Sunday, June 24, 2018

Fleetwood Maximum II: Spreading Rumours

We resume the twin Fleetwood Mac attack with the rejoinder to yesterday's extravaganza, catching up to them on the other side of their mid-1970s reinvention via a birthday shoutout to their founder and drummer.
This concert I'm posting today is likely the best sounding and most complete show from this most legendary record and tour; there's never been an official live document of this explosive period for FM, save a single tour highlights CD included in the 35th Anniversary box set edition of Rumours.
I remember the summer of 1977 well. I grew up in NYC, so the heat wave, the big blackout, the Son of Sam stuff, and the World Series dwell in my primary and permanent memory. We went on summer vacation to Cape Cod that July and the Rumours record was on every single radio station. You would literally tune across the dial and it'd be Dreams on one station, Don't Stop on another and Go Your Own Way on a third. All at the same time.
It's a damn good record that stands up really well for something so beaten to death. Cocaine, alcohol, unlimited money and a seething hatred for your spouse/bandmates' infidelities -- sometimes with other bandmates and their spouses -- made for one of the most incisive and serious albums that will ever be made about intimate relationships gone sour.
That none of them died young doing it is almost a minor miracle. That Mick Fleetwood -- born this day in 1947 -- is turning 71 today is, given the whirlwind of Seventies consumption in which he indulged, perhaps an even less likely miracle.
So yeah, they did drugs in the 1970s, news flash for you there. But what about this concert? There's two of them from this week in May 1977 that are essentially the two best sounding captures of the Rumours excursion that circulate. The Nashville one from the 21st is the superior performance and recording, IMO.
The issue with the two of them is that the track You Make Loving Fun is incomplete in both; there were these things called tapes back in the day and they had to be flipped occasionally.
So I spent yesterday creating a complete version, sort of Frankensteined from the two fragments, which involved a whole lotta digital trickery, as the song was played considerably faster at the Nashville show.
I ended up remastering both sets to ballpark match each other sonically, then decided to share the Nashville one with the two encores -- the only tunes not played at that show -- from OKC three days before tacked on as bonus tracks.
What we have here is a band waking up from the interpersonal dramas subsuming their lives to find themselves the biggest group in the world, with the added strangeness of its members being in that fishbowl while singing breakup songs across the stage to their subjects.
All this makes for some legendary performances for sure, and lemme tell you this puppy does not disappoint. This is the definitive FM concert from this halcyon period, that I've ever heard anyway. They play all the tunes that made this incarnation of this band so huge, eyeballs deep in the interpersonal strife and Herculean drug use they are singing about.
Fleetwood Mac
Municipal Auditorium
Nashville, Tennessee

01 welcome & tuning
02 Say You Love Me
03 Monday Morning
04 Dreams
05 Oh Well
06 Rhiannon
07 Oh Daddy
08 Never Going Back Again
09 Landslide
10 Over My Head
11 Gold Dust Woman

01 You Make Loving Fun
02 I'm So Afraid
03 Go Your Own Way
04 World Turning
05 Blue Letter
06 Second Hand News
07 The Chain
08 Songbird
09 The Green Manalishi*
10 Don't Stop*

Total time: 1:42:00
*encores from Oklahoma City Fairgrounds, 5.18.1977

Mick Fleetwood - drums, percussion, vocals
John McVie - bass, guitar, vocals
Christine McVie - keyboards, vocals
Stevie Nicks - vocals, percussion, guitar
Lindsey Buckingham - guitar, vocals

soundboard feed of unknown origin; sounds like a cassette master
slightly remastered and repaired by EN, June 2018
I have no idea where these shows came from... the listed lineage says soundboard, but they only get up to the 15,000 kHz commonly associated with FM broadcasts. Yet there are no DJs talking, no station IDs, nothing that would point to an off-air capture.
No matter, as this Nashville one is as crisp and complete a document of this historical tour as may ever come down the 'pike. Grab onto it and as you do, remember to celebrate Mick Fleetwood, one of the original architects of this seminal and supremely adored band, on his big day today!--J.

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