Then Play On (1970)
I just don’t appreciate the music here, so whether it’s a blues masterpiece or a piece of hackwork, I really couldn’t say. Whatever it is, only one track really stands out, and I was most certainly taken by surprise at its beauty.
Bare Trees (1972)
As murky as the cover.
Mystery To Me (1973)
If this band wants to be commerical and actually sell a few dozen of their albums, which seems to be the goal now that they’re morphing into a pop band, they need to learn how to write pop SONGS. And they need a much better success rate than Bob Welch gives them.
2012: “Forever” is the only song that doesn’t completely bore, aside from the out-of-nowhere “Hypnotized”. Grade: D+
Fleetwood Mac (1975)
A nice change from the Bob Welch years, this album is intermittently good and boring. The difference is the ratio of good to boring, a fairly decent one here. “Rhiannon” is an undeniable classic and I still get a kick out of some of the other songs, none of which approach “Rhiannon” but which give the consumer reason to buy this instead of waiting for the inevitable compilation. The ship is certainly set in the right direction after several years of upheaval.
(“Rhiannon”, “World Turning”)
Some of these songs haven’t aged as well as one might like in a pop classic. But some of them have held up just fine, thank you very much, and even the weaker tracks have a certain charm about them. A couple of songs you probably won’t find on any greatest-hits package appear here and are minor pleasant surprises. “Gold Dust Woman” is beautiful and powerful, Stevie Nicks’ shining moment in my eyes, and a complete triumph that finishes off a very good album.
(“Gold Dust Woman”, “Never Going Back Again”, “The Chain”)
2010: (Never attained, before or after) Grade: A
Tango In The Night (1987)
I really should buy more Fleetwood Mac. Their older (but still pop) albums had some great songs and some interesting minor ones. This album is split in half between commercial ambition and personal conceit, most notably Lindsey Buckingham’s attempt to prove he can still rock and Stevie Nicks’ attempt to prove she can still write songs. “Perhaps she’s saving them for her solo career?”, you may ask. “What solo career?”, might come the response. At least Buckingham threw some heart and soul into it.
(“Little Lies”, “Everywhere”)
2012: No, I shouldn’t. ‘Rumours’ is the only necessary album, even compared to ‘Greatest Hits’. If you like it, try ‘Fleetwood Mac’, and then ‘Tango In The Night’. As for ‘Mirage’, act accordingly to what you’ve been taught: Ignore it and it may remain a somewhat-tantalizing thing, run for its beauty and you’ll find out you’ve been swindled. Grade: B