Here's the video story behind one of the most unusual and critically successful solo rock recording projects in recent years. In 1981, Mick Fleetwood - the man largely credited as the stabilizing force behind supergroup Fleetwood Mac - took the bold step of recording his first solo effort, The Visitor for RCA Records, in the African nation of Ghana. Not only did he succeed with this outlandish plan, but he was also named something of a minor national hero for his efforts.
And what efforts they were! Fleetwood imported tons of equipment, constructed the nation's only recording studio and donated $10,000 to the Ghana Musicians Union. Then he threw a free concert for 2,000 people in Accra, the capital, with a tribal priest to bless the event.
Arriving in Ghana with Todd Sharp (from Bob Welch's group) and renowned bassist George Hawkins (who plays with Kenny Loggins), Fleetwood recorded over 200 local musicians. Some, like the Superbrains, a group of child drummers, are natural rock stars. The title is a local classic, renamed by Fleetwood, using over 15 musicians and 35 singers - all of whom were discovered by Mick, jamming in a deserted beach hut.
It's remarkable to hear a rock standard like Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" with overdubs on slide guitar by George Harrison, laced with ancient African polyrhythms. And Lindsey Buckingham's "Walk A Thin Line" sounds more accessible than the Tusk original - yet steaming hot! One of the most moving moments on this video album is a special remembrance to John Lennon played on the talking drums. For those in the audience who understand the unique language of the drums, the rhythms spell out a message to the late musician.
In a country not noted for its recording industry, Fleetwood has pulled off some unbelievable technological accomplishments. And the magical result is a rock symphony with a funky twist that gets your feet moving to some of the most heavenly sounds ever recorded in the Third World, or anywhere else on earth.
George Harrison - Courtesy of Dark Horse Records, U.K.
Peter Greenbaun - Courtesy of PVK Records, U.K.
One side only
Not Fade Away (1:00)
O' Niamali (4:00)
Ebaali Gbiko Folksong (5:00)
Walk A Thin Line (12:00)
You Weren't In Love (15:00)
John Lennon Tribute (20:00)
The Visitor (25:00)
Rattlesnake Shake (27:00)
Ebaali Gbiko Folksong (Reprise) (30:00)
O' Niamali (Reprise) (32:00)
Shake Your Moneymaker (36:00)
Not Fade Away (Reprise) (43:00)
The numbers following the selections listed above indicate the player's digital counter reading, to the nearest minute, of the start of the piece. Use your rapid access button to locate the desired minute. Since the index is approximate, use the visual search button, forward or reverse, to locate the precise start of the subject.
A SelectaVision VideoDiscs Production
For Sunset + Vine Productions, London
Ghana Film Industries Inc.
Mick Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.
Musicians Union Of Ghana
Manufactured and distributed by RCA SelectaVision VideoDiscs, a division of RCA Corporation, New York, N.Y.
'SelectaVision" and CED are trademarks of RCA Corporation TM(s) (R) Registered - Marca(s) Registrada(s)
Artwork: Copyright 1981 RCA Records
(C) 1982 All Universal Rights Reserved
The copyright proprietor has licensed the program contained in this video disc for noncommercial use only and prohibits any other use, copying, or reproduction in whole or in part.
CED Capacitance Electronic Disc System