- Advanced Search | Latest Updates | 30 Most Viewed

Madison Blues (2003) - Fleetwood Mac


    Featuring »

Mick Fleetwood, Danny Kirwan, Christine McVie, Christine McVie, John McVie, Jeremy Spencer

    Tracklisting »
Disc 1:
Hey BabyLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1969-11-24, Running Time: 2:34
  Comments: by Christine Perfect (McVie) (Mono) Recorded at BBC Recording Studios, Maida Vale, London for the 'Dave Lee Travis Sunday Show'.
It's You I MissLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1969-11-24, Running Time: 3:44
  Comments: by Christine Perfect (McVie) (Mono) Recorded at BBC Recording Studios, Maida Vale, London for the 'Dave Lee Travis Sunday Show'.
Gone Into The SunLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1969-11-24, Running Time: 2:43
  Comments: by Christine Perfect (McVie) (Mono) Recorded at BBC Recording Studios, Maida Vale, London for the 'Dave Lee Travis Sunday Show'.
Tell Me You Need MeLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1969-11-24, Running Time: 3:42
  Comments: by Christine Perfect (McVie) (Mono) Recorded at BBC Recording Studios, Maida Vale, London for the 'Dave Lee Travis Sunday Show'.
Crazy 'Bout You BabyLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1970-11-10, Running Time: 3:51
  Comments: Recorded at Paris Cinema, Lower Regent Street, London. Re: Session for BBC 'Radio 1 Club' (originally broadcast December 14, 1970). Incorrectly lists Little Walter (Jacobs) as the songwriter.
Down At The CrownLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1970-11-00, Running Time: 3:04
  Comments: Recorded in London for the BBC.
Tell Me All The Things You DoLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1970-11-10, Running Time: 2:50
  Comments: Recorded at Paris Cinema, Lower Regent Street, London. Re: Session for BBC 'Radio 1 Club' (originally broadcast December 14, 1970).
Station ManLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1970-11-24, Running Time: 3:49
  Comments: Recorded Maida Vale 5, London. Re: Session for BBC Radio 'Mike Harding - Sound Of The Seventies' (originally broadcast December 1, 1970).
The Purple DancerLyrics available Tabs available
  Date Performance: 1970-11-24, Running Time: 5:03
  Comments: Recorded Maida Vale 5, London. Re: Session for BBC Radio 'Mike Harding - Sound Of The Seventies' (originally broadcast December 1, 1970).
Station ManLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1970-08-11, Running Time: 8:26
  Comments: Recorded at The Pacific National Coliseum, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Crazy 'Bout You BabyLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1970-08-11, Running Time: 9:24
  Comments: Recorded at The Pacific National Coliseum, Vancouver, BC, Canada
One TogetherLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1970-08-11, Running Time: 3:39
  Comments: Recorded at The Pacific National Coliseum, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Can't Stop Lovin' My BabyLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1970-08-11, Running Time: 4:00
  Comments: Billed as "I Can't Stop Loving Her". Recorded at The Pacific National Coliseum, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Lonely Without YouLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1970-08-11, Running Time: 5:13
  Comments: Recorded at The Pacific National Coliseum, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Tell Me All The Things You DoLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1970-08-11, Running Time: 6:02
  Comments: Recorded at The Pacific National Coliseum, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jewel Eyed JudyLyrics available Tabs available
  Date Performance: 1970-08-11, Running Time: 3:57
  Comments: Incorrectly billed as "Jewel Eye Judy" inside CD booklet. Recorded at The Pacific National Coliseum, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Disc 2:
Madison BluesLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1971-02-10, Running Time: 4:10
  Comments: Recorded in Vancouver, BC, Canada
The Purple DancerLyrics available Tabs available
  Date Performance: 1971-02-10, Running Time: 7:18
  Comments: Recorded in Vancouver, BC, Canada
Open The DoorLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1971-02-10, Running Time: 3:04
  Comments: Recorded in Vancouver, BC, Canada
Preachin'Lyrics available
  Date Performance: 1971-02-10, Running Time: 3:41
  Comments: Billed as "Preaching Blues" Recorded in Vancouver, BC, Canada
Dust My BroomLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1971-02-10, Running Time: 3:27
  Comments: Incorrectly lists (Robert) Johnson/(Elmore) James for the songwriting credit. Recorded in Vancouver, BC, Canada
Get Like You Used To BeLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1971-02-10, Running Time: 3:49
  Comments: Recorded in Vancouver, BC, Canada
Don't Go Please StayLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1971-02-10, Running Time: 3:15
  Comments: Recorded in Vancouver, BC, Canada
Station ManLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1971-02-10, Running Time: 6:27
  Comments: Recorded in Vancouver, BC, Canada
I'm On My WayLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1971-02-10, Running Time: 4:57
  Comments: Recorded in Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jailhouse RockLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1971-02-10, Running Time: 3:24
  Comments: Recorded in Vancouver, BC, Canada
The King Speaks
  Date Performance: 1971-02-10, Running Time: 2:59
  Comments: (Narrative) Recorded in Vancouver, BC, Canada
Teenage Darling
  Date Performance: 1971-02-10, Running Time: 4:08
  Comments: Recorded in Vancouver, BC, Canada
Honey HushLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1971-02-10, Running Time: 5:37
  Comments: Recorded in Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Guest Appearances »

(Jet) Martin Celmins, Martin Dunsford, Chris Harding, Rick Hayward, Top (Anthony) Topham

    Released »

2003-10-20

    Format »

Import Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
Mike Franks (Engineer), Mike Harding (Engineer), Malcolm Brown (Producer), Jenny Boyd-Levitt, Ph.D. (Fleetwood) (Songwriter), Mick Fleetwood (Songwriter), Mick Fleetwood (Songwriter), Son House (Songwriter), Elmore James (Songwriter), Joe (Joseph) Josea (Bihari) (Songwriter), Danny Kirwan (Songwriter), Danny Kirwan (Songwriter), Jerry Leiber (Songwriter), Christine McVie (Songwriter), John McVie (Songwriter), John McVie (Songwriter), Christine McVie (Songwriter), Don Robey (Deadric Malone) (Songwriter), Jeremy Spencer (Songwriter), Jeremy Spencer (Songwriter), Mike Stoller (Songwriter), Jules (Julius Jeramiah) Taub (Bihari) (Songwriter), (Sleepy) Lou Willie Turner (Songwriter), Mike Vernon (Songwriter), Stan Webb (Songwriter), Stan Webb (Songwriter), Sonny Boy (Aleck Ford Rice) Williamson (Willie) (Miller) (Songwriter), Phil Rogers Design (Design), Den(n)is Blackham (Mastering), Peter Moody (Research), Peter Moody (Compilation), Phil Rogers Design (Artwork), (Jet) Martin Celmins (Sleevenotes), (Jet) Martin Celmins (Jeremy Spencer Photos By), L(ondon) F(eatures) I(nternational) (Christine Perfect Band Photo), Harry Goodwin (Front Cover Fleetwood Mac Photo By), Harry Goodwin (Box Back Cover Inset Of Fleetwood Mac By), Nyquest (DVD Interview Disc Produced By)

    Record Label »
Shakedown Records

    Catalogue Number »

SHAKEBX110Z-UK

    Running Time »

72:22/56:40

    Liner Notes »

Live & Studio Recordings

2 CD set plus DVD interview disc

MADISON BLUES

Fleetwood Mac - a new lead singer

And it is at this point - unknowingly, of course - that the band began to lay down some musical roots that would grow into Rumours.

Jeremy Spencer 'Lost In America'

Fleetwood Mac made it big twice over: first as young kings of the late-1960s British blues boom - blues fanatics who nonetheless made the pop charts with a batch of memorable songs penned by founder Peter Green. Then secondly, as the band that - with its Rumours album Californian lineup - tapped into a whole new market in the mid-1970s which became known as AOR - album/adult oriented rock. Mind you, at the start of that decade they were in for a very rough ride...

This began when, disillusioned with the music business, leader Peter Green left the band he first put together, Things looked up when Christine McVie joined, only for Jeremy Spencer then suddenly and mysteriously to leave - swapping rock 'n' roll for the religious life. All this trauma occurred within a year. Spencer walked, on February 15th 1971.

Against all odds Fleetwood Mac survived these and many other scary dramas and is now in its fourth decade with (at time of writing) the Rumours lineup - less Christine McVie - back in the studio finishing off a new album with US gigs to follow. Here you have a band of never-say-die troupers whose legend has always resonated two themes - trains and chains (as in synchronicity). Founder Peter Green in 1967 named the band after its rhythm section (Mick Fleetwood and John McVie) and then took to 'Fleetwood Mac' because, to him, it sounded like the name of an American express train (as does Green's wailing harmonica on the instrumental of the same name). Ten years after this, 'The Chain' thematically was the title track of the mega-selling Rumours album: this was a song all about the band struggling to rise above some intense personal problems and relationship bust-ups, and then just stick together for the sake of the music.

The music here on Madison Blues is from a pivotal eighteen months in Mac's history as it lost its original if-it-ain't-blues-we-don't-wanna-know attitude and looked to its own songwriters - and America's West Coast sound - for inspiration. Christine McVie was a crucial link in the chain, and this collection begins with a promotional session from the Christine Perfect Band, as it was known. Earlier in 1969 Christine had left her previous band, Chicken Shack, just as her smoky vocals helped to land that group in the Top 20 with a cover of Etta James's soulful ballad 'I'd Rather Go Blind'. Her reason for leaving? Being husband John McVie's good lady took priority over slogging away in the music business. So she 'retired' - or at least she tried to.

Fate had other ideas in mind: later that year, 1969, she was voted 'Top Female Vocalist' in a Melody Maker readers' poll, at which point Chicken Shack's manager, Harry Simmons, starts hallucinating pound notes. So he bends Christine's ear, and - hey presto - by November she was fronting her own band with ex-Yardbird Tony 'Top' Topham and Rick Hayward on guitars, Martin Dunsford on bass, and Chris Harding on drums. That her solo project was, in Christine's own words, "a disaster" had something to do with management haste. On the strength of the Melody Maker poll Simmonds landed her band some big money bookings. As managers do. But then nowhere near enough time gets set aside for rehearsals, and so the first gigs are ... just a tad under-rehearsed. So promoters get miffed, the word spreads, and money goes down drastically enough to kill the band just as it's beginning to find it's groove. Same old story.

That groove - and clear early indicators of Christine McVie's ear for melody and hooks - can be heard on self-penned songs such as It's You I Miss, Gone Into The Sun and Tell Me You Need Me. Hey Baby she carried over from her Chicken Shack days. Christine's Stax-sounding take on Little Waiter's 'Can't Hold Out Much Longer' (which she called Crazy About You Baby) became Fleetwood Mac's opener once she joined them very shortly before the band's August 1970 Green-less debut in the States.

A few months earlier - and still reeling with aftershock from Peter Green's exit that May - the rest of the band bravely decided to carry on as a 4-piece, and so rented an oast house called Kiln House to try and 'get it together in the country'. "Much hash..." and "Trauma City" are two of John McVie's typically pithy descriptions of this three-month excursion in which the band, wives, girlfriends and roadies lived communally, smoked, rehearsed and stoically contemplated a future without Peter Green. This pressure worked well for them because in no time Danny Kirwan, Spencer, Fleetwood and McVie had written and recorded the Kiln House album, and were scheduled to tour America promoting the new album. Fearing that the live sound was too thin, the boys brought in Christine on vocals and keyboards virtually at the last minute.

One of the Kiln House stand-out songs, 'Station Man', would endure unbelievable personal and legal dramas still in store for Mac in the bleak years before they moved to California in 1974 where they struck gold with their eponymous white album and then Rumours. 'Station Man' eventually found its way into the live set-list of the Buckingham/Nicks lineup and listening to it again here you can hear why: in there, as far back as 1970, are some trademarks of the Rumours sound: three-voice harmonies, in-song tempo changes, and ringing guitar sounds.

Similarly, 'The Purple Dancer' and 'Jewel Eyed Judy' showcase a vocal harmonies and melodic sense of things to come for Fleetwood Mac many miles down the (railway) line. Listen also to McVie's bass on 'The Purple Dancer': whereas his role in Mac's blues band days was very much rhythm-man-in-engine-room, on this track he's playing tbe kind nf melodic and exposed bass runs with a sonic effect tbat Mick Fleetwood bas since likened to "a whole orchestra" (referring to McVie's bass parts on the Rumours classic 'Go Your Own Way'). What's more, during what was Jeremy's 'swansong' time in concert, upping the pace and attack of Christine's 'Get Like You Used To Be' - from lazy boogie into R&B rocker - makes this Chicken Shack era live favourite sound a bit like a prototype for 'Don't Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)' - the Rumours cut destined to become a campaign anthem for President Clinton and the Democrats in the early 1990s.

Christine McVie and Fleetwood Mac started that American tour at The Warehouse club in New Orleans. It is clear from tracks such as Jewel-Eyed Judy that she immediately found a decorative style of playing which filled out the sound, whereas on Crazy About You Baby the band sound comfortable backing her. Her song Lonely Without You maybe augurs a slow ballad style that peaked in Rumours days with the poignant 'Songbird', and Jeremy's slide guitar accompaniment here is masterful.

Spencer's songwriting on Kiln House does however confirm something he says during tbe exclusive DVD interview which accompanies Madison Blues. Namely, that throughout his four years with Mac he was stuck in a 1950s rock'n'roll timewarp (for instance, his song One Together on this collection is really Buddy Holly revisited). Even so, it has to be stressed that his slide playing prowess was anything but stuck. For this, look no further than Madison Blues, also chosen as the title for this collection on the strength of Spencer's slide playing, a performance where the control and flow of ideas in his soloing is ahead of anything he did during the Peter Green days; the same applies on his 1950s R&B throwback Don't Go Please Stay, and also the wild grandstanding slide on Son House's Preacher Blues, Elmore James's classic Dust My Broom, here has the addition of Christine's piano backing. This, instead of the two guitars used during the Green era, both accompanying Spencer's slide (something which he in fact regarded as "overkill"). And so Christine's playing served to bring the groove closer to the original 1950's Chicago blues in which piano was integral to Elmore's sound.

"The King Speaks" is the first time Spencer's talent for mimicry is captured at length on a Fleetwood Mac release. When Peter was with them this crowd attraction and vignette by 'Elvis' would happen only if the slide guitarist felt comfortable with the audience on the night. With this new line-up, the band took the send-up one stage further with a costume change towards the end of the set: Spencer's Elvis impersonation became a 'show within a show'.

And yet, the big, big irony about all of this upgrading of Mac's act (thanks mostly to Spencer), is that at the time Jeremy himself was far too wracked by self-doubt to notice or admit that he was playing and performing so well. And, for him, this self-doubt did turn out to be the straw that broke the camel's back: he has since spoken of a post-gig hotel room band get-together on the night before he went missing where Mick Fleetwood puts on a Mac in-concert tape (recorded shortly before Peter quit the band - possibly a gig at the Boston Tea Party). To Spencer's ears Green's improvising was spellbinding - meanwhile, Jeremy felt sickened as he listened to what he regarded as his own unadventurous and wooden playing on that tape. Hearing this tape he just wanted out of the whole Fleetwood Mac/music-biz deal. Later that night back in his room the about-to-be Child of God solemnly prayed to be freed from the burden of - as he then saw it - having to pretend to be a rock star.

A crestfallen Mick Fleetwood, speaking to the music press a couple of months after his close friend had abandoned them, stressed how just wrong Spencer had got things in his head: "Jeremy was lifting the whole band with his playing," reflected the heartbroken drummer. But Spencer was by then contentedly ensconced in the Children of God religious group based in Los Angeles, who, in turn, re-christened him Jonathon and then encouraged him to use his talents as a performer gently to evangelise with music. The music papers and subsequently-published books about the band described Spencer's exit with much high drama, using emotive phrases such as 'kidnap' and 'brainwashing'; the truth - as Jeremy makes clear in the DVD interview - is rather plain by comparison. To this day, he remains with the organisation - now called The Family. So, back then it was the right move. For him, at least.

But the way in which Spencer left served to further traumatise an already fragile band, as well as putting yet more pressure on remaining guitarist Danny Kirwan. Danny and Jeremy between them had somehow survived the ordeal of having to come up with the goods after Peter Green had departed. Even though it may not have felt like it to them in those tense times, Kiln House - and some of that album's stronger songs included on this collection - amounted to a promising debut for the post-Green lineup. In the writing of tracks like Station Man and Jewel Eyed Judy Danny collaborated with Jeremy, plus they had shared the same stage for nearly three years. Kirwan must have felt very lonely and vulnerable without Spencer.

Yet Danny's playing and vocals on the tracks of this double-CD focus a maturing performer. Some months separate the two live performances of Station Man and - on Disc 2 - Kirwan's guitar work has grown both in confidence as well as technique. Not one for lengthy improvising, Danny's talent is best showcased either in short, set solos or with the fine, percussive rhythm guitar that can be heard on Get Like You Used To Be. He could write good blues rock material, such as Tell Me All The Things You Do, but country-tinged pop ballads such as Open The Door or Jewel-Eyed Judy proved to be the style he developed in his short solo career after it was time for him to 'jump the train'.

As things turned out, Kirwan spent a further eighteen months in Fleetwood Mac before he was asked to leave midway through an American tour in August 1972. Jeremy Spencer was replaced by Californian guitarist/songwriter, Bob Welch, in the spring of 1971. Welch has since admitted that he found it difficult to establish much rapport with Kirwan. Bob came from a soul and jazz background that would take Fleetwood Mac in a rather different direction for a while. Sadly, the cumulative pressure on Kirwan to front a band going through so many changes in the early 1970s, proved too much too soon for the 22 year-old. That he took refuge in drink and drugs, soon conspired to make him impossible to work with, and so the painful task of summarily firing Danny was left to Mick Fleetwood. (Ironically, it was the drummer who had first spotted Kirwan's raw talent some four years earlier, and who then had plotted hard to get him in the band.)

In the couple of years that followed Kirwan's departure, Fleetwood Mac kept on getting sidetracked by personal problems, personnel problems and a drawn-out legal dispute over the right to use their name. Their move to Los Angeles in 1974 - the year in Welch eventually quit - musically soon put them back on course thanks to a very fateful chance meeting with Lindsey Buckingham who along with Stevie Nicks - his partner in every sense joined at the start of 1975.

Christine McVie vividly recalls the instance when what became the Rumours sound was born as they all began rehearsing together: "We were playing this song ['Say You Love Me'] and I heard this incredible sound - our three voices."

In this way Fleetwood Mac resumed the three-voice approach that had begun in the Kiln House era some five years before. Having played and sung together for years as Buckingham Nicks, Lindsey and Stevie effortlessly could come up with vocal harmonies which were much more finely crafted than when Christine sang together with Jeremy and Danny. But by drawing on their Station Man roots, the LA-based Fleetwood Mac was now all set to pick up speed and travel the world in style. In doing this they would also seriously redefine the term Big Time.

'Jet' Martin Celmins

DVD DISC Jeremy Spencer interview - Duration: 96 Mins
Jeremy Spencer interviewed by 'Jet' Martin Celmins at Shakedown Records HQ, Camden, London 19 February 2002

DVD Video NTSC All Regions

Language: English

Aspect Ratio: 4:3

PCM Stereo

Copy Protected

Mastering at Skye Mastering

Shakedown Records
Marketed by P.O.W. Distribution Ltd./Reverse Distribution Ltd.
(P) (C) 2003 Secret Records Limited
Regent House
1 Pratt Mews
London
NW1 0AD
Fax: 020 7267 6746

Made in the EU

Compact Disc Digital Audio

All rights of the producer and of the owner of the work reproduced reserved.

Unauthorised copying, hiring, renting, public performance and broadcasting of this record prohibited.

MCPS

8 28291 3 3 8

    Reviews »
Add your review here.

    Last Modified »
2012-04-17
    Tracklisting »
Discography entry submitted by Mary Anne, John Sposato & Richard J. Orlando.