Recently I dug an album out of my stacks by Rockets that featured a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well.” Man, what a song. I started thinking of all the great Fleetwood Mac cuts recorded by other artists and, well, there you go.
I’ve always felt a little sorry for Fleetwood Mac, which might sound a little odd given their massive success, but that’s actually why. The band formed in 1967 and went through several lineup changes before landing in 1975 on the classic Buckingham/Nicks group that everyone thinks of as Fleetwood Mac. Then Rumours came out in 1977, and you’d think it was the only album the band ever made.
Well, it isn’t, and those early Peter Green days are damned good blues rock. Why am I talking? Listen for yourself:
“Black Magic Woman,” Santana. Admit it: You didn’t know that this is a cover, but it is. This is a Peter Green cut released in 1968, but it will forever be a Santana song thanks to 1970’s Abraxas.
“Rattlesnake Shake,” Aerosmith. The original appears on 1969’s Then Play On, Peter Green’s last album with the band. That made it a fairly recent cut when Aerosmith was paying their dues on the club circuit.
“Oh Well,” Rockets. Peter Green’s finest moment? Quite possibly. Another one from Then Play On.
“The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown),” Judas Priest. The last Peter Green song on this list, if not the last Peter Green Fleetwood Mac song. He says it’s about money, but in the mouth of The Metal God it sounds even more evil.
“Future Games,” MGMT. By 1971 the band was on their fifth album, Future Games, and beginning their Bob Welch era. It isn’t a bad time in their catalog, but wedged between the Peter Green years and the Buckingham/Nicks era it’s kind of lost.
“Landslide,” Smashing Pumpkins. Here we go: 1975’s self-titled Fleetwood Mac kicks off the band you know and love. I’ve always really liked this cover because it’s true to the original yet Billy Corgan’s voice has such a distinct, eccentric character.
“Rhiannon,” Waylon Jennings. Also off the eponymous 1975 album. Who knew this was really just a pretty little country song? Waylon, that’s who.
“Go Your Own Way,” NOFX. One from the Rumours era. The original is bittersweet, dipped in acid then coated in sugar. NOFX has some fun with that.
“Tusk,” Camper Van Beethoven. Who follows one of the biggest selling albums of all time with a title cut featuring a marching band and a blurry photo of a dog on the front cover? A band with big ol’ tusks, that’s who. And speaking of hauling around a big pair, the Campers covered this entire album.
“That’s All For Everyone” Tame Impala. Another cut off 1979’s Tusk, here covered by one of the greatest bands you aren’t listening to. Seriously, check them out.
And that barely scratches the surface. With a catalog as deep as Fleetwood Mac’s there are cover songs-a-plenty out there. Do you have some favorites? I’m listening.
Categories: Deep Cuts