Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fleetwood Mac - English Rose 1969

Fleetwood Mac - English Rose 1969
BN 26446


Released in 1969, "English Rose" was Fleetwood Mac's second US release which features the highlights from their second UK release, "Mr. Wonderful", the 1969 UK compilation "Pious Bird Of Good Omen" along with several Danny Kirwan contributions otherwise unavailable on LP. Unfortunately this album is rather hard to find nowadays since it provides a much more natural transition between the blues-wailing nature of their 1968 debut album and the 1970 "progressive blues" stylings of "Then Play On." "English Rose" features a variety contributions from Peter Green, Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer instead of "Mr. Wonderful" which seemed to concentrate only on Spencer's ability to emulate the stylings Elmore James, often to the point of irritating repetition. "English Rose" also subsitutes the Eddie Boyd tracks from "Pious," with newer Kirwan penned tracks which flow a little better with the rest of the material on the album. If you can find this for a reasonable price (or find it at all) I would recommend this over both "Mr. Wonderful" or "Pious Bird Of Good Omen."
By Kevin P. MacNutt. 
For reasons that no one seems to recall in detail but for which we can be grateful when it was time to release a second Fleetwood Mac LP in America, producer Mike Vernon and the band didn't just send the existing Mr. Wonderful album across the Atlantic a little fine-tuning and retooling was in order. The band had just expanded by one member, to a quintet with the addition of guitarist Danny Kirwan by the end of 1968, whereas Mr. Wonderful represented them as a four-piece outfit. Additionally, the group had just toured the U.S. for the first time, as a quintet, playing to very enthusiastic audiences, and so there was some point to sending U.S. licensee Epic Records something extra, representing who they were at the start of 1969. And that became the English Rose album, offering three Kirwan-authored instrumentals, plus the hit U.K. single "Albatross," and also their previous single, "Black Magic Woman," which had been a British Top 40 hit (though it was unknown in the U.S., and preceded Santana's hit recording of it by almost two years). Half of Mr. Wonderful was still there, including the opener, "Stop Messin' Round" and "I've Lost My Baby," representing the stronger tracks from that record. Between the paring down of Mr. Wonderful and the addition of the single tracks, English Rose ended up being a stronger album than its predecessor, though without a hit single in America to drive sales and get it exposure, it barely brushed the Top 200 LP listings in the U.S. Strangely enough, despite the overlap with Mr. Wonderful, English Rose was released in England about six months later, probably to help make up for the loss of the group's contract (due to an oversight) by Blue Horizon.
By Bruce Eder. AMG.
Peter Green– Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
Jeremy Spencer– Vocals, Slide Guitar
Danny Kirwan– Vocals, Electric Guitar
John McVie– Bass Guitar
Mick Fleetwood– Drums
A1. Stop Messin' Round   2:22
A2. Jigsaw Puzzle Blues   1:36
A3. Doctor Brown   3:46
A4. Something Inside of Me   3:57
A5. Evenin' Boogie   2:42
A6. Love That Burns   5:05
B1. Black Magic Woman   2:48
B2. I've Lost My Baby   4:17
B3. One Sunny Day   3:12
B4. Without You   4:40
B5. Coming Home   2:40
B6. Albatross   3:09  


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