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All Reviews for Then Play On
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(4.50/5.04.50/5.04.50/5.04.50/5.04.50/5.0 from 12 Reviews)

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this is the beginning of danny kirwan's fleetwood mac (5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0)
Review written by james prichard from houston ,texas, April 15th, 2013

i was transformed . twice. first, it seemed at the time, to me and all my blues friends, that peter green was establishing a new direction for fleetwood mac, and that blues can be exciting . move forward 40 years. peter is revered far and wide. good for him . the second transformation was discovering that this record and the new direction was more likely due to danny kirwan's influence . comparing everything by danny with everything by peter leads me to conclude that from the time danny joined to the time peter left they are equals . and comparing everything they both created after peter left, well, danny is nearly divine . try danny kirwan. you may love him, too. more than just about anything.

Which record to recommend? (4/5.04/5.04/5.04/5.04/5.0)
Review written by Anonymous, March 18th, 2013

Need I recommend what (almost) everybody knows? And what version of this classic record with which songs?
I write my own review because I can't completely agree with any of the others, but I share opinions with many of them...
I bought this record about 1976 in an ugly WEA series (Rock Collection) reissue cover with only half of the cover painting as much smaller picture in a frame, and it was the second American version with 'Oh Well'. Not all the songs I find great, the good ones are all mentioned yet, I think: Coming your Way, Although the Sun..., my favourite Like Crying, all from Danny Kirwan, plus Green's raunchy 'Rattlesnake Shake' (for years I thought it a stolen old blues standard) and, of course, Oh Well. The rest of the tunes, I agree, is not great, some not even good.

Then, only a few years ago, on a fleamarket, I stumbled over a worn copy with a fold-out cover, and, surprise, there was no 'Oh Well' on it, but four tunes I didn't know about. Some great stuff. This turned out to be the original UK version with this really beautiful cover. But as it is, a very different album, albeit a better one I think. It seems Peter Green had given the band to Danny Kirwan at this point. Why Jeremy Spencer did not play on it I don't know, for he is on the band photograph.
The CD version also mentioned here is a hodgepodge of the two that leaves many wishes open, more than it fulfills maybe: there is no good remastering discernible, and the sequencing is a real mess that refuses all sense. The most crazy thing is that up to this digital age the two sides of the 'Oh Well' single have been plastered together completely unedited, that is, part two (imo. a completely different, instrumental tune that has nothing to do with part 1, which the band played always separately live) begins twice, the first fades out at the end of the A side and then the tune begins again on the B side !!! For the second edition of the US LP version Reprise brought both single sides as one tune instead of leaving the beginning and fade-out on the end of the A side out! Most stupid!!!
What we could have had would be a fine remastered CD with the fourteen songs of the original UK album in original sequencing plus Oh Well without the stupid doubling fadeout. That would be a fine hour of music. As bonus tracks they could give us the two surrounding singles, 'Man of the world' and 'The green Manalishi' with the fine 'World in Harmony' on back. That would add to about 75 minutes and make us all happy. So what, Reprise?

new data on album art (5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0)
Review written by Anonymous from Seattle WA, April 24th, 2012

The remarkable cover art by Maxwell Armfield has been vexing to track down. Now however we know more. Painted before 1917 and titled "Domesticated Mural Painting", Armfield wrote about it “The illustration here is a mural designed for the dining room of a London mansion. The windows had been hung with a heavy plum-coloured brocade that, in spite of the white panelling, made the room rather dark and fragmentary in general effect. The mural was placed in a large panel above the fireplace. The colours of the room were used in it; the plum colour was heightened into magenta in the rhododendrons, the white was lowered a little in the horse to a pearl grey, and the sky was a yellow used in the curtains, also lowered a little in tone and enriched with gold pattern. This scheme had the effect of reconciling the various elements in a satisfactory way and gave the impression to the whole room of having been lived in.”

How FM came across it is still a *mystery to me*.

Yeah, its a classic (4/5.04/5.04/5.04/5.04/5.0)
Review written by Larry L from Richmond, VA USA, August 8th, 2011

After a couple initial albums full o’ blues, the opening on this record speaks of something new: 2 crunching guitar chords herald the intro of a Latin-tinged rocker (“Coming Your Way”), which outros as grandly as it arrived. Some powerful progressive pop here….but then the album plummets to aimless wandering, alternating from dull ballads to pointless instrumental snippets, which were apparently cut from a pointless studio jam and thrown onto the platter. Some call this experimentation or creativity, but really it seemed like focus was lost.

Alas, after 30 minutes wandering through half-baked ideas, the album once again saves itself on the last 2 numbers: the cute & catchy blues novelty “Like Crying”, which must’ve gotten considerable airplay in England, and the quasi-psychedelic “Before the Beginning”, reinventing Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused” on a smaller scale.

Later releases of Then Play On include the Mac’s creative 1969 single “Oh Well”, recorded around the same time as the album and which became Fleetwood Mac’s first rock standard to be played on both sides of the Atlantic.

There’s a lot of music on Then Play On, just so much in the middle seems poorly inspired. But what’s good on this album is really good, and provides a suitable portfolio of the Peter Green era. It was very popular in England that year and did garner attention here in the states. For these reasons the album achieves classic status.

if musick be the food of love... (5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0)
Review written by Anonymous from UK, October 13th, 2007

Apparently Jeremy Spencer did not play on this, accordng to other webcasts....and most of the songs are by Danny Kirwan and the great strident guitar you can hear is again mostly by Danny Kirwan not Peter Green.

The lyrics often let the album down as they are frequently too trite and sentimental - but the overall feel and structure is very powerful - exemplified by Coming your Way with its great drum part coordinating with the guitar.

This is awesome!! (4/5.04/5.04/5.04/5.04/5.0)
Review written by Dante\' Swinton from Rock Hill, SC, USA, North America, Western Hemisphere, Earth, September 5th, 2006

I hadn't really heard much of the Peter Green era of FM until this album, and I discovered how great it was as well. I LOVE the percussion on Coming Your Way, and Oh Well, Although The Sun Is Shining, and Rattlesnake Shake are my favorites. I'm only 18, but I wish people would play these styles of music much more often on the radio...

My All Time Favorite Album (5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0)
Review written by Stephen Andrachek from Monessen, PA, December 20th, 2005

A friend loaned me this album when it first came out. He had many albums and said that this was one of the heaviest albums he had. I took it home and listened to it and didn't much care for it. I listened to it again and for a third time and really didn't like it. I put it away for about two weeks, got it out and listened to it one more time and it really grabbed a hold of me. I couldn't believe how good it sounded now that I was somewhat familiar with the songs. Now, some 36 years later, this album still gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. From the first song, "Coming Your Way", with the intro two guitars calling to and answering each other and the driving Fleetwood Mac rhythm section, to the last song, "Before the Beginning", I like them all, especially the melancholy "Closing My Eyes" which is followed by "Show Biz Blues" with its wicked opening and closing slide guitar riffs. But the whole album is excellent all the way through and the songs seem to slide into one another like they were made for each other. I'm sitting here listening to the album as I write this review. It still sounds just as good as it ever did. To say I highly recommend it would be a gross understatement.

Fleetwood Mac /Spirit/ West Bruce & Laing (5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0)
Review written by ( from Phila, Pa, August 24th, 2005

This was the period I enjoyed Fleetwood Mac the most. The title means I saw them in concert @ The Spectrum In Phila. Oh Well is a masterpiece. Although The Sun Is Shining is what I sing to my wife constantly. Very pretty.
I personally feel they never needed to sell out.

A Real Mess (2/5.02/5.02/5.02/5.02/5.0)
Review written by Anonymous, May 12th, 2005

This is one of those rock albums popular in the U.K. but not so
well-liked in the U.S. Its easy to see why -- Then Play On is a mess. An
immiscible combination of droning ballads by Peter Green and haphazard
snippets from studio jam sessions. At one point, a jam session is suddenly
interrupted by a 2-second tape of Danny shouting "Yes? YESSS?!!."
Then the pointless jam begins again. A real mess.

Ok, there are two cohesive rockers on the album: "Coming Your Way" and
"Rattlesnake Shake." The former serves as a smooth & catchy opening
tune (and was also released as a single); the latter is a corny
novelty-rocker about masturbation.

Then Play On may be alright to occasionally visit, as a weird museum
piece maybe, but it is not a seriously good rock album at all.

The classic blues line up at their classic best (5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0)
Review written by Lambros Zelios, August 22nd, 2004

This would have to be the first Fleetwood Mac album I bought that contained the classic blues line up. I was already familiar with Danny Kirwan and his invaluable contributions to preceding Fleetwood Mac albums such as "Bare Trees". Undoubtedly he was the major driving force of the band during the period of the Bare Trees album. One listen to that album and one can understand why. I wasn't anticipating on appreciating this album very much but I surprisingly enjoyed this album immensely . My favourite track is the opening track "Coming your way". This would have to be one of the best tracks that Danny Kirwan has contributed to the Mac. The rhythm section is superb on this track and it's exemplary of the famous Fleetwood/Mcvie rhythm section.

It seems that Kirwan has adapted to the role of singer/song writer/guitarist very well and this album definitely contains some of his best material. Christine Mcvie (at the time was she was known as Christine Perfect) also contributes backing vocals on some of Danny's songs (ie Feel like crying) which is another one of my favourites from this album. Christine would also end up recording one of Danny's tracks for her debut solo album - When you say - which also appears on this album. Christine also contributres her indispensable keyboarding skills.

Other great Danny Kirwan moments are the warm "My Dream" and the haunting "Although the sun is shining". Kirwan's major presence in the band creates another musical dimension for the band which was not present previously on mac albums. Peter Green tends to consolidate on this alternative rock sound that Kirwan is bringing to the band. The chemsitry between Green and Kirwan and the rest of the band is much different when Spencer is partaking in a more crucial role.

The album also contains the nine mintue epic "Oh well" which consists of parts 1 and 2. Part 1 is an obvious heavy blues rock song, a signature song of Mr Peter Green himself and probably one of the most influential songs of rock. Oh well is where heavy metal music was derived from. The flute played at the end of the song is actually played by Peter Green's girlfriend. Part 2 is more mellow melodic and has a classical feel to it. It is also very haunting.

'Then play on' also demonstrates the Mac's tendency to experiment and to deviate from the strictly blues format. This blues format was very evident on previous albums. This deviation is attributed to many factors such as Kirwan undertaking a more major role in the songwriting/guitar playing, the absence of Jeremy Spencer who was a major blues influence within the band, and that Green's latest contributions tended to be less mainstream and more progressive. Though blues tends to be one of the more evident muscial styles on this album, it seems that the Mac were developing a more distinctive sound of their own which would have been a very exciting era for the Mac at the time. This essentially was the beginning for the Mac because this album actually defined the Mac's sound which would be so evident in future Fleetwood Mac albums. 'Then play on' would have to be their most diverse and experimental album to date and it was the stepping stone they needed for the next decade which would only continue their journey of change and evolution for the band.

'Then play on' is the beginning of a journey evolution of the band and its music which would continue for many years and take the band to places they never thought they never would have imagined they would be.

The best Mac album! (5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0)
Review written by Slim Morrison, August 22nd, 2004

My opinion is that "Then play on" is Fleetwood Mac's totally best album of everyone. It has got EVERYTHING. For the first i would like to say that i'm not at all into the Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham-era.. my favourite guitarist/singer in Mac is Danny Kirwan, who i think did a fantastic work on the "Then play on" album. Remember, he was just a young bloke when it was recorded, it must have been a hard job to do for him, making the half of a record. I rate "Coming your way" as his finest song (together with "Dust" from Bare Trees) and one of the finest of all Mac songs. His guitarplaying is also outstanding on the "Madge" songs.. Peter Green does fantastic things too, "Oh well" and "Before the beginning" is some of then. I think "Then play on" shows the best sides of both Kirwan and Green.

A truly classic, experimental Mac extravaganza (5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0)
Review written by John Fitzgerald, August 22nd, 2004

Although "Tusk" is often thought of as the Mac's most experimental release, I think "Then play on" must certainly rank up there as at least one of their most experimental albums, if not the most. Not only is it shockingly different to their previous long players, there's also very little mainstream here. the songs included are either their hardest rocking songs or their mellowest that they have ever recorded depending on which one you're listening to yet you never know what's coming next and that's the key to a classic experimental record. I'd recommend you get the CD as it includes the two songs from the original pressings of the album "My dream" & "When you say" which are Danny Kirwan tunes. The former is an unusual and pleasant instrumental number. It's the more instantly likable of the two. However, the latter does grow on you with each listen. These were replaced on vinyl in 1977 with the (virtually) complete "Oh well" but disc listeners can now enjoy all of these on one five inch silver laser platter. In order for "Oh well parts 1 & 2" to make musical sense together, the last five seconds needed to be trimmed off the fade of side one to properly splice the two parts together to create the classic lengthy epic. Those fans of "The Madge sessions" from "The vaudeville years" compilation will notice there are still some snippets on "Searching for Madge" & "Fighting for Madge" that one can still only hear on this release. "Coming your way" & "Rattlesnake shake" are lean rockers by Danny and Peter respectively while "Before the beginning" is the closest thing you will find to mainstream on this record but even then, you'll be on the edge of your seat with this yearning number. "Show biz blues" is the nearest to their previous blues recordings but even then, it's a surprising country blues with an irresistible new (for them at the time) guitar sound and "Underway" beautifully (and aptly) starts the jamming ride. The absence of Jeremy Spencer seems to have had a strangely poitive effect but he made up for past indulgences on his wonderful debut solo album. This has deservedly been called a landmark recording. How correct they are.

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