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Live In Boston, Vol. 1

Fleetwood Mac

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Album Review

Recorded during a legendary extended weekend stand in 1970, these live recordings from the three-guitar lineup of Fleetwood Mac have existed in various shoddy, uneven, and sometimes sloppy configurations, but were finally sorted out and released as a triple-disc box (also available individually) in 1999. First-generation source tapes were utilized, approximately an hour's worth of previously unreleased tracks as well as between-song patter is interspersed among the discs, and the running order is restored to match that of the original performance. Live at the Boston Tea Part, Vol. 1, taken from the first set, is a Peter Green bonanza. Kicking off with a sharp "Black Magic Woman," then weaving his liquid guitar lines into an achingly slow cover of Duster Bennett's "Jumping at Shadows," and finally breaking into a formerly unavailable 25-minute version of "Rattlesnake Shake," the disc's centerpiece, Green sings and plays with restrained authority. The extended jam on "Shake" proves that Green was a master improviser, referencing his blues roots even when flying off on spontaneous tangents no less riveting than those of the Allman Brothers or the Grateful Dead. Jeremy Spencer takes the lead on two rollicking Elmore James covers, "I Can't Hold Out" and "Got to Move," the latter seeing the light of day after being hidden in the vaults for 29 years. The set closes with Green's proto-metal "The Green Manalishi" in a riotous 13-minute version that leaves the original four-minute single looking limp. This is the tightest, and most varied of the three albums, and is recommended for newcomers not interested in the entire set.

Biography

Formed: 1967 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While most bands undergo a number of changes over the course of their careers, few groups experienced such radical stylistic changes as Fleetwood Mac. Initially conceived as a hard-edged British blues combo in the late '60s, the band gradually evolved into a polished pop/rock act over the course of a decade. Throughout all of their incarnations, the only consistent members of Fleetwood Mac were drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie — the rhythm section that provided the band with its...
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