(Music: 5 Stars; Compilation: 4 Stars)
After 1988's "Greatest Hits" (too short at 1 CD) and 1992's "The Chain: Highlights" (2 CD's but mixing in too many pre-1975 tracks), we are finally getting the ultimate compliation of "classic" Fleetwood Mac (sorry, Peter Green!). All the hits and key tracks are here, including the obvious (Dreams, Go Your Own Way, Don't Stop, The Chain, Hold Me, Everywhere, Silver Springs, Tusk, Gold Dust Woman, Gypsy, etc. etc.) but also key album tracks like Never Going Back Again, Monday Morning, Love in Store, etc. All? well almost: missing are Oh Diane! and Not That Funny. Not funny indeed.
Two other quibles: why are we served with several live (from 1997, no less) versions that really don't add anything, including Big Love, a key studio song? Also, I find the sequencing less than desirable. I know it sounds cliched, but more often than not, a "boring" straight choronogical overview simply works best, and I think this would have been the case here as well. But in the end, the music is here in one place for us to enjoy, at last.
It is just so unreal to realize, that we often forget about certain artists in the music industry because they are older. That does seem to be the case with so many acts from the 70's. It still doesn't surprise me, but no matter what people think of music now, there will always be a special place for so much great music out there in so many people and their hearts. That just truly is the case for Fleetwood Mac. They have no doubt, seem to define what survival is absolutely all about. They have encountered substance abuse, and other hazards that would enchant the formula of mass destruction that would never lead a band back together again. The music still leads a lot more than ever.
The 2002 Very Best Of Fleetwood Mac is considered as a gem for any fan of the 70's group, or for anybody who is just started to be interested in their groove. The double-disc collection contains 36 great songs that are truly landmarked here, accept without failures including Time from 1995, and earlier records from the 1960's and 70's, but they aren't featured here. The songs are just absolutely geared into greatness. The songs range from upbeat and signature classics like Landslide and Little Lies, to absolute true masterpieces like Gypsy, Don't Stop, Hold Me, and Sara. The album highlights a whole lot, including some great songs like Tusk, and Silver Springs as well. Still, it would also lead into another chapter for Fleetwood Mac. Longtime member, Christie McVie, left the group in the 1990's after their comeback live record, The Dance. That leads into the behind the scenes of Say You Will for 2003, which none of the songs from that record are on it, for people who don't have a computer. Truthfully, Say You Will, didn't do as well as this did, largely because there was no commercial support for that record on radio.
It just surprises me that I've just rediscovered Fleetwood Mac for what they truly are. Nevertheless, they've had a fantastic journey for what they've encountered as a group. I still wish that so many people who are onterested in manufactured artists today, can try to celebrate these gems from the past. The Very Best Of Fleetwood Mac is a absolute must have.
on October 22, 2002
OK, I wasn't going to review this one at first because I already had all the tracks, but once I actually heard it (and checked out the bonus features), I couldn't resist. At first I was disappointed because this two-disc set only covers the post-1975 band, which of course leaves out many of their early hits and standards with Peter Green and Bob Welch. To pretend like the early versions of Fleetwood Mac didn't exist does a great disservice to their history. Then, there was a slight beef with the track selection--neither CD is filled to its 79-minute abilities, which means that several key post-75 songs--the absolutely essential "Crystal", "Not That Funny", "Angel", maybe "Eyes Of The World"--could have been added but weren't.
However, what is right with this set outweighs what is wrong with it. The remasters/remixes found here at the best ever, far surpassing the 80s CD releases and even the "Chain" box set. What is needed now are remasters of all the albums using this remastering technology. The inclusion of differing mixes (single mixes?) of "Rhiannon", "Over My Head" and "Think About Me" was a bonus; "Rhiannon" now features different guitar overdubs and "Over My Head" has no fade-in intro. The remastering on the other songs brings out a depth and definition which makes them seem fresh again.
Finally, the bonus documentary on the making of the new album was good; it's always great to see Buckingham and Nicks working together again. I had seen all the videos in the "Vault" section, but apparently it will be updated periodically to include more footage. In all, this is a suprisingly essential addition to any fan's collection, and makes a good starting point for newcomers, although again there are several things I would change about the track selection.
on July 16, 2003
THE BAND: This compilation features the most recognizable members - Lindsey Buckingham (guitars, vocals), Mick Fleetwood (drums & percussion), Stevie Nicks (vocals, percussion), John McVie (bass), and Christine McVie (keyboards, vocals). Songs from early Fleetwood Mac featuring Peter Green, Bob Welch or Danny Kirwan are not present... nothing from 1968-74.
THE DISC(S): (2002) 36 total tracks on 2 discs clocking in at approximately 141 minutes (disc-1 at 66+ minutes, and disc-2 at 75+ minutes). Included with the discs is a 14-page booklet containing 8-9 pages of written history of the band by Dave Wild (Rolling Stone magazine), many band pictures, song titles/credits, what songs came from which albums, year released, and chart success (if any) of each song. Disc-1 also features a bonus multimedia program for your PC - access to the Fleetwood Mac "Vault" (live shows & videos), discography, song lyrics, a historical documentary on the band, and various web links. Including the 3 live tracks, this set follows their career from 1975 through 1997. Digitally remastered sound. Label - Warner Bros.
COMMENTS: This is a great mix of Fleetwood Mac. A ton of music and a ton of big hits... even tho it's not the "complete" compilation of the band itself. The Bob Welch and Peter Green era are knowingly omitted. Fleetwood Mac has been around for 30+ years and has created many albums... and this collection only takes tracks from 6 studio albums. Also noted are 4 songs ("Rhainnon", "Over My Head", "Think About Me" and "Sisters Of The Moon") that are shorter radio edits (I hate when they do this). You could go so far as saying this is a HITS package, as opposed to a "HISTORY" package (the history package is where the 4-cd box set comes into play). "Rumours" is well represented here (9 of the 11 songs are here). "Tusk", "Fleetwood Mac", "Mirage", "Tango In The Night", "The Dance" (live), "Behind The Mask", and "25 Years - The Chain" (an import best of package) all have 2-3 songs (or more) represented here. You will find nothing on this 2-cd set from the following Fleetwood Mac releases: "Kiln House", "Bare Trees", "Penguin", "Future Games", "Heroes Are Hard To Find", "Mystery To Me", or "Time"... again, many of these are prior to 1975 as well as featuring Bob Welch and/or Peter Green. Fleetwood Mac's "Greatest Hits" from 1988 is now moot - every song is now on this 2-cd package. There are a few throw-away songs here ("Seven Wonders", "Family Man", "Paper Doll"), but over all the song selection here is dead on accurate. Fleetwood Mac has put out some great FM-radio friendly songs over the last few decades and despite the omission of any "early" songs, it really is a fine representation of the band playing their best stuff at their peak of popularity (4.5 stars).
on March 18, 2016
I love best of cds because you get a general flavor of what the band can offer. Anyway, with a band like Fleetwood Mac, I had to make a purchase. I have Rumour and Stevie Nicks solo stuff but it was time to get a best of cd. I'm not disappointed q my purchase. :)
on January 8, 2005
This is a well-chosen lot of songs that surpasses the 1988 Greatest Hits collection by far, by including many lesser known but equally important songs. One of the best things about this CD is that it does not flow in chronological order - the song list is arranged to complement the previous and next song, giving the CD a more artsy feel and sound.
It is my estimation that no "Greatest Hits" or "Very Best Of" will please every listener - especially these days, no matter who the artist is. Since the advent of CDs in the mid to late 80s the concept of the "Greatest Hits" album has changed. Before that time, the Greatest Hits Of... was really a Greatest Hits album with no filler and no new tracks. Since then, record companies can release "Greatest Hits" after "Greatest Hits", leaving off certain chart hits and including others, forcing fans to buy all the semi-Greatest Hits releases to get all the hit songs. This set is a must though for casual fans.
Though all the hits seem to be here with Fleetwood Mac, there are a few glaring, unfortunate recordings that should not be here. Lindsay Buckingham's live "Go Insane" is just horrible. And I cringe when I hear "Skies The Limit", from their unfortunate early 90s AC effort "Behind The Mask", as they all sound old, tired and ready to retire. These cuts really do damage to the overall quality of the entire CD and without them, I would have given the CD 5 stars.
Those unfortunate songs excluded, this is a great CD. All their 70s work is classic and sounds superb. The songs that made them ("Don't Stop", "Go Your Own Way", "Dreams", "You Make Loving Fun") are fun to listen to, yet it is their lesser known album tracks included here that really make this listenable. Stevie Nicks is a superb songwriter and it shows with the haunting "Storms" that closes out disc one. Her "Gold Dust Woman" and "Gypsy" are finely crafted, equally attention grabbing songs. Christine McVie has a pretty voice that shines on "Songbird", "Over My Head" and "Little Lies". Also key on here are the rockers "Seven Wonders", "Second Hand News" and "Think About Me".
Fleetwood Mac is a classic example of a band's individuals with personal turmoil creating art out of their misery. Though their 90s output was far inferior to their introspective 70s and 80s recordings, they continue to endure. The classic #1 hits may have cemented their reputation as legends but their lesser known, interior-seeking, dark, exposed nerve-ending songs made their overwhelming success seem human and real to the rest of us mere mortals.
on September 11, 2003
This is an excellent, comprehensive FM collection from the Buckingham/Nicks era of the group, with a little from the Brunette/Vito era sprinkled in near the end of the set for good measure.
BUT, Fleetwood Mac fans definately need a compliation this magnitude that spans 1967-1974 (pre-Buckingham/Nicks era).
Such material as: Station Man, Sentimental Lady, Hypmotized, Black Magic Woman, Albertross, Oh Well (Parts 1&2), as well as others.
The only other quibble I have is all the "Later" material is near the end of the set. And what makes "World Turning" or "Family Man" that great to warrent being on a "Best of Collection"? A head scratcher for sure. I would have gone for "Blue Letter" and "Save Me" (SM being a top 40 hit!) I remember "Save Me" was on the radio a lot where I lived.
Bottom Line: A very good compilation of hits and key album tracks. The single mixes are a nice touch as well as including the studio version of "Silver Springs". There just needs to be a compilation of the "older" Fleetwood Mac material out there. As another reviewer stated "there was life before the Buckingham/Nicks era of Fleetwood Mac."
on March 19, 2016
This "Very Best of Fleetwood Mac" was a gift for my wife. We've been Mac fans forever.
My wife likes the well-known "pop" songs, but didn't quite "get" some of the others.
I, on the other hand, "get" them all; the more mystical the music and lyrics, the better.
This album runs the years 1975 from her first album with the band through 1990 with Behind the Mask and the 1997 reunion live album The Dance. You're not going to find anything from the Peter Green, Bob Welch or the short lived Dave Mason/Bekka Bramlett era on here. Once you get past that then you'll probably end up liking this album. That is as long as you like the Stevie Nicks era. For me, I actually prefer the earlier eras overall a bit more but this gives a good overview of the Stevie years. One of the only drawbacks for me is that they tend to bunch up all the Tango In the Night through the Behind the Mask songs on the last half of disc two. This was the band's synth rock era and if they had blended it with the band's earlier piano/organ/guitar era from '75 to '79 or even '82, I think it would've mixed better for me.
This release is primarily aimed at the causal collector who remembers hearing the band on the radio from the mid '70's to the mid '80's so if you're looking for something that's a career spanning set, you might be a little disappointed. However, this does a pretty good job of covering the era in question for those who might not want to spend the money on individual releases and box sets. For those interested in the band's earlier era, I like pretty much recommend anything from the first album (aka Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac) up to and including Penguin, Mystery to Me along with the Boston box. Heroes Are Hart to Find is decent as well.
I keep a nice collection of CD's and still buy them despite digital versions filling the bulk of mine (and probably most peoples music collection) I have been listening to this a lot lately and it is a really nice choice of songs.
The only issue with a greatest hits compilation is song choices, and with Fleetwood Mac you are going to have to make some tough ones!
One could make the argument that the entire Rumours album should be on and greatest hits and in particular the omission of 'Oh Daddy' was one I would have fought for.
The re-mastering was done well so it sounds loud compared to more modern releases and overall it is a really nice set of songs that even after all these years I have never grown tired of.
The thing I didn't like - and again this applies specifically to the forgotten art of CD listening is mixing the live tracks with the studio tracks. I don't know I just like to be in the place of one of the other and have never really been a fan of 'live' tracks on a CD unless the whole CD is live or they are included at the end. Having them in the middle (even with the spectacular versions included particular Lindsey on "Go Insane") just makes it harder to listen to for me. Its a personal quirk I guess but most people probably are not bothered.
Apart from that it is hard to fault it here and it sits along some other Fleetwood Mac full albums in the CD collection. I for one hope the format doesn't completely fade away.