Friday, August 17, 2012

Record of the Month

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there! 

I will admit to being a huge Fleetwood Mac fan back in the day. I must have run through 3 or 4 vinyl copies if Rumours and at least two of Tusk. In some ways the band sustained themselves and their bad stuff wasn't even that bad. Even the other day when out to lunch with 710, "Dreams" came on the resturant playlist. You have to admit at 35+ years later it has held up. It doesn't sound like an "oldie", let alone 35 years old. 

But this tribute album, Just Tell Me That You Want Me. seems more of a tribute to Stevie Nicks than it does to Fleetwood Mac. 10 of the 19 songs are hers and that's a huge missed opportunity for not just Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie (each are represented only twice), but of the Mac members who came before them. Granted, no record company is clamoring to do a tribute disk to the works of Danny Kirwin, but throwing more than four songs before the Buckingham-Nicks era seems silly.

Covering alt versions of Fleetwood Mac isn't a new concept - as Camper Van Beehtoven did it years ago with their entire cover of the Tusk disk. ...and they did it better than most of the things on here. Even the tribute disk to Rumours was a major fail - and that had much bigger named artists.

Still, Just Tell Me That You Want Me, is supposed to highlight that Fleetwood Mac was inspirational to artists of a much younger generation. However, most of them don't pull it off very well.

Songs that fare well, "That's All for Everyone" (Tame Impala), "Hold Me" (Haim), "Think About Me" (the New Pornographers) - though they don't stray too far from the original recordings. Marianne Faithfull's version of Nicks' "Angel" isn't bad at all...and Washed Out's "Straight Back" is pretty good. Though the original song was released in 1982, this has a newer wave of 1982 written all over this version, but it works.

The rest of the songs........not so much. They are bad party versions, uninspired or both.....and many of them ("Dreams", "Landslide", "Oh Well") have been done many times before - and better.

The risk would have been to do lesser known Mac songs, but then that would possibly limit their appeal to a bigger audience. The irony is, a record like this won't have huge audience potential anyways. 

They should have gone for the risk.


Erik Rubright said...

There were other people in Fleetwood Mac besides Stevie Nicks? What? And there were other people before those people?

x said...

I'm glad you posted this. I saw this at Starbucks yesterday and was going to buy it -- now I think I'll just go ion iTunes and check out some of the songs. Loving the new Zack Brown Band. And the new Munford and Sons comes out at the end of the month!

x said...

Sorry for the typos!