There’s been a lot of hype over Fleetwood Mac recently – a new covers album by the likes of Lykke Li, J.Mascis, New Pornographers, MGMT and Antony amongst many others – and the great news that FM themselves are reforming and touring next year (yay! Hope it’s the mostly-complete lineup although I’d also love Christine to come back).
The covers I’ve heard so far as a fairly rabid FM fan are mainly so-so, including Best Coast’s take on Rhiannon, a track that needs a sort of brooding dark intensity that the laid-back rockers can’t provide, maybe? Although it’s nice to see less famous tracks like Before The Beginning, Oh Well, Think of Me, Angel, Straight Back and ‘Future Games’ (written by Bob Welch) get covered and given some love, I like MGMT’s take on that…and also shows how influential FM of all eras still is. Rumours is just the pinnacle. Srsly if you’ve not checked out Peter Green era ‘Mac or the post-Green Welch era I really recommend you do.
But it seems actually Best Coast kept the best FM cover for their own album – a cover of Storms…which as you can see on their Jimmy Fallon appearance is chills-down-the-spine good. Another song that takes no prisoners, it suits the stripped down nature more and Beth just brings the emotion that song needs – not channelling Stevie, more doing her own take on it, but that song has so much Stevie embedded in it it’s impossible to completely separate the two. Anyway, watch it…it’s one of the best live covers I’ve seen very long time.
Oh and RIP Bob Welch…without him as Mick and others of the band have said, Fleetwood Mac would never have survived to even record Rumours and their later success. He kept them going – although it was his departure that led to Nicks and Buckingham joining the group. As Rolling Stone pointed out, his best track other than Future Games is Hypnotized which I’ve loved since hearing it in prep for the Fleetwood Mix mashup album – a massive influence on ‘Yachtrock’ and if you like those bands yet don’t know Welch’s work, you should pronto.