New Fleetwood Mac Box Set from RHINO Chronicles 1969-1974
There are few bands with the longevity of Fleetwood Mac, now 53 years in the business of making world-shaking music. Most people are primarily familiar with FMac 4.0, the Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks edition (also FMac 7.0). Now we’re on FMac 8.0.
Recently, we wrote about FMac 1.0, when the group was formed and called Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac. Mick Fleetwood, who along with John McVie are the only continuous members of the group), held a special concert in London in February for Green. Green left us July 25.
Now RHINO Records have issued a superb box set Fleetwood Mac 1969-1974 AND on vinyl Fleetwood Mac 1973-74. The CD box covers the last album with Green, FMac 2.0 led by Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer, FMac 2.1 led by Kirwan, Christine McVie, and Bob Welch, and FMac 3.0 led by McVie and Welch; the vinyl edition is all the McVie-Welch band.
Fleetwood Mac 1973-74
Then Play On (1969)
This was the final album featuring Peter Green. The group featured Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer on guitars along with Green and the ubiquitous Fleetwood and Mac (John McVie) on drums and bass. It is a brilliant blues album that bowls you over immediately with “Coming Your Way,” a Latin percussion-laden powerhouse. There are two other tracks which will likely appear on this reissue: the single edits of “Oh Well” and “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown).”
Kiln House (1970)
This wonderful rock and roll album turns 50 September 18. Kirwan, Spencer, Fleetwood, and McVie shimmer here. Christine McVie did the album cover. A single edit of “Jewel Eyed Judy” will likely appear on this disk. We will publish a Class of 1970 review on its birthday.
Future Games (1971)
Spencer left, Christine McVie joined the band on vocals and piano, and Bob Welch also became a member, singing and playing guitar. Each of them contributed two compositions. This is another amazing album. “Sands of Time” is one of the best rock songs of all time.
Bare Trees (1972)
One superb album after another. This would be Kirwan’s swan song with FMac. His “Child of Mine” and the title track are outstanding. Welch would debut “Sentimental Lady” here before having a hit with it as a solo artist. Christine’s gorgeous “Spare Me a Little of Your Love” is so heart-felt.
This is a good album but perhaps the weakest of the bunch (again, a very relative appraisal). Bob Weston joined and played lead guitar. There were several guest musicians on several tracks as well. Christine again scored with “Did You Ever Love Me” with those steel drums.
Mystery to Me (1973)
The same quintet: Welch, Weston, McVie, McVie, and Fleetwood, bounced back with this superb outing later the same year. “Emerald Eyes” and “Hypnotized” are brilliant, and “Keep On Going” is certified genius. Welch composed six, Christine five, and there was one collective tune.
Heroes Are Hard to Find (1974)
Weston left the band; Welch took over all guitar duties. He had six tunes here, Christine four. This one doesn’t quite reach the standard of its predecessor, but it still gets high marks. “Angel” and “Bermuda Triangle” were popular.
Live at the Record Plant (1974)
This recording has never been released, done as a studio performance in Sausalito CA on December 15th.
A single version of “Dragonfly” and the previously-unreleased “Good Things (Come to Those Who Wait)” will also be part of this eight-CD package.
Those who have examined the box set praise the album cover reproduction sleeves, gatefold where appropriate, with a booklet with full track information. It was noted that there are no additional photos or rarities in the booklet.
Fleetwood Mac 1973-74
The vinyl version includes Penguin, Mystery to Me, Heroes Are Hard to Find, and the live Record Plant double-album plus a single. They are available on black vinyl, of course, and then there is the deluxe edition:
It includes Penguin (1973) on yellow vinyl, Mystery To Me (1973) on orange vinyl, Heroes Are Hard To Find (1974) on gold vinyl, and Live At The Record Plant on white vinyl. All are pressed on 140-gram vinyl and presented in replica sleeves. As a final touch, the set also includes a 7” single with “For Your Love” (mono promo edit) on one side and the previously unreleased “Good Things (Come To Those Who Wait)” on the flipside on blue vinyl. Limited to 1500 and individually numbered in bronze.
Well, alrighty then!
It would seem that suggested list prices are in or around $50 for the eight CDs, $98 for the vinyl, and $120 for the deluxe colored editions.
It is worth noting that five albums from the CD collection have been issued on the outstanding series Original Album Series. This is a tremendous set of reissues worth exploring for hundreds of bands.
Our Spotify playlist contains the original seven albums from remasters as recent as 2018, not the newly remastered editions.