Something Else! sneak peek: ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, "Oh Well" (2012)

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An advance track featuring ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons has emerged from the forthcoming tribute compilation Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac.

Gibbons is joined by Blake Mills and Matt Sweeney for a blistering take on the Peter Green-era 1969 track “Oh Well,” ramping it up from this distorted, shivering portent into a raw, dangerous stomp. Check it out HERE!

It’s an early highlight in what promises to be a fascinating 17-track collection of Fleetwood Mac covers from a group as diverse as its subject: Just Tell Me That You Want Me, to be issued August 13, 2012 on Hear Music/Concord, will delve into every era of the legendary group’s stirring 45-year history.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: With its new EP ‘Texicali,’ ZZ Top embraces everything that made them interesting in the first place, even while making small changes to keep it from sounding redundant.]

Besides Gibbon’s update of “Oh Well,” there’s also Marianne Faithfull (“Angel”), Lykke Li (“Silver Springs”), the Crystal Ark (“Tusk”), the New Pornographers (“Think About Me”), the Kills (“Dreams”), Washed Out (“Straight Back”) and Tame Impala (“That’s All For Everyone”) offering standout takes on tracks from Rumours, Tusk, and Mirage — the classic trio of Buckingham-Nicks dominated recordings.

Elsewhere, Best Coast adds a surf-rock influenced “Rhiannon,” and MGMT conjures a nine-minute take of “Future Games,” composed by Bob Welch — who just recently passed. Also included are Lee Ranaldo featuring J Mascis (who tear apart “Albatross”), Antony, Trixie Whitley, Matt Sweeney and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Craig Wedren with St. Vincent, Karen Elson, Gardens & Villa, and others.

Just Tell Me That You Want Me was produced by Randall Poster and Gelya Robb, who also helmed 2011’s Grammy-nominated Top 20 hit Rave On Buddy Holly for Fantasy/Concord.

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SHOWS I’LL NEVER FORGET: LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM, MAY 19, 2012: On this night Lindsey Buckingham demonstrated why that in addition to being a great songwriter with one of the better ears for a great pop hook in the business, he is also such a world-class guitar player. Performing in the same solo, but not always acoustic, format that Neil Young used to such great effect on his recent Twisted Road tour (and backed by his own small army of acoustic and electric guitars lining the wall behind him), Buckingham pretty much tore the house down at Seattle’s tiny, 900 seat Neptune Theatre on Saturday night. The only major complaint, was that at a scant ninety minutes, the set could have been just a bit longer.

GIMME FIVE: RECOMMENDED FLEETWOOD MAC, BUT NOT FROM ‘RUMOURS’: News that Fleetwood Mac could reunite this year — after Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham complete their current solo commitments, that is — had me scurrying back to the old records for a refresher. But not to Rumours. All hail Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 paean to Love, American-style — or California-style, anyway. More than three decades later, one estimate put total sales at 30 million copies. So, enough of all that. Rumours — actually, the 13th recording issued by Fleetwood Mac, which had notable earlier success as a blues-based English band fronted by Peter Green in the 1960s — has had its day.

MICK FLEETWOOD’S ZOO – I’M NOT ME (1983; 2012 reissue): This home-recorded Mick Fleetwood project is neither a solo effort nor a Fleetwood Mac knockoff — though, admittedly, there are moments when I’m Not Me can sound like his main group. Instead, more often than not, this short-lived quartet has a very unique feel — well, a bunch of them, really. Zoo, in fact, boasted three credible frontmen — and each of them adds his own texture and personality to the proceedings. Unfortunately, this was the only album this quirky, deeply underappreciated quartet ever managed — and, before now, it’s never even appeared on CD. Here’s a great chance to catch up.

STEVIE NICKS – IN YOUR DREAMS (2011): Stevie Nicks is, I’ve always thought, one of those ingredients that only tastes completely right in concert with other things. Those things being the rest of Fleetwood Mac in general — and, more specifically, Lindsey Buckingham. Sure, she’s had her own hits, away from the band. But they never could mimic the recipe of finish-their-sentence symbiosis, not to mention revenge-screw sexual tension, found in her best work with Buckingham. Same here, despite a gristly new attitude in the songwriting and the presence of the really very talented Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics.

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM – SEEDS WE SOW (2011): You keep waiting for Lindsey Buckingham, the old rebel, to soften into middle-aged acceptance, to conform. This isn’t that record. Credit Buckingham for never trading true emotion for sentiment. Seeds We Sow is as hard eyed as it is musically ambitious — beginning with its abruptly confessional album-opening title track. “In Our Own Time” follows, as Buckingham reminisces about a lost love amidst an almost mathematical cascade. “This time I think she’s gone for good,” Buckingham says, then adds: “But I never really know.” Then all of the implications, all of those hurt feelings, all of the still-burning confusion, are echoed in his frenetic, contradictory chording. It’s a triumphal marrying of words and music, and not the last one.

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