Let's interrupt the unmitigated sausage fest of toxic Jazz masculinity that is my page with a milestone birthday salvo about one of the truly beloveds.
Obviously there's no big introduction needed, as for 50 years she was the glue that held one of the world's most popular groups together.
Beginning at the end of the 1960s as the focus of British Blues Boom band Chicken Shack, she was a songwriting force, rivalled by few and revered by many.
Born Christine Perfect, as the 1970s began she married the bass player of Fleetwood Mac... and then, not long after, she joined the group. For good.
In truth, they may not have survived the down period during the first half of the Seventies were it not for her presence and seemingly limitless hitmaking abilities.
We all know the history. When Americans Buckingham & Nicks joined up in 1975, Fleetwood Mac exploded into the biggest band on Earth, with today's honoree leading the way with smash after smash.
Like I said, their internal foibles are so legendary, without Christine McVie holding it all together there's no way they'd have lasted as long as they did.
So how to pay proper tribute? Well, it's a long story but there's this fan compilation of live tracks spanning her career that got put together after she passed, and which later got pitch corrected track by track by Pervesser Goody over in the UK.
Titled "The Perfect Mix," this was a great idea, but when I heard it the vast quality fluctuations and tape chew across the 70 minutes of music kind of ruined it for me.
That's why they're called bootlegs, right? Anyway last month I started to investigate what might happen if I tried to replicate the thing, song for song, from the massive quantity of live bonus material included in all the Fleetwood Mac deluxe reissues, the official stuff.
Could it be done? Could it be made to track like one, continuous concert if it could? Would Audacity come through in the clutch with tasteful crossfades worthy of such a megamix?
Well, minus a few editorial decisions by me, this is what it might have been like in an alternate universe, if FM had been Christine's band exclusively. I think you'll find the results of what I did fairly close to Perfect.
live in the USA and London
01 I'd Rather Go Blind (Chicken Shack BBC 1968)
02 Why (Connecticut 1975)
03 Spare Me a Little (Connecticut 1975)
04 Oh Daddy (Nashville 1977)
05 Say You Love Me (London 1980)
06 Over My Head (Burbank 1976)
07 Over and Over (Oklahoma City 1980)
08 Got a Hold On Me (C. McVie Reseda 1983)
09 Love Will Show Us How (C. McVie Reseda 1983)
10 Everywhere (San Francisco 1987)
11 Little Lies (San Francisco 1987)
12 Remember Me (Bob Welch Hollywood 1981)
13 You Make Loving Fun (Tulsa 1977)
14 Don't Stop (C. McVie Reseda 1983)
15 Songbird (London 1980)
16 Love In Store (Los Angeles 1982)
17 Think About Me (Kansas City 1980)
18 Keeping Secrets (C. McVie Reseda 1983)
19 Hold Me (Los Angeles 1982)
20 Get Like You Used to Be (Passaic 1975)
21 Never Make Me Cry (live in the studio 1979)
Total time: 1:18:53
alternative iteration of the bootleg compilation "The Perfect Mix," compiled from official sources and volume-homogenized by EN, July 2023
all tracks by Fleetwood Mac unless otherwise specified
534 MB FLAC/direct link
534 MB FLAC/direct link
Now before anyone busts me and says Wait A Minute Now, Joshy! a couple of the 1983 Reseda tracks are also on the original bootleg compilation! please take note that Joshy used the (pitch-corrected) pre-FM vinyl for those songs and not the off-air captures! Totally different mixes and much less bootleggy sounding, way more like a real live record.
I'll return with more soon, but I wanted to make sure to get Over My Head for Christine McVie's 80th birthday, with a tribute (plus this super-groovy AI painting on shirts, even!) worthy of a classic Songbird such as she!--J.