Fleetwood Mac Bare TreesWe may or may not have done this poll before.  But if we had, it’s lost to hackers’ delight.  Besides, who really cares if we do it again.  It’s especially relevant right now with the fresh news that Rhino Records would be reissuing Then Play On, the 1969 fan favorite from the Peter Green/Jeremy Spencer/Danny Kirwan era of Fleetwood Mac (never mind Mick and John as they were there from the beginning, and they still are.  They’re mainstays).

For those that didn’t catch the news, Rhino will release Then Play On August 19 (UK), and August 20 (US). And of course, many of us are hoping that Rhino won’t stop there as there are many other sweet ones to bring back and freshen up, Bare Trees among them.

Since the news is fresh, and there is plenty of discussion about it going in various corners of the matrix, let’s add to the chatter.

Many of us enjoy the Lindsay Buckingham/Stevie Nicks era of Fleetwood Mac.  And there is a smaller portion – myself included – that enjoy the music of earlier versions of Fleetwood Mac, perhaps more than the B/N period.  Then there are those that just simply enjoy Fleetwood Mac period!


And now’s a great time to bring it up again (if we had previously done so).  Which Fleetwood Mac album or selection of albums are the best to enjoy.  For me, I have such a soft spot for Then Play On, Bare Trees, Heroes Are Hard To Find, and Future Games.  When the eponymous 1975 album was released, I’ll admit to being taken aback.  But it wasn’t the hits that eventually drew me in, it was Christine McVie’s extraordinary “Warm Ways” that caught my rapt attention.  With her sexy voice, and the beautiful layers with its haunting guitars, I soon became a fan of the song, just less for the rest.

That’s my own perosnal take.  Let’s hear yours.

By MARowe

16 thoughts on “Poll: Which Fleetwood Mac Album Is Best?”
  1. “But there are plenty of us – myself included – that feel that Fleetwood Mac was much better before 1975”

    Unfortunately I am not one of “us”.
    So put me in the mindless drone category and pencil me in for “Rumors”.

    1. Bad statement on my part, Bill. To clarify, I mean that there are parties who feel that pre-B/N was a better version. But in no way to I mean to cheapen the B/N era. I just happen to prefer another.

      I’m more than apologetic in giving you a feeling that lovers of the B/N era were less than fans, really I am.


      1. Relax Matt. I really haven’t ever given the earlier FM a fair and serious chance. To tell you the truth I’m not a really huge FM fan at all. Therefore, I voted the obvious and the one that I (and probably most fringe FM fans) have listened to the most over the years. You didn’t have to imply I was less of a fan, I was kind of giving that up…LOL.

  2. Has to be Tusk. It’s all over the place and a bit messy at times but the more I listen to it to more I discover

  3. My choice is The Pious Bird Of Good Omen. Once I heard “Need Your Love So Bad” for the first time, it sealed the deal for me.
    Because of the fact that FM stations play B/N Era Mac to death, the only time I can calm down is when they play something with Christine McVie (whom I feel is one of the great secret weapons any band has ever had). Plus, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for her because of all of the piano work she did for them pre-B/N.

  4. Future Games has always been one of my favorite albums, above anything in the Green era which I know is near heresy. But the early albums were mish-mashes, and FG is a cohesive whole. It’s so quiet and delicate, but underneath rocks very hard. The guitar interplay of Morning Rain is incredible — you can let it wash over you like a cool mist, or really dig in and listen to the guitars that growl and feed back — just quietly.

  5. I was a huge fan of the Buckingham Nicks album and wasn’t into Fleetwood Mac at all during their earlier years. So I followed BN to Fleetwood Mac and to me it was a natural and wonderful transition. Having gone back now to hear a lot of the earlier ones, I still think that the s/t and Rumours are the most complete and solid albums in total. Bare Trees so far, for me, is a close runner-up. I’m looking forward to getting Then Play On.

  6. I can’t make up my mind, but its either Future Games or Bare Trees. In my opinion, those are the most consistent ones.

    Of course, Then Play On is there too and English Rose. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.

  7. In my opinion, it’s unfair to choose a single best album from this group who, despite maintaining the same drummer, bassist amp; name, has nevertheless varied their sound so much between various incarnations. It’s like comparing the proverbial apples amp; oranges. So I have to select one for each era. As much as I look forward to the sorely needed remaster of Then Play On, I don’t believe the Peter Green era produced a truly great start-to-finish album. The best representation of the Green era can best be heard, not in a single album, but rather in the live Boston Tea Party recordings from 1970, most recently released in 2003 in three two-disc sets. For the second phase, I’d pick either Future Games or Bare Trees. As much as I love “Fleetwood Mac”, I have to go with Rumours for the Buckingham/Nicks era.

  8. I fell in love with the Mac listening to Future Games and Bare Trees when they first came out. That pushed me to seek out earlier Mac, and I fell in love with the blues stuff as well. But FG and BT are still probably my favorites, along with Mystery to Me and the Blues Jam in Chicago (both LPs).

  9. I’m really surprised that no one has mentioned an FM radio classic, the album Kiln House, which contained the classic songs, “Station Man”, “This is the Rock”, and “Earl Grey” – all of which have to be included in the best FM tracks of all time.

  10. Pious Bird – hands down. Killer blues and that sweet, sweet tone of Peter Green’s guitar, who in my opinion, is also a highly under-rated vocalist. That my friends is the real, deal blues, via London, England.

  11. For me it will always be “Then Play On”. The riff played in that song is timeless. Never was much of a fan of the B/N era although a few songs were great like “I’m So Alone”. But overall after Bare Trees Fleetwood Mac ceased to be Fleetwood Mac.

  12. It looks like vinyl for now, maybe CD’s will come later.

    “A new vinyl box set that gathers together Fleetwood Mac‘s output from 1969 to 1972 will be issued on 19 August 2013.

    The set starts with the band’s third album (their first for Warners) Then Play On (1969) and contains three further records: Kiln House (1970), Future Games (1971) and Bare Trees (1972). A bonus seven-inch replica of 1969 single Oh Well – Pt. 1 is also included.

    Although these aren’t heavyweight pressings (140g), Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering cut the lacquers for all four albums and the packaging is promised to replicate the originals, including gatefolds for Then Play On and Kiln House. The five records are housed in an attractive looking black slip-case.

    An expanded CD reissue of the Then Play On album will be issued on the same date, featuring four bonus tracks: parts one and two of Oh Well, The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown) and World In Harmony, which is available on CD for the first time.”


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