“What’s with these new bands? Everyone knows Rock attained perfection in 1974, it’s a scientific fact!”
While, in context, Homer Simpson was meant to be bigging up Grand Funk Railroad (“wild shirtless lyrics…bong-rattling bass…competent drumwork”), a larger, and more broadly damning, cultural point can be gleaned, viz. that after 1974, Rock was reduced to recycling the ideas of Elvis/Chuck Berry, Dylan/Beatles/Stones, VU/Stooges and Led Zep/Black Sabbath. Name any major Rock band (or minor one, for that matter) subsequent to 1974 and its aesthetics can be traced in direct lineage to one or more of the innovators listed above. Play a game with yourself to see if you can come up with one that can’t–but do be intellectually honest with yourself.
Back to the record at hand. Released in the middle of the Rock apex (a friend and I have awkwardly labeled this era [lasting roughly from 1967 to 1973] the “Sixeventies”), the best of Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac epitomises the genre’s coming of age (and points the way to its ultimate cul de sac) with excellent musicianmanship and a seriousness of purpose.
I’d been put off for years picking the record up because of its budget label style cover, but recently the same friend urged it on me, so when I saw it last Saddy at Ashford bootfair for a pound in its original gatefold issue (with the record opening on the inner spine) I took it as a sign. I was not disappointed (though the version of “Shake Your Money Maker” is a bit too bar band); however, I gather that this really is the best of and only serious devotees need Mr Wonderful, Then Play On, etc.
The Romantic Moog album and this one came from a stall selling the wares of 90 year-old gentleman’s house clearance. Everything, positively everything, down to packets with four screws in was labelled and numbered in some sort of anal retentive/OCD frenzy of well-organisaton. All the records (about 150) were of the easy listening variety apart from the ‘Mac.