The inaugural release from Strawberry Records, ‘Halcyon Days’ aims high in terms of 60s entertainment. Bringing together a great selection of mod, soul and freakbeat sides, it presents famous names alongside forgotten heroes; places cult floor fillers, deep cuts and a few genuine rarities among fantastic (and sometimes very interesting) covers of well known tunes. Across nearly 90 tracks, it sets itself up as a varied and comprehensive listen. It’s very much the kind of set tailor made for those who’ve worn out the more bog-standard mod comps and are looking for a world beyond The Action, The Creation and those much-loved Spencer Davis Group hits.
At the time of release of their third album ‘Then Play On’ in September 1969, Fleetwood Mac were an absolute musical powerhouse. While the band were not as purist in their blues ethic as before, on that release, bandleader Peter Green’s song writing, vocal style and guitar playing are at their career peak, while Danny Kirwan shows increased confidence in his role as second guitarist and songwriter. As usual, both Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are faultless in their rhythm section duties. Despite the strengths, cracks are also beginning to appear: although Fleetwood’s third vocalist-guitarist Jeremy Spencer is credited as appearing, he made no contributions to the original LP.