Thursday, October 9, 2008

Oh Well - Fleetwood Mac

Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Song: Oh Well
Year: 1969
Album: Then Play On

With the mainstream success of Fleetwood Mac, few people realize that the band had been releasing albums as Fleetwood Mac since 1967. Fleetwood Mac started out of one of the early lineups of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. Fleetwood Mac's name came from a song that was recorded named after the musicians Mick Fleetwood and John McVie.

Mick Fleetwood remains the only member from the original lineup that is still a part of the group. John McVie was there from the beginning, but did not join the group until partway through the first year. Peter Green was the mastermind behind Fleetwood Mac. The band almost split up after his departure.

Despite Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham being so associated with Fleetwood Mac, they didn't join until the mid seventies. This was Peter Green's last album with Fleetwood Mac and the contributions are wonderful. "Oh Well" is a perfect predecessor to bands like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, mixing in prog rock with blues.

There is actually an error with this song. A few seconds of part one overlaps onto part two of the song. When they were released as one whole song, those few seconds loop again where the original cut was made. Most people don't even notice it. I never did until I read about it.

I often wonder what Fleetwood Mac would have been like had Peter Green not departed abruptly because of illness. Would they be as big as they are now? It's hard to tell. I think that Fleetwood Mac would have enjoyed continued success, but would have floated around the mainstream more. On the bright side, we may have been spared the painful "eighties moments" that came on the soft rock albums that littered that decade. But we would have been denied albums like Rumours and Tusk. It's a tough choice.

I can't help about the shape I'm in
I can't sing, I ain't pretty and my legs are thin
But don't ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to

Oh well

Now, when I talked to God I knew he'd understand
He said, Stick by my side and I'll be your guiding hand
But don't ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to

Oh well

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