Fleetwood Mac albums (post-Peter Green 70-74)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Cryptical17, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Cryptical17

    Cryptical17 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    New York
    I’m quite familiar with the original Fleetwood Mac (with Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer), and of course, the Buckingham Nicks lineup.

    Following the departure of Peter Green, and prior to the addition of Buckingham & Nicks, there was a period of transition. Christine Perfect McVie joined as well as Bob Welsh. I’m no too familiar with this era but would like to check out some of the records.

    The albums released were:

    Kiln House (1970)
    Future Games (1971)
    Bare Trees (1972)
    Penguin (1973)
    Mystery To Me (1974)
    Heroes Are Hard To Find (1974)

    Which of these albums do you like? Also what are some of the best songs from this middle period? Feel free to discuss. Thanks.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  2. HorrorCosmic

    HorrorCosmic Well-Known Member

    Huge Bob Welch fan here. This might be my favorite period of FM. I enjoy all of the Welch albums. Favorite songs are “Emerald Eyes”, “Hypnotized”, “Sentimental Lady”.
  3. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    They all contain some great recordings, but all are uneven albums. Some quality songs:

    Jewel Eyed Lady (Kiln House)
    Tell Me All The Things You Do (Kiln House)
    Child of Mine (Bare Trees)
    Sunny Side of Heaven (Bare Trees)
    Sentimental Lady (Bare Trees)
    What A Shame (Future Games)
    Woman of 1000 Years (Future Games)
    Sans of Time (Future Games)
    Caught In The Rain (Penguin)
    Bright Fire (Penguin)
    Hypnotized (Mystery To Me)
    Keep On Going (Mystery To Me)
    Miles Away (Mystery To Me)
    Silver Heels (Heroes Are Hard To Find)
    Coming Home (Heroes Are Hard To Find)
    Born Enchanter (Heroes Are Hard To Find)
  4. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    I don't really think any of them are great all the way through, but there's some gems on each.

    Also you can basically compile a full Christine album-length playlist from all her '71-'74 songs that's a nice listen.
  5. intv7

    intv7 Forum Resident

    Boston, MA, USA
    I like them all -- though I would recommend steering clear of Penguin until you're sure this era is for you.

    Bare Trees and Mystery To Me are almost universally accepted as the best from that period -- but I have a real soft spot for both Kiln House and Future Games.
  6. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    Bare Trees is my favorite Mac album after Then Play On. Followed by Future Games. Kiln House is a marvel too.
    All are "better" than the post-74 albums in my ears. I don't like slick radio pop with goaty vocals.

    Danny Kirwan was a major talent. Bob Welch slightly less so, but still good. Christine wrote some really good songs for all these albums.
  7. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    Heroes Are Hard to Find I really love. Excellent pop songs and some really sublime Mick drumming throughout.
    Bare Trees would be #2. Danny at his best
    Penguin has too many stinkers, but Welch's Bright Fire might be his best song ever
    Mystery To Me is uneven, but it is a very rocking set
  8. Chuckee

    Chuckee Forum Resident

    Upstate, NY, USA
    Big fan of Bob Welch & Christine in this era.
  9. Love the Danny led Future Games and Bare Trees, and consider them to be masterpieces.

    The remainder of the albums, from Penguin to Heroes all contain some great and worthy material.

    Kiln House is a delight as well but too may Spencer pastiches brings it down somewhat.

    I'll also add that this era with Then Play On is the best FM period in my book. They also never rocked harder than they did during 1969-1974
  10. Greg Gee

    Greg Gee Forum Resident

    I own all of them except Penguin and Heroes Are Hard To Find; I'm just not familiar with either of those albums.
    PacificOceanBlue has summarized my feelings about the titles I am familiar with during this period very well, as others have, too. Great thread!
    I'll add that Station Man, Sunny Side Of Heaven and Hypnotized are my favorite tracks from this period. And, reiterate that Danny Kirwan was one hell of a talent, may he rest in peace.
  11. wildstar

    wildstar Forum Resident

    ontario, canada
    I don't consider (as it makes no sense to me) that Kiln House belongs to the "middle/Welch" era of the band.

    For a start Welch (and Christine for that matter) hadn't joined the band yet. Sure Christine painted the album cover and did some backing vocals on the album, but at the time she was a house wife/retired musician.

    Plus 'Kiln House' was the fourth Fleetwood Mac album in a row to include only two of its three "original" guitarists:

    The first two albums excluded Kirwin (as he hadn't joined yet)
    'Then Play On' excluded Spencer (though a bonus EP featuring his "genre parodies" was planned)
    'Kiln House' excluded Green (as he had just quit)

    Nothing had changed - it was the same five man band (with a different one of the three guitarists missing from each album they made to that point. They were a five man live band, but only ever a four man band in the studio in the so-called "Green-era"

    What changed was when Christine was eventually persuaded to join the band for the 'Kiln House' tour - effectively replacing Green (by getting them back to a five piece band for the live act).

    Welch was then hired to replace Spencer who lost his marbles in the middle of the Kiln House' tour and quit.

    THAT was the change - having Christine and Welch come in as fully creative singer/songwriting members, and that core remained intact until the B&N years.

    The only thing that could be considered "transitional" is that Kirwin was the only bridge between the eras - who lost his marbles and got himself fired two albums in to the middle/Welch era FM run.
  12. snigglefritz

    snigglefritz Forum Resident

    Durham, NC
    I have loved Heroes Are Hard to Find ever since I bought it within weeks of its release. I heard Cerphe play it on WHFS in Washington D.C. and was off to Sights and Sounds, our local head shop/record store, the very next day.
  13. steve phillips

    steve phillips Forum Resident

    I like all of them very much, especially Bare Trees, Future Games, and Heroes.
    I like Penguin except for Roadrunner and The Derelict. I skip those. The rest of the
    album is brilliant.
    S. P. Honeybunch and Greg Gee like this.
  14. Rockford & Roll

    Rockford & Roll Forum Resident

    Midway, KY
    I prefer Mystery to Me. Hypnotized is a such a great song.

    I always felt that the Welch sound of the Mac smoothed the way for the Buckingham/Nicks era.
  15. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    It's Kirwan, otherwise good summary!
    ARK and Greg Gee like this.
  16. Tristero

    Tristero Touching from a distance

    For my money, Bare Trees is the most consistently satisfying release from this period, featuring some strong contributions from Kirwan in particular but also McVie and Welch. I find most of these other releases to be uneven, but they do still include some gems.
  17. CybrKhatru

    CybrKhatru Music is life.

    Los Angeles
    Future Games and Bare Trees are both excellent.

    Hypnotized is a classic Mac tune. (from Mystery to Me)
  18. john lennonist

    john lennonist There ONCE was a NOTE, PURE and EASY...

    My take --

    The first three listed below are fantastic and essential... I've listed them in the order of my preference, but they're all so close quality-wise, IMO, that they're pretty interchangeable to me:

    Bare Trees (1972)
    Mystery To Me (October 1973)
    Future Games (1971)

    I'd rank Kiln House (1970) as a definite step down, but there's still a few good songs on it.

    Then, a substantial step down from "Kiln House" for me is Heroes Are Hard To Find (1974) though I much like the title track.

    Penguin (March 1973), IMO, is awful!

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  19. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    Kiln House was destined to be a step down, coming right after Green’s departure from the band. He was the band’s leader and musical visionary, so naturally there was going to be a transition. With respect to Heroes Are Hard To Find, I think it is the most consistent album of the post-Green/pre-Buckingham-Nicks eras, although I like individual tracks from the other post-Green/pre-Buckingham-Nicks albums as much or much more.

    Penguin is a tough one to get through, but Bright Fire is a gem, one of the best from that era.
  20. Ringmaster_D

    Ringmaster_D Surfer of Sound Waves

    Chicago, IL
    Bright Fire is my favorite Welch song and one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs period.

  21. Greg Gee

    Greg Gee Forum Resident

    Well, I love and appreciate all the comments and I'm just gonna have to pick up both Heroes and Penguin. It seems each has something to offer and I might as well complete the set until the B&N arrival.
    Again, this is a great, and informative, thread!
  22. steve phillips

    steve phillips Forum Resident

    Another great tune on Penguin.

  23. marmil

    marmil It's such a long story...

  24. futureinreverse

    futureinreverse Forum Resident

    This era of Fleetwood Mac is probably favorite stretch of albums by any artist. I do enjoy what came before and after, but 1970-1974 holds some unidentified magic fairy dust unique to its time. The Welch-Kirwan-McVie albums (71-72) are particularly great. They were all bringing very different songs to the table, but it all clicked somehow. They each brought their own touch to the others' songs. Deep atmosphere and magical sounds. It's hard to believe, but Lindsey Buckingham sang "Hypnotized" with Fleetwood Mac for a time before that lineup established itself. Christine McVie was the constant from 70-74 through the Buckingham/Nicks era, contributing consistently good material. Bob and Christine are both hugely important to the history of the band.

    Kiln House - from the era of 70-74, this album has the highest highs and the lowest lows for me. "Earl Gray" and "Station Man" for example are top shelf. "Blood on the Floor" and "Buddy's Song" aren't ("One Together" is a lovely little song, though).
    Future Games - strange album. Getting more pop-oriented, but many of the songs go on forever...and I'm glad they do. Even in "jam" mode, the band hits the mark. Heavy atmosphere on "Woman of 1000 Years" and the title track. The songs have plenty of room to breathe. The single-only "Dragonfly" should have been on this album.
    Bare Trees - maybe the best overall from 70-74. The title track, "Sentimental Lady," "Spare Me a Little," and the title track are all magic. Kirwan in fine form.
    Penguin - Welch in fine form, and "Did You Ever Love Me" is one of Chris's finest. Not too cohesive as an album.
    Mystery to Me - strong material from both Bob and Chris, "Hypnotized" is a jazz-rock classic and a perfect showcase for what Welch was good at
    Heroes are Hard to Find - a little dark/low-energy in spots, but continuing the evolution of crafting concise little pop ditties; "Prove Your Love" is a lost Christine nugget, Welch highlights all over the place ("Angel," "Silver Heels," "Coming Home")
  25. Greg Gee

    Greg Gee Forum Resident

    That is some stellar guitar work from Mr. Welch. He's got such a great voice, too. A little reminiscent of Hypnotized in his delivery, almost spooky.
    Ok, now I'm more than just curious, I'm sold. Thanks for posting that one!

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