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Shrine '69 Review (San Francisco Chronicle) 3 Stars < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Shrine '69 Review (San Francisco Chronicle) 3 Stars


3 stars
Shrine '69
Rykodisc, $16.98

After nearly 25 years of Stevie Nicks' billy-goat growl, it is difficult to remember that Fleetwood Mac started life as one of the best white blues bands in the world. And Peter Green, Mac's original lead guitarist and vocalist, sounds all these years later like the most authentically haunted voice of his British blues peers.

"Shrine '69," a previously unreleased concert recording from Los Angeles, to hit stores Tuesday, captures the band at one of its many peaks, sporting three lead guitarists -- Green, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan
, a short-lived lineup that did little recording but played some sensational shows. While Spencer's '50s rock 'n' roll fetishism made for lively high jinks onstage, the set- ending "Great Balls of Fire" and "Blue Suede Shoes" don't hold up 30 years later.

But Green is a joy to behold. He found a voice -- both singing and playing guitar -- so deeply personal, so full of foreboding and yearning, that he easily transformed B.B. King's "I Need Your Love So Bad" into a minor masterpiece entirely his own. He sings on more than half the CD, and his silvery, biting blues guitar punctuates every number. While Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck wound up better remembered, Green was the consummate British bluesman.

The release inaugurates the "Dinky Who?" series, live recordings from the archives of sound engineer Stuart "Dinky" Dawson. Fleetwood Mac '69 was a good place to start, not only because this high point in the group's long history is neglected in existing recordings, but also because you just can't have too much Peter Green.

-- Joel Selvin

Date: 1999-06-20         Number of views: 1318

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