Perfect Days


Brought to fame and fortune by three ingenious guitarists and singer-songwriters—Peter Green, Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer—the original Fleetwood Mac were known by some as the Beatles of the blues. Purists say Peter Green was the original band, while later period baby boomers who grew up with the mid ‘70s L.A. version of Mac with Lindsey Buckingham probably never felt the impact of the original band. For my money, Jeremy Spencer is still brilliant (check out his 2006 comeback CD, Precious Little) although by 1970—to a far greater degree, especially after Peter Green walked—Danny Kirwan became the key songwriter in Fleetwood Mac. As far back as Mac’s groundbreaking 1969 American release, English Rose Lp on Epic Records, it was obvious to anyone with ears that Danny Kirwan in Fleetwood Mac was writing some of the most advanced and melodic vocal and instrumental music of that incredibly exciting first rock era between 1967-1972. Instrumentals like “Jigsaw Puzzle Blues,” “My Dream”, everything he later wrote on Kiln House, Future Games and, his finest moment in the band, Bare Trees still stands tall among the best music Mac or any other band of the era ever recorded. Despite his convincing early blues based compositions in Mac—probably written to fit in with Green’s overpowering approach to fusing blues and rock—Kirwan was clearly a Hank B. Marvin disciple at heart. With his unyielding devotion to Buddy Holly and ‘50s blues and rock, Jeremy Spencer too was an invaluable asset to early Fleetwood Mac, although less valuable than Kirwan. Of course, the transplanted L.A. Mac uniting with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks by 1975 shot down any chance for Kirwan to return to any sort of leadership role in Mac. It was, by then a moot point anyway. Of course Mick Fleetwood and the McVie’s, John and Christine, would say otherwise and selling tens of millions of albums with Rumours, made without Green, Kirwan and Spencer, would only confirm their suspicions. Thanks to the sonic glory of CD and some spectacular remastering, Kirwan’s brilliant McCartney-esque pop approach and his sonically brilliant Shadows style instrumentals—thanks also to the brilliant Mac sound engineer Martin Birch—are all still there to be appreciated 40 years later. Proof that the post Green Kiln House era of Mac provided music fans with a bounty of musical treasures can also be reconfirmed on Perfect Days—a 12 track CD on the Airline label that revisits the magical era of Kirwan and Spencer in Fleetwood Mac circa 1970. Liner notes that accompany the CD fails to properly acknowledge the musicianship and lasting compositional repertoire that Kirwan brought to the early Mac lineup and hardly mentions Danny by name till page four of the five page booklet. Such is the dilemma of the music business! Seeing Danny and Jeremy standing next to the McVie’s and Mr. Fleetwood on the front cover of Perfect Days provides a rare moment of redemption for those early devoted fans who somehow never quite got over the departure of Kirwan following the exquisite Bare Trees. There’s even an unreleased studio track written and sung by Kirwan—entitled “Purple Dancer”—that, while not nearly among Danny's greatest tracks, somehow fits in on this sometimes rough sounding but always revealing collection of rare studio out takes and live cuts. www.AirlineRecords.com


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