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My Twenty-Five Years in Fleetwood Mac/Book and Cd

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A book by Mick Fleetwood

Hundreds of photographs (mostly black and white) comprise this celebratory look at one of the more enduring of the "British invasion" pop bands. Fleetwood Mac attained the height of its popularity in the mid-1970s with the album Rumors , but ten years … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Mick Fleetwood
Publisher: Hyperion Books
1 review about My Twenty-Five Years in Fleetwood Mac/Book...

Of Albatrosses And Penguins

  • Jul 2, 2008
A fun book for Fleetwood Mac fans, 1992's "My Twenty-Five Years In Fleetwood Mac" is nevertheless both a misnomer and a missed opportunity.

Mick Fleetwood, drummer and founding member of the legendary rock group and author of the tell-all "Fleetwood" the year before, may be the credited author of this coffee-table tome, but it is clear he produced nothing other than some dashed-off, impenetrable endnotes. You do get a nice array of vintage photos, but with minimal captions and too much non-chronological placement. A droning text provides a Cliff Notes version of the band's tale.

Not that this is a dull book. Too much was always going on in and around Fleetwood Mac to make their story anything less than scintillating.

Starting out in 1967 as a British blues band, Fleetwood Mac soon found themselves in the unlikely role of U.K. hitmakers, thanks to leader Peter Green and his fellow guitarists Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan. All three eventually fell victim to various forms of religious mania and/or madness, leaving the band to Fleetwood and bassist John McVie.

By the early 1970s, the Mac had reestablished themselves as transatlantic hippies, complete with their very own English commune, a new U.S. fan base, and denim-clad earth mother Christine McVie weaving simple melodies into arresting pop hooks.

Then came Big Mac of the late 1970s, a Californized radio and chart juggernaut where studio/guitar whiz Lindsay Buckingham and spellbinding Stevie Nicks fit in with Fleetwood and the McVies so perfectly a new fan could have been forgiven thinking they had been together all along.

They weren't, of course, which is where this book comes in handy. It would have come in more useful if it had been more cleverly constructed, but alas it seems a slapdash effort to cash in on the success of "Fleetwood". Obvious errors riddle the text, such as the band's performance at the "U.S. Festival" [umm, it was called US Festival, after the magazine] and one of Christine's signature ballads renamed "Spare Me Little Of Your Love" [that missing article "A" makes all the difference between plaintive and spiteful].

The text keeps jumping far ahead of the photos, so that you would still be looking at photos of Kirwan while the text relates the departures of those who replaced him. And the text ODs on wacky hyperbole - a short bitter fight with their former manager becomes "one of the most sordid and depraved episodes in the history of popular music." Kind of puts Altamont in its place, no?

The book comes with a CD, two previously unreleased songs and a spoken introduction by Fleetwood at his most grandly unctuous. At least the songs are good, especially "You Made A Hit", an uncommonly rocking Mac number featuring Jeremy Spencer.

Even better, the best thing by far here, is a very extensive chronology of the band and its members. Given the amount of people who had been in and out of Mac by 1992, it's quite a feat. The full-page reproductions of all the major studio album covers are a nice touch, even if they, like all the many other illustrations, are in black and white. Better than a dead albatross, yes, but "My Twenty-Five Years" could have been so much more.

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