Friday, 28 March 2014

When Fleetwood Mac invented Disco

Transition era Fleetwood Mac (Getty)
There's a lot in the news about Fleetwood Mac at the moment as they announce their first tour to include Christine McVie in the lineup for twenty years.  I saw them last year without her and thought they were amazing, so the prospect of seeing the band with her back in the fold is very exciting.

However, this post isn't about that Fleetwood Mac.  

Neither is it about the 1960s blues-driven Fleetwood Mac.  This post is about the transitional-period of Fleetwood Mac that feature Bobs Weston and Welch.

This is a Mac era that I have rarely explored.  I'm very familiar with their activities following the arrival of Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, as I am of their earliest blues-roots when fronted by Peter Green, but the interim period between 1970 and 1974 has always remained a mystery to me.

Speaking of which, their 1973 album taken from this period, Mystery To Me, features a track called Keep On Going which, until the other day I had never heard.

I discovered it via a Deep Disco playlist on the amazing 22tracks service out of Amsterdam.

Yes, you heard right.  Fleetwood Mac,  Disco.  1973.

It's nothing less than a revelation.  It's proper, looping, strings-driven disco with Christine McVie as Diva-in-Chief.  Yes, yes, I keep being lectured by Daft Punk about Mr Moroder.  Yes, yes, Nile Rodgers I know what you did... but this is Fleetwood Mac defining disco back in 1973!! Not Northern Soul. Not R&B. Disco!

The rest of the album, it turns out captures a band in turmoil (as ever) reaching back quite capably, on several tracks, into their blues heritage and, quite remarkably, sending out flashes of the melody and lyricism which would define their classic era from 1975 and beyond.

It's an album I'd never heard before and one which I couldn't find to stream on Spotify, so tracked down a CD copy and it's opened up an entire era of the Mac to me which I can't wait to explore further.

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