Kiln House (1970)


 
1. This is the Rock 2. Station Man 3. Blood on the Floor 4. Hi Ho Silver 5. Jewel Eyed Judy 6. Buddy's Song 7. Early Gray 8. One Together 9. Tell Me All the Things You Do 10.Mission Bell

 

Things, I guess, were going too well for Fleetwood Mac, so the universe threw a hard, crippling curve ball at them during this phase of their career. To put it plainly, guitarist and demi-god Peter Green had a mental breakdown. The causes, I think, are still partially unknown. He probably just did one too many acid trips, and freaked out on his band mates, essentially quitting the band. Opinions differ as to whether or not he fully recovered, but this was decades earlier before accusations of normalcy arrived.

So they were forced to continue without him, and sadly put out a record that sounds virtually nothing like anything they had ever released before. It must be pointed out, though, that this band would make a name for itself doing just this. With all of the lineup changes and everything, sometimes these shake ups worked quite well. Not in this case. At least not in this reviewer's opinion. To be fair, most people seem to like this record - it was just too below average for my tastes.

If you could brand a "style" on this album, it seems almost as though they're trying to be a bit rockabilly, trying to emulate the likeness of Buddy Holly and such (and not just on the strange Buddy's Song either). Songs such as Blood on the Floor, Mission Bell and One Together just sound like they're trying too hard to capture a certain era of music. They even get the title of one of their covers wrong (The name of High Ho Silver is supposed to be Honey Hush) as they plod through some sort of bizarre memory lane.

Danny Kirwan does o.k. in some situations. Jewel Eyed Judy is a nice snapshot of the more mellow nature that this band would master in a few short years, and the instrumental Earl Gray sounds a little bit like some of the sounds that he was going after on Then Play On. Also, Christine McVie's (or maybe she was still "Christine Perfect" back then? I can't remember) doesn't do too bad on her one contribution Tell Me All the Things You Do. It should be stated that even though she had played with this band since the earlier days, she wouldn't fully join the band until the next album - which makes this contribution, like the whole album, another odd moment.

It's possible that this record sounded better when it was first released, although for reasons I've stated, seems hard to imagine. They had just come off such a great period, and would soon go onto even greater things that it's hard to listen to this album and not view it as anything more than an unfortunate experiment.

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