Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Then Play On

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Released  19 September 1969
Then Play On (1969)  Kiln House (1970)
Release date  19 September 1969
Label  Reprise Records
Length  53:39
Artist  Fleetwood Mac
Producer  Fleetwood Mac
Then Play On imagespopmatterscomnewsartffleetwoodmacthe
Recorded  1968–69 at CBS Studios, London and De Lane Lea Studios, London
Genres  Rock music, Blues rock, Psychedelic rock, Progressive rock
Similar  Fleetwood Mac albums, Blues rock albums

Fleetwood mac oh well 1969

Then Play On is the third studio album by rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 19 September 1969. It was the first of their original albums to feature Danny Kirwan and the last with Peter Green. Jeremy Spencer did not feature on the album apart from "a couple of piano things" (according to Mick Fleetwood in Q magazine in 1990). The album, appearing after the group's sudden success in the pop charts, offered a broader stylistic range than the classic blues of the group's first two albums. The album went on to reach #6 in the UK, subsequently becoming the band's fourth Top 20 hit in a row, as well as their third album to reach the Top 10. The title is taken from the opening line of William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night — "If music be the food of love, then play on".


This was the band's first release with Warner/Reprise after being lured away from Blue Horizon and a one-off with Immediate Records. Forty years on, Fleetwood Mac remain with Warner. The album, which at its original UK release had an unusually long running time, has been released with four different song line-ups. The original CD compiled all songs from the two US LP versions, both of which omitted tracks from the original UK version. In August 2013, a remastered edition of the album was reissued on vinyl and CD, restoring its original 1969 UK track listing. This version reached No. 112 on the UK Albums chart.

Fleetwood mac coming your way


Although "Oh Well" was a hit in the UK, that song was not the group's first single released in America. Instead, Clifford Davis, who was Fleetwood Mac's manager at the time, selected "Rattlesnake Shake" to be released in the US since he thought it would become a big hit, although it charted nowhere. After the failure of "Rattlesnake Shake", "Oh Well" was chosen as the second single, and fared much better, becoming the band's first song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. Mick Fleetwood ranked the song in his top 11 favourite Fleetwood Mac songs list since he was able to participate in bringing out the character of the song:

It incorporated the freedom to go off on a tangent, to jam – the classic 'Do you jam, dude?' We learned that as players. You hear that alive and well in the double-time structure that I put in at the end, which on stage could last half an hour. It was our way of being in The Grateful Dead.


The painting used for the cover of the album is "Domesticated Mural Painting", by the English artist Maxwell Armfield. It was featured in the February 1917 edition of The Countryside magazine, which states that the mural was originally designed for the dining room of a London mansion.

Track listing

Original UK LP, September 1969
  • "When You Say" was covered by Christine McVie on her LP The Legendary Christine Perfect Album.
  • Original US LP, September 1969

    The two songs ("One Sunny Day" & "Without You") deleted from the US version of the LP had already appeared on the US compilation English Rose.

    Revised US LP, November 1969

    When the double-sided single "Oh Well (pts 1 & 2)" (released November 1969) became a hit, the US LP was re-released in a revised running order to include "Oh Well", dropping Danny Kirwan's "When You Say" and "My Dream" to make room for it. The two parts of "Oh Well" differ widely, the first being hard rock, the latter a meditative instrumental, on which Green played cello. The first minute or so of "Part 2" was included as a fade-out coda to the A-side of the single. For the album, "Oh Well, Parts 1 & 2" were crudely spliced together, so that the coda is heard twice. Without the repeat the whole piece runs only 7:58. "Part 1" of "Oh Well" has remained a regular concert feature to the present day, sung variously by Bob Welch, Lindsey Buckingham and Billy Burnette.

    Other changes include putting the two edits from the "Madge" jams back-to-back, fading down between them. The giggle that previously linked "My Dream" to "Like Crying" ended up, in the previous edit, following the end of "Fighting for Madge" instead. Madge, the press were told at the time, was a female fan of the group, immortalised in two long instrumental jams finally released in their entirely on 2002's "The Vaudeville Years".

    CD track listing

    The CD release mostly sticks to the order of the revised US track listing, but re-inserts the two deleted songs ("My Dream" and "When You Say") in new locations. The giggle is now tied to the end of "Fighting For Madge" instead of the beginning of "Like Crying" by the previous edit. "Oh Well" still contains the repeated minute. The two songs which appeared only on the UK LP are still missing.

    Unreleased Bonus EP: The Milton Schlitz Show

    The original intention was to include a bonus EP in the "Then Play On" album. The EP was to be compensation for the fact that Jeremy Spencer barely appeared on the album. The EP consisted of Spencer's parodies of doo wop ("Ricky Dee and the Angels"), Alexis Korner, country blues ("Texas Slim"), acid rock ("The Orange Electric Squares"), and John Mayall. It was finally released on Fleetwood Mac's The Vaudeville Years compilation in the 1990s.


    Fleetwood Mac

  • Peter Green – vocals, guitar, harmonica, six string bass, percussion, violincello on "Oh Well, Pt. 2"
  • Danny Kirwan – vocals, guitar
  • John McVie – bass guitar
  • Mick Fleetwood – drums, percussion
  • Jeremy Spencer – piano on "Oh Well" (Pt. 2)
  • Additional uncredited personnel

  • Christine Perfect – piano
  • Sandra Elsdon – recorders on "Oh Well (Pt 2)"
  • Production

  • Producer: Fleetwood Mac
  • Engineer: Martin Birch
  • Sound consultant: Dinky Dawson
  • Charts

    Album – Billboard (North America)

    Singles – Billboard (North America)


    1Coming Your Way3:45
    2Closing My Eyes4:50
    3Fighting For Madge2:42


    Then Play On Wikipedia