The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions

Christine Perfect

Blue Horizon / Columbia, 2008

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_McVie

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/28/2009

Before there was Christine McVie and before Fleetwood Mac became international superstars, there was Christine Perfect.

Christine Perfect rose to fame to England as the keyboardist/vocalist for the blues rock group Chicken Shack. She was honored with a Melody Maker as English female vocalist of the year two times.

She left Chicken Shack in 1969 and by 1970 had married bassist John McVie and joined his group Fleetwood Mac. As a writer, singer and keyboardist for the band, she contributed to several of the best selling albums of all time, including Rumours, which has sold close to twenty million copies.

In between her membership in Chicken Shack and Fleetwood Mac, she recorded a number of tracks for the Blue Horizon Label but issued only one solo album for the company. Now my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions has gathered together all sixteen tracks from her time with the label, including four that had remained unreleased.

This is not the poppy Christine McVie of her classic Fleetwood Mac days. Rather, here she is a gritty blues-style vocalist. Despite this vocal style, many of the songs hint at the musical evolutionary road that she would travel during the next five years. She wrote nine of the sixteen tracks, and much of the music showed the beginning of a pop leaning that increasingly dominated her compositions.

The first two songs set the tone of the album. “Crazy ‘Bout You Baby” features her smooth, flowing keyboards and some subtle brass in support of a bluesy vocal. “I’m On My Way” is a slow blues number with sultry vocals and minimal instrumental backing.

No Road Is The Right Road” is the strongest of her original compositions. There is some nice piano and bass interplay with a classic blues vocal delivery. The old Chuck Jackson rhythm and blues song “And That’s Saying A Lot” provides the vehicle for one of the sexiest vocals of her career. “Wait and See” features a moody vocal with minimal piano backing.

A couple of the unreleased tracks take her is a different direction, which may be why they were left off the original album. “Tell Me You Need Me” has more of a guitar-based rock sound. “Hey Baby” is catchy boogie rock ‘n’ roll and may be the most accessible cut on the album with its Jerry Lee Lewis-type piano runs. The single version of the Clyde Otis-penned tune “I’m Too Far Gone” is converted into a torch song on this disc.

The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions should be of interest to fans of Christine Perfect/McVie, Fleetwood Mac and those who appreciate the fusion of rock and blues. It also catches an important longtime contributor to one of rock’s enduring groups at a crossroads of her career -- and still provides some good music as well.

Rating: B+

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© 2009 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Blue Horizon / Columbia, and is used for informational purposes only.