Title: Before the Beginning, Vol.1: Live 1968
Label: We Are Vinyl
This is the first of – I assume – two proposed sets that mirror the earlier CD releases of the same material that looks to offer fans of Fleetwood Mac officially released, early live material, offering a quality alternative to the swathe of bootlegs swimming around the market. This vinyl set’s material takes you through to mid-way in the second CD disc, incidentally.
Taken from 1968 concerts, Fleetwood Mac, at this time, consisted of Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Jeremy Spencer. Each band member occupies a full side of the inner recesses of this tri-fold gatefold and the excellent photographs creates an effect that is quite thrilling. What you effectively get are 12” x 12” posters of each band member doing his thing in glorious black & white.
There’s more attractive imagery on the actual inner sleeves. A moustachioed Green occupies both sides of the first disc and half of the second. McVie shares one of those with Spencer who has another on his own while Mick Fleetwood has a side of his own on the third disc.
The only trouble with this packaging approach is that the rear of the outer sleeve contains all of the available information for this set and that’s not a lot. Apart from the tracklisting, there’s no extra information on offer such as, for example, when and where the music was played.
My guess (and others, I have to add) is the Carousel recordings from San Francisco.
As for mastering? Well, the sources themselves are not in perfect condition, never mind the mastering, so the are elements of the soundstage that are rather crunchy and gritty in presentation. This set is basically a super bootleg. Nevertheless, it’s still full of atmosphere, raw energy and unfettered talent.
If you would like to purchase this LP set, you can from the following links:
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