Fleetwood Mac

Live at the Boston Tea Party, Vol. 3

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Recorded during a legendary extended weekend stand in 1970, these live recordings from the three guitar lineup of Fleetwood Mac have existed in various shoddy, uneven and sometimes sloppy configurations, but were finally sorted out and released as a triple disc box, (also available individually) in 1999. First generation source tapes were utilized, approximately an hour's worth of previously unreleased tracks as well as between song patter is interspersed among the discs, and the running order is restored to match that of the original performance. Part Three is a goldmine for fans of this Mac lineup, as it features a whopping six tracks-over 35 minutes-worth of newly found material. Most importantly, almost all of this music is of exceptional quality. Unfortunately the album's centerpiece, an intense, eleven minute, slow blues cover of B.B. King's "If You Let Me Love You," is marred by Peter Green's dead microphone, giving his vocals a hollow quality. But his guitar attacks with startling clarity, as he alternately pushes and lays back with style and moderation. Green deftly massages his solo, and the band gives him plenty of room to navigate, making this one of the most impassioned performances on all three discs. An instrumental version of Danny Kirwin's "Coming Your Way" is another recent addition, and throughout its seven minutes, the dueling guitars of Kirwin and Green spar with Mick Fleetwood's tribal drums creating a rhythmic whirlwind that frustratingly fades away before it's over. Jeremy Spencer whips out four Elmore James covers with a lately discovered version of "The Sun is Shining" a highlight, as his buzz-saw slide slices through the tune. A few Little Richard oldies crop up, and a frayed but propulsive version of "Tutti Frutti" where the band relaxes and rocks with class and restraint, shows how innovative they could be even working with the most basic three chord material. A remarkably subtle, weekend closing, eight minute "On We Jam" is the final unearthed cut, and proves that even with three talented guitarists sharing leads, the improvisational skills of this band were second to none. Not the most cohesive album of the trio, Part Three is still indispensable to fans, and a reliable overview of the strengths and diverse approaches of this short-lived but renowned version of Fleetwood Mac.

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