Fleetwood Mac: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, Christine McVie, Bob Welch, Bob Weston, Dave Walker, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Billy Burnette, Rick Vito.
Exexcutive producers: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie.
Digitally remastered by Joe Gastwirt.
This 4-CD/cassette box set contains tracks from each phase of Fleetwood Mac's development, from their earliest days as a roots blues band (featuring the great guitar soloist Peter Green), to their emergence as the preeminent hitmakers in all of pop (with the arrival of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks) through to their latest incarnation. It includes previously unreleased material, rare B-sides, live tracks, alternate takes, 4 new songs, and a 68-page booklet with notes, photos and a complete discography.
Overall, Fleetwood Mac's four-CD box set, 25 Years: The Chain, contains a lot of great music, with plenty of the 1970s hits that made them one of the biggest bands in the world. It fails as a complete chronicle; not enough weight is given to the early, blues-based Mac with Peter Green, and there are too many songs (nearly a whole disc's worth) from the lightweight 1980s albums. Also, the haphazard song sequencing doesn't help matters -- it doesn't make the case for Fleetwood Mac's music as a body of work, and it doesn't trace the evolution, which should be apparent from the diversity of the music. If nothing else, 25 Years: The Chain offers evidence that Lindsey Buckingham was a brilliant pop composer and that the band's '70s success was well deserved. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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