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Fleetwood Mac Live in Finland 1969

January 23, 2020

Fleetwood Mac – Live in Finland 1969

Side One

  1. Homework (Otis Rush, Al Perkins, Dave Clark)
  2. Man Of The World (Peter Green)
  3. Like It This Way (Danny Kirwan)
  4. Only You (Danny Kirwan)
  5. Dust My Broom (Robert Johnson)
  6. Stranger Blues (Elmore James)

Side Two

  1. I’ve Got A Mind To Give Up Living (trad arr BB King)
  2. Oh Well Part 1 (Peter Green)
  3. Coming Your Way (Danny Kirwan)
  4. Shake Your Moneymaker (Elmore James)
  5. Albatross (Peter Green)

All tracks recorded live at Kulttuuritalo, Helsinki on November 11th 1969 and broadcast on YLE FM radio.

Personnel

Peter Green – guitar, vocals

Jeremy Spencer – slide guitar, piano, vocals

Danny Kirwan – guitar, vocals

John McVie – bass

Mick Fleetwood – drums

Sleevenotes

By the time the five-piece Fleetwood Mac made their third visit to Helsinki in the autumn of 1969 an endless string of gigs had honed the bands onstage abilities. The eponymous rhythm section were equally comfortable sitting back and providing the framework for a slow blues or frantically rocking out. The front line comprised three contrasting lead guitarists all of whom could sing. Founder Peter Green produced haunting guitar lines and mini-psychodramas which somehow became hit singles. Danny Kirwan shared songwriting and performance duties with Green and contributed melodic counterpoint. Finally there was Jeremy Spencer, manic slide guitarist and source of rock’n’roll craziness.

Such stylistic diversity made for an entertaining and varied set. The opening number is a gritty version of Otis Rush’s Homework, an r’n’b classic later covered by the J.Geils Band on their gangbusting first LP. Then a change of pace as the band brings the mood down for a faithful rendition of Man Of The World, oft cited as the world’s saddest song. The call and response guitars of Danny’s Like It This Way were first heard on the LP “Blues Jam At Chess”. Another Kirwan original follows, the otherwise unrecorded Only You with a bass line borrowed from Larry Williams’ Slow Down. The slide closes with a brace of Elmore James numbers Dust My Broom and Stranger Blues, both showcasing the slide guitar of Jeremy Spencer and the latter unreleased on any studio LP.

The opening number on Side Two is a desolate version of BB King’s I’ve Got A Mind To Give Up Living, another unreleased track and one where Peter Green delivers a weary vocal and an extended guitar solo of exquisite taste. Next up is an electrifying Oh Well, recently and successfully released as a single. Coming Your Way was the opening track on the third Fleetwood Mac LP Then Play On, released two months before this gig: Green and Kirwan play interlocking and complementary guitar lines throughout. A lengthy Shake Your Moneymaker is followed by a subdued version of then hit-single Albatross.

Many sources including setlist.fm put the date of this gig as September 24th 1969. However extensive detective work from Raimo Öystilä has proved that the band played two sets at the Kulttuuritalo on November 11th and that this recording is taken from the second performance:

“The set started with Homework, which had been in the set for a long time. According to Jussi Raittinen, the start was even more promising than in the first set. The mood was especially boosted by Green’s interpretation of Man Of The World, and the borrowed from BB King I’ve Got A Mind To Give Up Living, also known as All Over Again . This had become one of Green’s most spectacular gigs. Spencer’s Stranger Blues was once again wild. Oh Well was also included in the second set, as was Kirwan’s starring moment in Coming Your Way .”

1969 represented a highwater mark for the original Fleetwood Mac. Then Play On was well received and Oh Well got to number two in the UK single charts. However the following year Peter Green underwent a drug-induced epiphany whilst on tour in Germany which caused him to leave the band. Jeremy Spencer did something very similar during a US tour in 1971: the band would sack Kirwan for alcohol-related unreliability in 1972. Critical and commercial redemption would not come for another three years, by which time the band looked and sounded very different.

That the original line-up of Fleetwood Mac ended in disarray should not overshadow the glorious music they made at their peak. The record you hold proves just how good they were.

Sleevenotes: Mr Wonderful

 

 

From → Music, Vinyl Releases

2 Comments
  1. Fox Trott permalink

    From what I heard of this, the 3rd song in the opening set – “Like It This Way” – was *really* dug by the audience. This version does sound unusually fiery; seems to me its also a little longer than other renditions of it. Oh, and on this version here too, Jeremy’s rythym piano is heard giving the song a cool jazzlike groove that I never knew it had. Best song on the album.

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