Various Artists "Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac
When Fleetwood Mac released its eponymous debut in 1968 the album was alternately known as Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac. The tribute opens with his instrumental song “Albatross” by Lee Ronaldo Band featuring J Mascis. Green’s music was steeped in the blues and Trixie Whitley, the daughter of the late Chris Whitley, brings that influence to her take on Green’s “Before the Beginning.” Billy Gibbon’s & Co.’s take on “Oh Well” focuses on the gritty side of the blues.
Two Lindsey Buckingham’s get a new treatment; Tame Impala gives “That’s All For Everyone” a hazy, ethereal feel, while The Chrystal Ark trades the big drum beat of “Tusk” for electronic keyboards. Christine McVie only gets one nod of appreciation, that from The New Pornographers who closely replicate her original arrangement for “Think About Me.” Surprisingly Bob Welch only gets one cover, “Future Games,” courtesy of the duo MGMT. The electronically altered vocals give a robotic voice to the protagonist.
Stevie Nicks is the big winner on this disc with 10 artists covering her songs. Some of her biggest hits are covered, including “Landslide” by the intensely quiet Antony. Best Coast recreates “Rhiannon” as a happy-beat pop song, while Lykki Li records “Silver Springs” as an echoing vocal and guitar duet. Marianne Faithfull, Bill Frisell, and Marc Ribot bring new depth to “Angel.” The Kills sparse arrangements darken the mood on “Dreams.” “Gypsy” is updated by Gardens & Villas, while Matt Sweeny & Bonnie Prince Billy turn “Storms” into a gorgeous acoustic ballad. “Straight Back” is straight shimmering pop when done by Washed Out. Karen Elson covers “Gold Dust Woman” in Stevie fashion.
Most of the artist on Tell Me That You Want Me are young enough that many of these songs were hits when they were children, some even before they were born. Still the songs resonate thanks to the incredible craftsmanship of the material. It makes you want to go back, find those early Fleetwood Mac albums, and spend an afternoon or evening reminding yourself why you initially were drawn to this very unique band that crossed both cultures and generations.
Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Host)