordings to sound good, not easy to reproduce recordings.
When these records start sounding better, there’s a good chance that whatever you did to your system to improve it actually worked.
And if you’re up for a challenge and want to buy some records that can sound great but are difficult to reproduce, these Hot Stamper pressings should do the trick.
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 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
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 (two of whom were still in the band from the Peter Green era of course).
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 for those albums from the shootouts we’ve done for them are all over the site as well.