Various Artists – The Psychedelic Years Vol.6

One interesting factor regarding archive releases has been the amount of demos and acetate recordings that have surface. For those who have not heard of an acetate, they are discs that look like vinyl records but they are not and they are not accurately named because an acetate disc does not contain any acetate. They are an aluminium disc covered in a nitrocellulose lacquer. An engraving machine is used to transfer the recording on to the disc. This process was more common before the widespread use of magnetic tape but it was also used by musicians to take a copy of what they had produced in the studio home with them, either to hear what the song sounded like on their turntables or as a way of shopping that song around to labels and/or music publishers.

The most famous acetate recording is arguably ‘It Might As Well Rain Until September’ by Carol King. King had written the song with her then husband, Gerry Goffin for Bobby Vee. However, Vee’s management did not want to release the song as a single but Don Kirshner, music publisher and the man behind The Monkeys heard Kings’ version and released it on his Dimension record label. The record was a reasonable hit in the USA and quite a big one in the UK, but the song was not recorded to tape. It was a demo recorded to acetate which is why it does not sound as good compared to other recordings of the era, especially in the digital age. 

For some artists, the only evidence that they recorded anything could well be an acetate because even though they have made the original recording to tape, that might have been wiped or lost in the years since. Even for well known artists, acetates can be the source of an interesting recording, be it and alternative mix or otherwise lost recording. However, acetates are not designed for heavy use and the lacquer starts to wear out after about ten plays. Modern technology can only do so much to improve the sound but it has been great to at least have the opportunity to hear recordings that would otherwise have been lost. 

This, Volume 6 in my look at the Psychedelic Years, includes many recordings that were taken from demos and acetates. One of the rare exceptions that isn’t is ‘Love Make Sweet Music’ by Soft Machine. The reason for that is down to the sound of the recording fitting better here than my usual compilations. Many of these tracks come from the ‘Psychedelic Schlemiels’ series which sought out recordings from bands who were all but unknown to anyone who did not have extensive knowledge of obscure names on gig posters for venue listings from the music papers from the era. Another source for tracks was the compilations released by RPM that looked at artists signed to Apple Music. The rest are made up of bonus tracks from band specific archive releases and the awesome Jesse Harper album (real name Doug Jerebine) ‘Guitar Absolution In The Shade Of A Midnight Sun’, arguably one of the great lost albums of any era. 

Out of the all of the bands represented on this compilation, most disappeared in obscurity but not all. Soft Machine, one of the pioneers of prog rock as well as jazz fusion and The Iveys, who changed their name to Badfinger had some success during their lifetimes. There are some rough diamonds to be found in these recordings but it is important to remember that the source of the majority of these recordings come from sources with plenty of surface noise. 

Side A

  1. Jug-A Jug Song – Jesse Harper
  2. Come On Up – Carley Hill Blues Band
  3. Broken Man – Peanut Rubble
  4. Helen Doesn’t Care – Penny Peeps
  5. Do What You Must – Tintern Abbey
  6. Great Shadowy Orange – Jade Hexagram
  7. Try Me On For Size – Those Fadin’ Colours
  8. Love Makes Sweet Music – Soft Machine
  9. Mirror – Coconut Mushroom
  10. Second Generation Woman – The Factory
  11. Brace New Lights – Phoenix
  12. You Can Run – The Majority
  13. Great Ideas – Jigsaw
  14. Our Love Will Be Strong – The Majority
  15. Magic Time – The Flies
  16. Will I Find Love – Fire
  17. Sunshine Help Me – Carley Hill Blues Band
  18. Sad Sad Sad – Sheridan’s Bitter Sweet
  19. I Think I’ll Say – Airbus
  20. Thinking Pictures – Rawlings & Huckstep
  21. In The Sunset – Barnaby Rudge
  22. Dark Star – Pussyfoot
  23. Maybe Tomorrow – The Iveys
  24. As He Sees Them – The Intruders
  25. Sitting In The Sun – Cellophane Cloud

Side B

  1. An Apple A Day – The U (Don’t) No Who
  2. Blow Up – Those Fadin’ Colours
  3. Just A Dream – Peanut Rubble
  4. Blues News – Jesse Harper
  5. Sailing – Joker
  6. Wax Candle – Haverson Apricot
  7. Uncle Henry’s Magic Garden – David Matthews
  8. How It Is – John Pantry
  9. How Does It Feel – The Perishers
  10. You & Me Baby – The Obscured Rays
  11. Sunshine Train – The Mirror
  12. Something New Everyday – Timon
  13. Sister Saxophone – Turquoise
  14. In The Park – The Cortina’s
  15. Live For The Sun – Phoenix
  16. I’ve Been There Once Before – The Iveys
  17. Childplay – Sweet Marriage
  18. Somebody Save Me – Paradox
  19. Ginny Stop – West Coast Consortium
  20. This Little Man – Grapefruit
  21. Crushed Purple – Jade Hexagram
  22. I (Who Had Nothing) – Herbal Remedy
  23. Together – The Montanas
  24. Shadow Man – Schadel
  25. Who Is The Man (Death) – Cellophane Cloud

Fleetwood Mac – The Play On (Deluxe Edition)

I have moaned before about the shoddy treatment that Fleetwood Mac’s back catalogue has received down the years, especially on the Reprise label. An album that is screaming out for the super deluxe treatment is ‘Then Play On’ from 1969. It was:

  • The first Mac LP to appear on Reprise, label having left their original home of Blue Horizon after the unexpected success of the ‘Albatross’ single
  • The first album to deviate from the straight blues of the first two Mac albums.
  • The first album to feature guitarist Danny Kirwan even thought he had appeared on songs on the compilation album ‘Pious Bird of Good Omen’ and ‘Fleetwood Mac in Chicago’.

Founding member Jeremy Spencer also contributed very little to ‘The Play On’, only appearing playing the odd bit of piano. More on that later.

Containing fourteen songs in its original UK configuration, the album was also quite long clocking in at just under 54 minutes. For the US market, the album dropped two songs (‘One Sunny Day’ & ‘Without You’) which had appeared on the earlier ‘English Rose’ compilation, and the instrumental ‘Underway’ was edited down by 15 seconds. What difference these 15 seconds made is anyone’s guess.

When the song’ Oh Well’ became a minor hit in the US, the LP order was changed once again. ‘When You Say’ and ‘My Dream’ we dropped and both parts of ‘Oh Well’ were put in their place. When this album was first released on CD back in 1990, both ‘My Dream’ and ‘When You Say’ were put back into the running order and it was in this edition that I first heard this record. I only heard ‘Without You’ and ‘One Sunny Day’ when I managed to find a copy of ‘English Rose’ in a second hand record shop, most probably Reckless Records on Brewer Street in London. 

The original UK track listing was only restored when the album was re-released in 2013 Deluxe Edition. I was really looking forward to this edition when I read about it, but I was really annoyed when I found out that this was not that deluxe at all. The only additional tracks being both sides of the ‘Oh Well’ single and the follow up, ‘The Green Manalishi’ and its B-Side, ‘World In Harmony’. What I have tried to do here is to present this album in a Deluxe Edition that it actually deserves. 

The band recorded a lot of material during this time, a good deal of it has been released so putting this compilation together has been quite straight forward. Some members of the band also moonlighted in other groups and Jeremy Spencer released a solo album. 1969 and into the early part of 1970 was a busy time for Fleetwood Mac and this box set could have contained even more music if I had decided to include the ‘Blues Jam in Chicago’ songs. However, this was recorded when the band were still on Blue Horizon and was part of ‘The Complete Blue Horizons Session 1967-1969’ box set from 1999. I have also not included any guest sessions that the band made on other Blue Horizon artists such as Otis Spann as I am sure that there would be a rights issue if a set like this was ever attempted. 

CD 1 – Original UK Track Listing & Singles 

This is the same track listing as the 2013 re-release. That is, the original 14 track UK track listing with the 1969 Oh Well and 1970 The Green Manalishi singles along with their respective B-Sides.  

  1. Coming Your Way
  2. Closing My Eyes
  3. Fighting For Madge
  4. Show-Biz Blues
  5. Underway
  6. One Sunny Day
  7. Although The Sun Is Shining
  8. Rattlesnake Shake
  9. Without You
  10. Searching For Madge
  11. My Dream
  12. Like Crying
  13. Before The Beginning
  14. Oh Well (Part 1)
  15. Oh Well (Part 2)
  16. The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown) 
  17. World In Harmony

CD 2 – Sessions

The second CD is made up from sessions that took place during and around the recording of the parent album. These include extended or full length versions of the jams that were included in edited form on the original record. Also included is an earlier version of ‘Showbiz Blues’ as well a an updated version of ‘Drifting’ but now called ‘Fast Talking Woman Blues’. ‘

‘Then Play On’ is known as an album that member Jeremy Spencer was shown in the line up picture, but played next to nothing not he record. To make up for this, it was originally planned that Spencer would be able to include an EP of his songs. The EP took the structure of a radio show where numerous different acts would perform, even though in reality, it was just Fleetwood Mac. Spencer was in full imitation mode, with swipes at the rock n’ roll revival scene, Alexis Korner, Texas Bluesmen, Acid Rock and John Mayall. A record consisting of a band playing lots of different types of music was quite a new idea, and I can only think of one other who had done something similar up to this point. That being The Turtles and their ‘Battle of the Bands’ LP which came out the year before. 

  1. Fast Talking Woman Blues – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  2. Him & Me (Early Version of Showbiz Blues) – Show-Biz Blues 1968-1970
  3. Jeremy’s Contribution to Doo Wop – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  4. Everyday I Have The Blues – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  5. Death Bells – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  6. Watch Out For Yourself) Mr. Jones – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  7. Man Of Action – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  8. Underway (Full Length Version) – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  9. The Madge Sessions 1 (Full Length Version) – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  10. The Madge Sessions 2 (Instrumental) – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  11. October Jam 1 (Unissued) – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  12. October Jam 2 (Unissued) – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  13. The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown) (Alt. Version) – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970

CD 3 – Sessions & Live

CD 3 is another round up of alternative versions and unreleased songs. However, I have also looked to include songs that the band recorded live in the last year with Peter Green which did not make it onto one of their records. Some of these have yet to be officially released. This disc finishes with a concert taken from the ‘Before The Beginning’ CD set. These performances are clearly from 1970 because ‘The Green Manalishi’ was included in the set list. However, where and when this gig took place is a mystery because the tape boxes were found without any information attached. I am sure with a bit of effort and some more research, the people who put this collection out could have found out the date and place the gig took place. 

  1. World In Harmony (Alt. Take) – Show-Biz Blues 1968-1970
  2. Mighty Cold – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  3. Tell Me From The Start – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  4. Although The Sun Is Shining (Demo) – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  5. Blues In B Flat Minor (Before The Beginning Instrumental Early Takes) – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  6. Leaving Town Blues (Violin Version) – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  7. Oh Well (Part 1 – Live) – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970
  8. Lemon Squeezer – Shrine ‘69
  9. All Over Again (I’ve Got A Mind To Give Up Living) – Previously Unreleased (The Warehouse, New Orleans, 1st February 1970) 
  10. One Sided Love – Previously Unreleased (Concertgebouw, Amsterdam 20th April 1969)
  11. Like It This Way – Previously Unreleased (Finish Radio Broadcast 24th August 1969)
  12. Greeny Alone – Previously Unreleased (Concertgebouw, Amsterdam 20th April 1969)
  13. Before The Beginning – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  14. Madison Blues – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  15. Can’t Stop Lovin’ – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  16. The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown) – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions

CD 4 – Live

This continues with the gig that was started on Disc 3. Some of the songs needed to have some work on them to get rid of as many of the problems that were with the original tapes. For instance, ‘Sandy Mary’ needed an edit due to either a fault in the master, or some shoddy work preparing the tapes for release. There was an annoying jump in the slowed down section, so I edited in a better sounding bit from the next chorus and then edited around it. I hope you can’t hear the join. Some of the flubs could not be edited out though. I have also included a guest sessions on here as there wasn’t room for them anywhere else. First is a cover of the Danny Kirwan penned ‘When You Say’. Both Kirwan and Perfects husband, John McVie play on this version.

  1. Albatross – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  2. Sandy Mary – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  3. Only You – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  4. World In Harmony – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  5. I Can’t Hold Out – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  6. Oh Well (Part 1) – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  7. Rattlesnake Shake – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  8. Underway – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  9. Coming Your Way – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  10. Homework – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  11. My Baby’s Sweet – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  12. My Baby’s Gone – Before The Beginning: 1968-1970 Rare Live & Demo Sessions
  13. When You Say (Christine Perfect) – Christine Perfect

Disc 5 – Guest Sessions

As has been said before, Jeremy Spencer did not contribute much to ‘Then Play On’, but as was mentioned above, he did get to make an EP songs with Mac backing him. Unreleased at the time, the EP was just a prelude to Spencer first solo album. Released early in 1970, Fleetwood Mac were the backing band even though Peter Green only featured playing the banjo on ‘String-A-Long’. This is, as you would expect from Spencer, parodies of different music styles with a couple of covers thrown in for good measure. ‘Teenage Darling’ was not included on the original LP but was the B-Side to ‘Linda’, the only single released from this album. This is essentially a dry run for Mac’ ‘Kiln House’ LP that would come out later in 1970 after Peter Green had left the band. 

The remainder of the songs on this disc is from The Brunnning Sunflower Band, or Brunning Sunflower Blues Band. They seemed to change their name every time they put out a record. This featured Bob Brunning, who was the original bass player in Fleetwood Mac. He had an agreement with Peter Green that if John McVie, who had been Green’s first choice for the role, ever wanted to join, Brunning would step aside. This is exactly what happened. Brunning would form a couple of bands after Mac, including this one. Peter Green is listed as playing on the ‘Trackside Blues’ LP, but as none of the releases of this album have ever had extensive sleeve notes, it is hard to tell exactly what songs he actually plays on so I have included them all except for ‘Sunflower Shuffle’ as the only instrument on it is a piano.  

  1. Linda (Jeremy Spencer) – Jeremy Spencer
  2. The Shape I’m In (Jeremy Spencer) – Jeremy Spencer
  3. Mean Blues (Jeremy Spencer) – Jeremy Spencer
  4. String-A-Long (Jeremy Spencer) – Jeremy Spencer
  5. Here Comes Charlie (With His Dancing Shoes On) (Jeremy Spencer) – Jeremy Spencer
  6. Teenage Love Affair (Jeremy Spencer) – Jeremy Spencer
  7. Jenny Lee (Jeremy Spencer) – Jeremy Spencer
  8. Don’t Go, Please Stay (Jeremy Spencer) – Jeremy Spencer
  9. You Made A Hit (Jeremy Spencer) – Jeremy Spencer
  10. Take A Look Around Mrs. Brown (Jeremy Spencer) – Jeremy Spencer
  11. Surfin’ Girl (Jeremy Spencer) – Jeremy Spencer
  12. If I Could Swim The Mountain (Jeremy Spencer) – Jeremy Spencer
  13. Teenage Darling (Jeremy Spencer) – Jeremy Spencer
  14. Uranus – Take 1 (Brunning Sunflower Blues Band) – I Wish You Would
  15. Ride With Your Daddy Tonight (The Brunning Sunflower Band) – Trackside Blues
  16. Tube Train Blues (The Brunning Sunflower Band) – Trackside Blues
  17. Simple Simon (The Brunning Sunflower Band) – Trackside Blues
  18. I Met This Bird In Playboy (The Brunning Sunflower Band) – Trackside Blues
  19. Ah! Soul (The Brunning Sunflower Band) – Trackside Blues
  20. It Takes Time (The Brunning Sunflower Band) – Trackside Blues
  21. Baby You’re The Real Thing (The Brunning Sunflower Band) – Trackside Blues
  22. If You Let Me Love You (The Brunning Sunflower Band) – Trackside Blues
  23. North Star (The Brunning Sunflower Band) – Trackside Blues
  24. Closing Hours (The Brunning Sunflower Band) – Trackside Blues

Disc 6 – Guest Sessions

Tramp was another band that Bob Brunning band but this one included both Mick Fleetwood and Danny Kirwan in their ranks. the band release two albums, ‘Tramp’ (1969) and ‘Put A Record On’ (1974). Only the latter has been included here. The song ‘Too Late Now’ has not been included because neither Kirwan and Fleetwood play on it. What follows is the ‘Man Of The World’ single. This was the only release by Fleetwood Mac on the Immediate label which they were signed to between Blue Horizon and Reprise. I have read that this was only ever a one off deal with Immediate, but with the label in financial turmoil by the time of this release, it can be argued that if the band were signed to a longer deal, it would not have panned out as the label was struggling financially. Immediate were struggling to release what music they already had ready to go (e.g. Billy Nicholas and the legendary ‘Would You Believe’ LP). I have included it more for completeness more than anything else. 

Clifford Davis was Fleetwood Mac’s manager between 1967 and 1974. He is also credited as being the co-writer of a number of songs on Mac’s ‘Mr Wonderful’ album under his  birth name of Adams. He also tried his hand at being a recording artist, releasing two singles which have are believed to include members of Fleetwood on them. I have included these songs as they fit the correct time period but if anyone can shed light on which members of Mac play on them, if any, I would be grateful. When it comes to his version of ‘Man Of The World’, I am sure that this is the Mac version with Green’s vocals replaced by Adams and some strings added to the mix. This disc is rounded off by some early takes of ‘Man Of The World’. 

  1. Own Up (Tramp) – Tramp
  2. Same Old Thing (Tramp) – Tramp
  3. What You Gonna Do (Tramp) – Tramp
  4. Somebody Watching Me (Tramp) – Tramp
  5. Too Late Now (Tramp) – Tramp
  6. Baby What You Want Me To Do (Tramp) – Tramp
  7. Street Walking Blues (Tramp) – Tramp
  8. On The Scene (Tramp) – Tramp
  9. Month Of Sundays (Tramp) – Tramp
  10. Hard Work (Tramp) – Tramp
  11. Another Day (Tramp) – Tramp
  12. Man Of The World – Single A-Side
  13. Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonite (Earl Vince & The Valiants) – Single B-Side
  14. Before The Beginning (Clifford Davis) – Single A-Side
  15. Man Of The World (Clifford Davis) – Single B-Side
  16. Come On Down & Follow Me (Clifford Davis & Friends) – Single A-Side
  17. Homework (Clifford Davis & Friends) Single A-Side
  18. Man Of The World (Takes 1, 2 & 3) – The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968-1970

I am sure that there is more tracks that could have been included out there but a six CD set is not a bad effort considering that Reprise have only ever released a one disc set for ‘Then Play On’. I would love to do a similar treatment to all of the albums Mac released between 1970 and 1974, but I don’t think there is the material out there to do so. 

Fleetwood Mac – If Music Be The Food Of Love

Fleetwood Mac released their first two albums within six months of each other, but then it took them over a year to released their third. This was the 60s and releasing a new album every six months was not unusual so I wanted to see if there would have been enough material for the band to have released another album early in 1969. If this was to happen, this album needed to follow a certain amount of rules, including adhering to the template of the first two. That is: 

Each singing member gets a roughly equal amount of songs to sing.

Some originals and some covers. 

The LP would contain twelve tracks like the first two albums did. 

What would have been new for this release was Danny Kirwan. He was added to the line up to take some of the burden off of Peter Green because Jeremy Spencer, the other guitar player in the band did not play on the songs Green brought to the band. 

Looking through the rather fine ‘Complete Blue Horizon Sessions’ box set, there is the ‘Blues Jam in Chicago’ album. This album was recoded in the legendary Chess Records studio with Fleetwood Mac being joined by a series of blue legends such as Willie Dixon and Buddy Guy. There was enough original material from this release to cover the majority of the songs. To make this a coherent album, I have done some editing to remove studio banter, false starts and the odd bum note (especially true on I Can’t Hold Out where a stray sax notes comes in during Jeremy Spencer’s Elmore James’ influenced intro). With these songs included, there still wasn’t enough material for a complete album. There were a couple of stray songs written by Danny Kirwan that I have included and this meant there was only enough room for one cover. This is ‘Jumping of Shadows’. taken from the ’Live At The BBC’ album. It is a good blues number and the band seems to have played it quite a lot in their live shows around this time. 

If the band had chosen to release another LP on the Blue Horizon label earlier in 1969, this could have been what is sounded like. This would also have been the last of a trilogy of Blues albums where the songs were recorded live in the studio. With ‘Then Play On’, overdubs and editing as well as spending more time on the process were the order of the day, but that is a story for another time.  

Side A

  1. Watch Out (Blues Jam in Chicago Vol.1
  2. World’s In A Tangle (Blues Jam In Chicago Vol.2)
  3. I Can’t Hold Out (Blues Jam In Chicago Vol.1)
  4. Talk With You (Blues Jam In Chicago Vol.2)
  5. I’m Worried (Blues Jam In Chicago Vol.1)
  6. Without You (English Rose)

Side B

  1. Last Night (Blues Jam In Chicago Vol.1)
  2. Something Inside Of Me – Take 2 (The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions 1967-1969)
  3. Rockin’ Boogie (Blues Jam In Chicago Vol.2)
  4. Homework (Blues Jam In Chicago Vol.1)
  5. I Held My Baby Last Night (Blues Jam In Chicago Vol.2)
  6. Jumping At Shadows (Live At The BBC)

The LP artwork is edited from a Reprise Record release in Germany and the Netherlands from 1973, but with the title edited out. It is quite hard to find artwork of the five man Mac. The title was chosen as it links into the album that followed, even if that did not use the original Shakespeare quote accurately. 

Fleetwood Mac – Stretcted (1979)

Back in the dim distant days of August 2020, I posted a couple of what if albums highlighting two possibly albums by ex Fleetwood Mac guitar player, Danny Kirwan. You can read about those LPs here ( but in a nutshell, this post looked at the imagined story that the Mac split in 1971 when Jeremy Spencer left. Kirwan looked at what songs he had written and employing his ex band members as sessions players, released two albums. Well, this continues that imagined story.

After leaving Fleetwood Mac again after their 1971 tour of the US (where he helped out the band after Spencer had left), Peter Green made some additional recordings before his drug taking and mental illness finally took their toll. Green was diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent some time having treatment in some psychiatric hospitals. By 1979, Green was ready to reemerge and got in touch with Mick Fleetwood. Fleetwood had spent the 1970s as a session player along with ex band mate, John McVie. Both Fleetwood and McVie have never been short of work but both had reached the end of the decade and fancied playing in a band again. Green getting back in touch could not have happened at a more opportune moment. 

Green, McVie and Fleetwood start jamming and even though they liked the experience, they realised that they need some additional musicians to flesh out the sound. Green was keen to recruit his friend Nigel Watson, who had played on the two Reprise singles that he had released in the early 70s. Fleetwood, feeling that if anything were to come of this re-union, they would need a manager, contacts Clifford Davis. He had been Fleetwood’s Mac’s manager and is more than happy to come on board. Davis has also been representing Danny Kirwan since band split. Kirwan had continued to release albums throughout the 70’s but, like Green, had been suffering from the effects of drink and drugs. Davis felt that having Kirwan and Green playing together would be good for them both. Davis then played Green some live tracks from Mac’s US tour in early 1970 to show how good the two players had been, feeding off each others guitar licks. Green was sceptical, but agreed that having Kirwan in for a jam. 

Kirwan looks similar to the last time anyone saw him, it is clear that all is not well with him. Years of alcohol and drug abuse have taken their toll. However, when the four musicians start to relax around each other, the music flows out of them, even if the playing from the two guitar players is not have the fire they once had. Inspired by the jam sessions, both Kirwan and Green agree that they will see if they can come up with some suitable material for an album. 

Jeremy Spencer on the other hand has spent the majority of the 70’s working on behalf of the Children of God, recording a good deal of music for the benefit of the organisation. By 1978, he had written some material that he felt should be released on a commercial record. Looking in the organisation for fellow players, Spencer put together the Jeremy Spencer band and they start to rehearse. Hiring entertainment moguls Martin and Steven Machat, the pair are able to secure Spencer a one off deal with Atlantic Records. Sessions begin but Spencer is not happy with some of the results. He feels that instead of the breezy Californian sound he was going for, the record label are trying to steer him towards a disco record. Spencer is close to giving up when Ahmet Ertegun, the Head of Atlantic Records comes down to the studio to play him a visit.

Ertegun has heard that Fleetwood Mac are jamming together and wonders if Spencer would be interested in joining them in a reunion (as well as having the band sign for Atlantic). Spencer is unsure that this would be a good idea, especially as it was him leaving that caused the band to fold in the first place. Ertegun says he would make some enquiries, and contacts Davis. Davis is surprised to hear that anyone has heard that the jam sessions are happening at all, but is excited that there could be a potential Mac reunion with all five members actively involved. Ertegun sweetens the deal by suggesting that a record deal is waiting for them if they choose to accept it, but only if Spencer is involved. A sizeable advance is also mentioned. 

Davis tells Green, Kirwan, McVie and Fleetwood about Ertegun’s offer. McVie and Fleetwood are keen to go into the studio straight away, but this was before Davis told them the deal about having Spencer on the recording. Kirwan does not react at all and Green looks horrified. He has not been in a recording studio for years, and his guitar playing is decidedly rusty. The four band members mull it over and even though they each have doubts, the seizable advance is enough to swing it as both Kirwan and Green are short of funds. The money would also mean Kirwan can buy himself out of his contract DJM Records who he still owes an album too. The contracts are signed and the five man Mac meet up and start to rehearse. The first meeting with Spencer is a little tense, but once the formalities are out of the way and they start to play some old blues standards, they all remember how much fun it was to play together. 

It has been ten years since they last recorded an album together (even though Spencer hardly played anything on the ‘Then Play On’ album). The three songwriters have changed as people and the music landscape has changed as well. Disco and soft rock are the order of the day. Both Spencer and Kirwan produce some material that is similar to those popular at the time. Green on the other hand, has struggled to come up with material of his own and at one point, almost walked out of the sessions. Fleetwood is able to coerce Green back to at least finish the album but by the end of proceedings, all five realise that this was a mistake. The album sounds good, but the fire is no longer there and the three songwriters are sining from the same hymn sheet as once they were. Unfortunately, they are under contract and the album has too comes out. 

The reviews are not kind, with everyone expecting the band from 1969 with their blues rock fusion. Even though concert promotors throw some big money at the band to go on the road, especially if they are going to play their old material, the band decide that going on tour would not be in anyones best interest and they split once again. The album fails to chart anywhere in the world and Fleetwood Mac are once again, no more.   

Side A

  1. Flee – Jeremy Spencer Band (Flee)
  2. Wings Of A Dove – Danny Kirwan (Hello There Big Boy!)
  3. Seven Stars – Peter Green (In The Skies)
  4. Caroline – Danny Kirwan (Hello There Big Boy!)
  5. Travellin’ – Jeremy Spencer Band (Flee)

Side B

  1. In The Skies – Peter Green (In The Skies)
  2. Summer Days & Summer Nights – Danny Kirwan (Hello There Big Boy!)
  3. Just For You – Peter Green (In The Skies)
  4. Cool Breeze – Jeremy Spencer Band (Flee)
  5. Apostle – Peter Green (In The Skies)

I was inspired to put this what-if album together after playing Danny Kirwan 1979 album ‘Hello There Big Boy!’ for the first time in years. I remember being incredibly disappointed with this when I first heard it over thirty years ago now but on reflection, it was not as bad as I remember. The playing was solid and there were some half decent songs on it. The production of the record was obviously trying to ape the style of the then current Fleetwood Mac and their massive selling ‘Rumours’ LP. It was then that I remembered that Jeremy Spencer released his ‘Flee’ album in the same year. I had played this record quite a lot when I was younger, especially the B-Side which was also trying to emulate the ‘Rumours’ sound. The B-Side has aged considerably better than the A-Side, which sounds like a poor mans disco record. 

Considering I have all Spencer’s and Kirwan’s releases from the 1970’s, I have never bought or even listened to a single Peter Green solo album. Well, from 1979 onwards anyway as I do have ‘End Of The Game’ and the two singles he recorded with Nigel Watson. A Green fan would be  disappointed if they were expecting the fiery blues man of just a year or so before. Anyway, I looked at Green’s solo work and found that he had also released an album in 1979. It was just a case of listening to all three and seeing if there was enough self penned material for an album. There was but this, if it had actually happened, I feel it would have disappointed much in the same way the Small Faces re-union releases were earlier in the decade. An interesting experiment though. 

The name of the album is a reference to the fake Fleetwood Mac who were sent out on the road in place of the real thing in 1974. You can see a video detailing this incident here ( After the fake Fleetwood Mac debacle, that band became Stretch and released the hit single ‘Why Did You Do It?’.

The cover is adapted from the Jeremy Spencer Bands ‘Flee’ album.