Danny Kirwan

Hello There Big Boy!

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This is not just a tremendous album by Danny Kirwan, this is an extraordinary set of recordings that makes one wonder "what if?" What if Fleetwood Mac had talents like Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, Dave Walker, and Bob Welch come back to the fold for different projects? This is light pop on a mission, and it is perfectly produced by, of all people, Clifford Davis (though one should consider Kirwan's excellent production work on The Legendary Christine Perfect Album and wonder if the manager wasn't just putting his name on Kirwan's creative ideas). There's no denying that each tune here, from "End Up Crying" (which sounds like the soft rock Fleetwood Mac) to the final track, "Summer Days and Summer Nights," is superior pop music -- intricate guitar lines, a double-barrel keyboard approach by John Cook and Kevin Kitchen which is just lovely, and sterling vocals by Kirwan. The track "California" is more accessible than some of the popular versions of Fleetwood Mac, and given Bob Welch's success with French Kiss two years before the release of Hello There Big Boy!, it is surprising this was not embraced by both Top 40 and FM radio. "Spaceman" continues the smooth '70s pop that"California" introduced the listener to, the guitars more eerie, harking back to the Bare Trees period of Fleetwood Mac seven years earlier (which had so much of Kirwan's identity all over it). There was life before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, and this cohesive work is proof of that; covering Randy Edelman's "You" is actually quite clever, the exiles of Mac having reputations more as singer/songwriters than as interpreters. This may be Danny Kirwan produced by Clifford Davis, the man who put the fake Fleetwood Mac onstage, but it is no fluke and it is no fake. Hello There Big Boy! is a great album from the singer/guitarist who, according to Mick Fleetwood's book My Twenty Five Years in Fleetwood Mac, "went beserk...smashed his head against the wall...(and)...was fired." Sounds like genius, and it is here on this recording for all to see -- and hear. A truly great comeback that sadly got lost in the shuffle of life.

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