Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Music - Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac blast out "Oh Well" (1969)

I can't help about the shape I'm in - I can't sing, I ain't pretty and my legs are thin

Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac (i.e. the only good Fleetwood Mac) throwing it down on the BBC's Monster Music Mash in 1969 with the stone-cold classic  "Oh Well"!

What a fucking jam!!

The seminal slice of proto rock-blues, the witty, mantra-like, "Oh Well" was composed by the legendary - and ill fated - Peter Green. 

The song was recorded by Fleetwood Mac in 1969.

The song first appeared as a single in various countries in 1969, and subsequently appeared on revised versions of that year's Then Play On album and, later, on the Greatest Hits album in 1971.

It later featured on the 1992 boxed set 25 Years – The Chain, and on the 2002 compilation album The Best of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. A slightly different version of the song was included on the 1998 compilation The Vaudeville Years.

The single's peak position in the UK Charts was No. 2 for two weeks in November 1969, spending a total of 16 weeks on the chart

"Oh Well" was composed in two parts with "Part 1" being a fast electric blues song with vocals (lasting 2:19) and "Part 2" being an entirely different instrumental piece with a classical influence (lasting 5:39). The original 1969 single featured first minute or so of "Part 2" included as a fade-out coda to the A-side and then "Part 2" begun again on the B-side of the single.

Later releases - and live versions - varied widely.

"Oh Well" has been covered countless times down the years, by the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Gordon Giltrap, Joe Jackson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, The Rockets, Big Country, Tribe of Gypsies, Ratt, Tourniquet, McCoy, John Parr, Colin James and, erm .... Haim (wtf!)

It's also been covered by former Fleetwood Mac member Bob Welch on his 2008 Greatest Hits album. 

Most recently, the Eels included a cover of the song on the bonus-disc edition of their fine 2014 album The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett.  

The song was also played live by Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes and released on their 2000 album Live at the Greek

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