Who would believe that I'd actually buy a Fleetwood Mac CD? I haven't lost my mind, actually--it's the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, in this case a collection of the bluesier numbers from their original albums. Man, some truly amazing stuff here.
It was inevitable that I'd pick it up, though, given my exposure to the John Mayall's Bluesbreakers London Blues double set. (An old friend--born the day before I was in the same hospital--and I ended up getting this for each other's birthday. Figure that one out.) While that set covers the years Clapton was in the band, and I can see what all the fuss was about, Peter Green steals the disc in a big way. "So Many Roads," "Dust My Blues" ("blues" and not "broom" on the jacket), and "A Hard Road" really impressed me. Mick Taylor's no slouch, either.
As for the Fleetwood Mac, The only Green-era Mac I'd ever heard was "Oh, Well," and this is much, much more of a blues record. Slower than I'd expected, less rocking and more stomping/swinging. The tones are rich, raw, and slippery. It's not too far from the Mayall, but a lot rougher and less refined in some way. I mean that in a good way. A friend of mine, while playing me a collection of Chicago blues, said, "You can only play harmonica like that if you've spent several years in prison, or had a hard, hard life." The blues on Bird definitely have a hard life cry of pain in them. I was surprised to see that, according to the insert, "Black Magic Woman" (yep, that one) was a Green original, although from the long list of publishing companies on the packaging, I can guess that he didn't see much in the way of royalties from this. Highlights include the amazing "I Need Your Love So Bad," "I Believe My Time Ain't Long," and, well, everything else. Some real music on this disc.