You are here

Number 83

Fleetwood Mac - Albatross (Blue Horizon 57-3145 - 1968)

For those who were at the time familiar with the first couple of album and single releases by Fleetwood Mac, later to become known as Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac to differentiate between the earlier blues band and the later and infinitely more successful rock outfit, the instrumental Albatross would have come as something of a surprise. Gone was the Robert Johnson and Elmore James blues influence in favour of a much more soothing composition, which relates more to the sound of the sea than the urban cityscapes of earlier songs such as Shake Your Money Maker and Black Magic Woman. It was only when the young 18 year-old Danny Kirwan came onboard that Peter Green was able to complete the composition, having struggled to work with the band’s regular slide guitar player Jeremy Spencer, who didn’t actually play on the single, despite appearing on Top of the Pops at the time miming to the piece. Played almost constantly on the radio across the UK at the time, Albatross holds the distinction of being the band’s only UK number one single known to millions, and also the tune gave The Beatles the inspiration for their own instrumental Sun King, which would appear on their Abbey Road album almost exactly a year later.