Friday, March 17, 2017

Today's Vinyl Spin - Fleetwood Mac

Today's Vinyl Spin goes back to the very successful Fleetwood Mac line-up of Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckinghman, John McVie, Christine McVie and Mick Fleetwood. Fleetwood Mac is the first album to feature the then new line-up of the group.

Fleetwood Mac enjoyed moderate success as a blues band and a mainstream rock group with numerous membership changes. In 1974 after former lead singer and guitarist Bob Welch left the group, the duo of Buckingham-Nicks were recruited to take his place. The two new members proved to be the best thing that happened to Fleetwood Mac in terms of a new music direction and commercial success.

The band paved its way to becoming a major concert draw with Stevie, Lindsey and Christine showcasing various songs while McVie and Fleetwood provided a solid foundation. It is one of the few bands that I personally saw in concert not once, but twice.

Their debut album Fleetwood Mac with the new line-up slowly crawled to the #1 position on the charts by 1976 while its singles garnered more and more radio airplay. These included "Over My Head", "Rhiannon," "Say You Love Me," and "Blue Letter". "Landslide" also became a hit after Fleetwood Mac recorded it again for their 1997 live album, The Dance.

I was first introduced to this album by an old college friend back in the day. I always knew of Fleetwood Mac but never paid much attention to them. I had only one track of theirs in my record collection which was "Stop Messin' Around" that appeared on a compilation LP. I later liked the song "Hypnotized" after hearing it on the radio. Was not enough for me to buy their records at the time (I was a starving high school student when this stuff first came out)....

Over the years I have owned 2 vinyl copies of Fleetwood Mac as well as 2 CDs of this. Made at least two cassette tapes off the vinyl and later the CD for portability before the digital age.

Fleetwood Mac is definitely one of my favorite albums of all time by them. It's an enjoyable, refreshing listen whenever I give it a spin.

The back cover of Fleetwood Mac with track list, group members Nicks, Fleetwood, McVie, Buckingham and McVie.

Fleetwood Mac would be the last of their albums to show up on the Reprise label.

Track List

Side 1

1. Monday Morning
2. Warm Ways
3. Blue Letter
4. Rhiannon
5. Over My Head
6. Crystal

Side 2

1. Say You Love Me
2. Landslide
3. World Turning
4. Sugar Daddy
5. I'm So Afraid

"Rhiannon" was one of 4 singles released from the album. All 4 singles have different mixes from the versions on the album. When Fleetwood Mac was issued in a special edition CD in 2004, the single tracks were included as bonus material. Nice move on Warner / Reprise's part.

Finally here is Stevie Nicks and the rest of Fleetwood Mac in this video appearance on the old NBC TV show Midnight Special from 1976. The song? "Rhiannon" of course!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Today's Vinyl Spin - "Carney" by Leon Russell

On the turntable today: Leon Russell's Carney - Shelter Records, 1972. This is a great album featuring the tracks "Tightrope", "Out in the Woods," "Roller Derby," and the original version of "This Masquerade" which became a hit later for George Benson. Strangest track? "Acid Annapolis". Russell must have been on something!

This is an enjoyable, casual period piece to listen to if you just want some music to kick back to with a carnival like twang.

Track List

Side 1:

1. Tight Rope – 2:59
2. Out in the Woods – 3:35
3. Me and Baby Jane – 3:52
4. Manhattan Island Serenade – 3:25
5. Cajun Love Song – 3:08
6. Roller Derby – 2:22

Side 2:

7. Carney – :47
8. Acid Annapolis – 2:47
9. If the Shoe Fits – 2:21
10. My Cricket – 2:55
11. This Masquerade – 4:22
12. Magic Mirror – 4:56

Gotta love the logotype that appears throughout the package of this LP. Side 1 features a lavender label while the label on Side 2 is green.

The back cover has no track list but a picture of Leon sitting in front of a camper trailer attached to a vintage Rolls Royce. Nice.

Listen to the whole album on YouTube:

Monday, March 13, 2017

Video: Sixty Years On by Elton John

In observance of the number sixty, I bring you Elton John's "Sixty Years On". The song was first released in 1970 on Elton John's first American released album. "Sixty Years On" was the song that lead off side 2 of the vinyl version. The LP contained the following songs:

Side one

1. Your Song – 4:02
2. I Need You to Turn To – 2:35
3. Take Me to the Pilot – 3:47
4. No Shoe Strings on Louise – 3:31
5. First Episode at Hienton – 4:48

Side two

6. Sixty Years On – 4:35
7. Border Song – 3:22
8. The Greatest Discovery – 4:12
9. The Cage – 3:28
10. The King Must Die – 5:23

This is the album that put him on the map of popular and rock music for the next 50+ years. This album and several more that followed up to 1975 is considered to be part of the singer-songwriter classic Elton John album collection of the 1970s. The songs were well written by Elton and lyricist Bernie Taupin which finds Britain's most celebrated piano man in great voice with a solid group of backing musicians that enhanced his music through that era.

The album contains his signature track "Your Song" as well as FM classic rock favorites "Take Me To the Pilot", "Border Song" and "The King Must Die". That said my favorites are "The Cage: and the tender "I Need You To Turn To."

"Sixty Years On" is a beautiful symphonic like piece that starts off side 2 of the LP. The song is re-created in this 2002 video shot at The Royal Opera House in London England. Enjoy!

Sixty Years On - Lyrics

Who'll walk me down to church when I'm sixty years of age
When the ragged dog they gave me has been ten years in the grave
And senorita play guitar, play it just for you
My rosary has broken and my beads have all slipped through

You've hung up your great coat and you've laid down your gun
You know the war you fought in wasn't too much fun
And the future you're giving me holds nothing for a gun
I've no wish to be living sixty years on

Yes I'll sit with you and talk let your eyes relive again
I know my vintage prayers would be very much the same
And Magdelena plays the organ, plays it just for you
Your choral lamp that burns so low when you are passing through

And the future you're giving me holds nothing for a gun
I've no wish to be living sixty years on

Written by Bernie Taupin, Elton John • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About '70s Music?

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About '70s Music? 

Yep, got 100% on this quiz that is way too easy. I grew up in the 1970s, listened to a lot of music on AM and FM radio. KKUA, KPOI, KORL and KIKI were the top 40 radio stations of the day that played so many of these hits. I bought many of them on 45s and LP records. Made my first mixed cassette tapes. Those were the cool days.

Check the link above to take the quiz and comment below.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Today's Vinyl Spin - Fleetwood Mac "Mirage"

Mirage is Fleetwood Mac's first studio album released in the 1980s that features the hits "Hold Me" by Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks' "Gypsy". Both singles became big hits in 1982 in an album that to me tried to harken back to 1977's Rumours LP that sold in the mega millions and also earned the band their only #1 single "Dreams" and a Grammy Award. 

However listening beyond the obvious singles, there are tracks on the album to love even more. My favorite is the retro sounding "Oh Diane" that features Lindsey Buckingham on lead vocals as well as his rollicking "Can't Hold Back". Christine is also solid with "Love in Store" and the ballad "Only Over You". There is a touch of country in Nicks' "That's Alright" while Buckingham's "Book of Love" reminds me of music from Tusk.

Overall a highly recommended but under-appreciated album from the Mac. :)

Giving Mirage a spin on the ol' Technics.

Artwork featured on the inner sleeve.

"Oh Diane" featuring Lindsey Buckingham, Top of the Pops.*

* video may be taken down without notice.