Kiln House is the fourth album by British #rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in 1970. This is the first of the post-Peter Green Fleetwood Mac albums, and their last album to feature Jeremy Spencer. Christine McVie was present at the recording sessions and contributed backing vocals and cover art, although she was not a full member of the band until shortly after the album’s completion.
The album title is taken from the name of a converted Oast house in Truncheaunts Lane, near Alton in Hampshire (UK). The house (now a grade II listed building) was leased by the band, who lived there communally, with their families, for a six-month period in 1970. Mick Fleetwood was married to his wife at the house on 20 June 1970.
The Kiln House lineup would mark the exit of founder/frontman Peter Green. Though this album did mark the entrance of Christine McVie (singing some backing vocals and also contrbuting the delightful cover design), the arrival of the Buckingham/Nicks tandem and ensuing mega-stardom was still a half-dozen albums in the future.
In Peter’s absence, Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer jostled for the pole position, equally alternating lead songwriting and vocalist credits. Danny’s songs are much more to my liking, especially when he exhibits his instrumental will on pieces such as “Earl Gray” and “Jewel Eyed Judy”. The many detached layers of both acoustic and electric guitars give off an aura of infinity. Jeremy’s songs are rooted in Americana, namely the territories inhabited by Buddy Holly and/or cowboy singers, which, when paired with Kirwan’s songs, project an overall disjointed experience.
For my money, the next several years of lineup changes would reveal similar challenges concerning the band’s muddled output. There were still some terriffic musical moments penned by Kirwan, McVie, and and future-Mac Bob Welch, though for the most part, the early 70/s were about the journey, not the destination.