Penguin (album)

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Penguin
Penguin (album).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 1973
RecordedJanuary 1973
StudioRolling Stones Mobile Studio, Benifold, Hampshire
GenreRock
Length35:46
LabelReprise
ProducerFleetwood Mac & Martin Birch
Fleetwood Mac chronology
Bare Trees
(1972)
Penguin
(1973)
Mystery to Me
(1973)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic2/5 stars [1]

Penguin is the seventh studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in March 1973. It was the first Fleetwood Mac album after the departure of Danny Kirwan, the 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.[2]

Background[edit]

After Kirwan was fired following an altercation with the other band members during the Bare Trees tour, the band added guitarist Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker (formerly of Savoy Brown and The Idle Race) in September 1972. 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. Rather than recording Penguin 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. The album was subsequently 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.[3] 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.

Walker only featured on two tracks on Penguinin the end namely his own The Derelict and a cover of Junior Walker's hit (I'm A) Road Runner on which he also played harmonica solos. Bob Weston, likewise, is only credited as having featured on five tracks although he would feature throughout the follow-up album.

Track notes[edit]

Remember Me was performed live by Christine McVie at Bob Welch's Roxy concert in 1981. This version appeared on the 2004 CD Live from the Roxy.

Revelation would be re-recorded by Bob Welch for His Fleetwood Mac Years & Beyond in 2003.

Did You Ever Love Me was released as a single but did not chart.

Night Watch features a brief guitar contribution from Fleetwood Mac's founder Peter Green at the end.

Caught in the Rain, an instrumental, was the only track on a Fleetwood Mac record where Bob Weston received the sole writing credit.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Remember Me"Christine McVieMcVie2:41
2."Bright Fire"Bob WelchWelch4:32
3."Dissatisfied"McVieMcVie3:43
4."(I'm a) Road Runner"Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland, Jr.Dave Walker4:52
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
5."The Derelict"Dave WalkerWalker2:43
6."Revelation"WelchWelch4:55
7."Did You Ever Love Me"McVie, WelchMcVie with Bob Weston3:39
8."Night Watch"WelchWelch6:17
9."Caught in the Rain"Bob WestonInstrumental2:35

Personnel[edit]

Fleetwood Mac

Additional personnel

  • Steve Nyeorgan on track 8
  • Ralph Richardson – steel drums on track 7
  • Russell Valdez – steel drums on track 7
  • Fred Totesant – steel drums on track 7
  • Peter Green – additional lead guitar on track 8[6]

Production

  • Producer: Fleetwood Mac and Martin Birch
  • Engineer: Martin Birch
  • Sleeve Design: Modula / John Watkins (front cover) / Chris Moore
  • Inside photo by Barry Wentzell
  • Recorded in Hampshire on Rolling Stones Mobile Studio
  • Mixed at AIR Studios, London

Charts[edit]

Chart (1973) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard 200 49

Certification[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[7] None 400,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Penguin at AllMusic
  2. ^ http://www.fleetwoodmac.net/penguin/themcvies.htm
  3. ^ http://www.fleetwoodmac.net/penguin/qa/davewalker_qa1.htm
  4. ^ http://www.fleetwoodmac.net/penguin/qa/bobwelch_qa2.htm
  5. ^ Saulnier, Jason (30 December 2011). "Dave Walker Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Bob Welch, November 8 - 21, 1999". The Penguin. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  7. ^ "American album certifications – Fleetwood Mac – Penguin". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 19 May 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.