|Released March 1973|
Artist Fleetwood Mac
Label Reprise Records
|Recorded January 1973|
Penguin (1973) Mystery to Me (1973)
Release date March 1973
Genre Rock music
|Studio Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, Benifold, Hampshire|
Producer Fleetwood Mac & Martin Birch
Similar Fleetwood Mac albums, Rock music albums
Penguin is the seventh album by British rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in 1973. It was the first Fleetwood Mac album after the departure of Danny Kirwan and first to feature Bob Weston and the only one to feature Dave Walker.
The penguin is the band mascot favoured by John McVie. His fascination with the birds originated from when he lived near London Zoo during the early days of his marriage to Christine McVie. He was a member of the Zoological Society and would spend hours at the zoo studying and watching the penguins.
In September 1972, after Kirwan was fired for an incident with the other band members during the support tour for Bare Trees, the band added guitarist Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker, formerly of Savoy Brown and Idle Race. Weston was well known for playing slide guitar and had known the band from his touring period with Long John Baldry. Fleetwood Mac also hired Savoy Brown's road manager, John Courage. Mick, John, Christine, Welch, Weston, and Walker recorded Penguin, but rather than recording in a London studio, they hired the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio and brought it to Hampshire in order to record their next album within the domestic atmosphere of Benifold, their communal house, and the album was mixed at AIR Studios in London.
The album's artwork was painted by Chris Moore and the gatefold photo was shot on location at Ludshott Common and Waggoners Wells in Hampshire, according to Dave Walker in an online Q&A interview. For the first time on a Fleetwood Mac album, Mick Fleetwood was credited in the album's liner notes with playing both drums and percussion, even though he did both on previous albums, although uncredited.
The subsequent tour seemed to go well, and Penguin was the highest charting Fleetwood Mac album in the US at the time, clawing its way into the Top 50. However, during the recording of their next album, Mystery to Me, it was mutually agreed upon that Walker's vocal style and attitude "did not fit in" with Fleetwood Mac and by June 1973 he had left. If anything was ever recorded by Walker for Mystery to Me it was not used, and remains unreleased.