Monday, July 23, 2007

Classic Bootleg Series Vol. 16: Fleetwood Mac - Nashville 1977

Although it may be more guity pleasure than music geek chic, I have an abiding love for early Buckingham-Nicks era Fleetwood Mac, and rank the band's output from 1975's redefining Fleetwood Mac to 1979's Tusk -- apart from some of the Christine McVie tunes that, frankly, haven't aged too well -- among that decade's most enduring music. In between those two albums, of course, was the commercial and artistic juggernaut called Rumours, still one of the best-selling records of all time (over 30 million copies as of 2003) and one I crank up with surprising frequency to this day.

At bottom, though -- and while I think Stevie Nicks wrote some excellent songs over this period -- what made Fleetwood Mac great in the mid-to-late 70s (and on a few occasions since) was the spectacular songwriting and musicianship of Lindsey Buckingham. A true visionary wrestling with his ravaged heart, and a genius of a guitar player, the tracks he turned out over those three records still thrill and amaze me. And, as if that weren't enough to immortalize the guy, he also succeeded in pulling off one of the most effective acts of revenge against an ex-lover in the history of humankind: not only writing the gorgeously vicious "Go Your Own Way" about Stevie, but forcing her to stand next to him and sing the harmonies on it for the next 30 years.

This is the best boot from the Rumours tour, a fine soundboard tape from the May, 1977 show in Nashville. It has a couple of minor cuts (at the very end of "Gold Dust Woman" and beginning of "You Make Loving Fun"), but it's the best-sounding document of the mighty, mid-70s Mac that I know to be in circulation. Grab the whole thing -- but yes, you're allowed to skip "Oh Daddy," so long as you listen to "Never Going Back Again" or "The Chain" twice.

FLEETWOOD MAC - LIVE IN NASHVILLE - Nashville Municipal Auditorium, May 21, 1977

Front cover
Back cover

Disc 1
01 intro
02 Say You Love Me
03 Monday Morning
04 Dreams
05 Oh Well
06 Rhiannon
07 Oh Daddy
08 Never Going Back Again
09 Landslide
10 Over My Head
11 Gold Dust Woman

Disc 2
01 You Make Loving Fun
02 I'm So Afraid
03 Go Your Own Way
04 World Turning
05 Blue Letter
06 Second Hand News
07 The Chain
08 Songbird