Saturday, April 7, 2012

40 Years Ago: The Mac Gets Bare

At first, many of the songs on Bare Trees leave about as much of an impression as the nearly colorless album cover. But there are some great tunes here and, along with Kiln House, 1972's Bare Trees is one of the best albums from The Mac's Post Peter Green/ Pre Buckingham Nicks period. 

     22-year old Danny Kirwan dominates the album with five songs including the galloping title track which features the timeless lyrics "Ba do dah, do dah da do da do". Christine McVie offers two tracks including "Spare Me A Little of Your Love" which sounds like something from the Mac's most popular soft rock era. The song would be a concert staple even on the tour supporting 1977's Rumours. And speaking of 1977,  Bob Welch wrote the sappy "Sentimental Lady" which would become a Top Ten hit when he re-recorded it for his 1977 solo album French Kiss. 

     But back to Bare Trees. It's an album of no set identity --even when the songs come from the same person. Danny Kirwan offered both a gorgeous instrumental, "Sunny Side of Heaven", and perhaps 1972's most scorching guitar sounds at the top of "Danny's Chant". The heavy drinker would be fired from the band on the follow-up US tour after smashing his guitar and refusing to go onstage. Fleetwood Mac would stumble through three more albums before Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined the band. 

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