Then Play On - Reprise 1969
In contrast to the group's first two albums Fleetwood Mac on "Then Play On" allow themselves to spread over a much wider musical spectrum. It seems that Green and Kirwan mutually inspired each other to explore new musical directions .
The album has over the years been released in different versions with varying tracklistings . In particular, some releases miss several of Danny Kirwans songs while Peter Green's classic " Oh Well" was missed in the early editions of the album.
This CD release has all songs ever included on any version, and also the very last great single to feature Peter Green, " The Green Manalishi " / " World in Harmony ". So I wonít hesitate to call this the ultimate version of the album . Some might think that the preceding single " Man of of the World ," which would have fitted in nicely , should also have been included.
Musically, the album ranges far from classic blues to country and folk to progressive rock , spiced with superb guitar playing from the two guitarists Green and Kirwan . The bandís third guitarist, Jeremy Spencer , was largely absent during the recordings . Spencer was at this time very eagerly working with 1950s pastiches with humorous connotation.
Kirwans songs are for the most part quiet and melodic , sung by himself with his very boyish and not very bluesy voice. Most are very fine , especially "Coming Your Way " , "Although the Sun is Shining" , "Like Crying " and " One Sunny Day " are numbers setting the mood the album. The latter is derived from an earlier session , and the number shows that Kirwan could also write write blues songs with guts .
Most of Peter Green's songs are excellent, and they show a musician / songwriter looking for new frontiers and expression. Green sings his own songs, and it's not only his guitar playing that is missed on the following albums : his lovely soft and smoky voice is always a pleasure to listen to.
It is difficult, and perhaps unnecessary to emphasize individual songs , since everyone is at a very high level. Besides the classics " Oh Well" and " The Green Manalishi " I can , however, especially not resist to bring forward the cool and humorous " Rattlesnake Shake ".
Great informative liner notes from David Fricke.