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Thursday, 23 November 2017

Danny Kirwan (Fleetwood Mac) "Midnight In San Juan" 1976 second solo Lp UK Classic Rock,Blues Rock


Danny Kirwan (Fleetwood Mac) "Midnight In San Juan" 1976 second solo Lp UK Classic Rock,Blues Rock
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Biography


Guitarist/singer Danny Kirwan was a member of Fleetwood Mac, helping to bridge their early blues-rock phase to their eventual conventional pop/rock approach, from the late ‘60s through the early '70s (just prior to the arrival of Stevie Nicksand Lindsey Buckingham). Born Daniel David Kirwan in South London on May 13, 1950, Kirwan was spotted byFleetwood Mac members Peter Green and Mick Fleetwoodat the age of 18 fronting a local group called Boilerhouse.Green took the young guitarist under his wing, attempting to help Kirwan find other musicians to play with (that were up to his caliber), but when none where found, he was invited to join Green in Fleetwood Mac in August of 1968. Although Kirwan’s presence helped inspire the band to issue such classic releases as 1969’s Then Play On, 1970’s Kiln House, 1971’s Future Games, and 1972’s Bare Trees, his fellow bandmembers quickly saw the dark side of the young musician, who was alcoholic and prone to mood swings. 
The situation began to put a strain on the group, and after one specific incident while on tour in 1972 (which Kirwansmashed his guitar prior to a show and refused to play on-stage), the 22-year-old guitarist was handed his walking papers. Kirwan then embarked on a solo career, issuing such obscure releases as 1975’s Second Chapter (which saw the guitarist joined by ex-Chicken Shack membersAndy Sylvester and Paul Raymond), 1976’s Midnight in San Juan, and 1979’s Hello There Big Boy!, before the once promising musician seemingly fell off the face of the earth. Rumors persisted throughout the '90s that Kirwan was by this time homeless and down on his luck, which he in fact confirmed himself in an interview with a London newspaper in 1993. But by the dawn of the 21st century, it appeared as though Kirwan had put his life back on track somewhat, while a 15-track compilation of his solo work, Ram Jam City, was issued in May of 2000. AMG…


Danny Kirwan’s second solo album is a notable improvement on his first one. The song writing is ramped up a bit, rather than relying on gushy instrumentation and 30’s signatures, and he sounds a bit more like the Kirwan that led Fleetwood Mac to some of best music they have ever made. The reggae cover of “Let It Be” has the potential to be dreadful (and many people would probably tell you that it is), but it’s actually pretty good and has a nice, feel-good sound. It’s particularly interesting to listen to as Kirwan is so obviously influenced by the Beatles (and McCartney in particular). The trilogy of ballads at the centre of the album (“Angel’s Delight”, “Windy Autumn Day” and “Misty River”) are perhaps the songs most reminscent of “Second Chapter”, but even these are improvements on tracks like “Lovely Days” and “Cascades”. “Angel’s Delight” is particularly good, with flowing verses and nice lyrics. The two instrumentals (“Midnight in San Juan” and “Rolling Hills”) are enjoyable, particularly the title track which has a savvy synthesiser riff. “I Can Tell” and “I Can’t Let You Go” are solid pop tunes, with the catchy “I Can’t Let You Go” being the closest I’ve heard Kirwan come to being funky. “Life Machine” and “Castaway” are the hardest hitting songs on the album and two of the best. “Castaway” is presumably about Kirwan’s ejection from Fleetwood Mac, with lines like “Then thoughts of you start to spin around my head/Thinks he’d rather be with you instead”, preceeding “Spaceman” from the follow-up album. The second cover song, written by Dave Walker, is a standout in Kirwan’s solo work. The lyrics are wonderful, dealing with perspective and gratitude, and Kirwan’s delivery is first rate. 
Danny Kirwan’s short-lived solo career seems to get some flak (the Fleetwood Mac Penguin website is particularly harsh) but “Midnight In San Juan” is a decent pop rock album by an understated musician and song writer…..by…
Mannequin …


'Second Chapter’, rushed sounding, strained eclecticism, needed something to briskly drag it off-stage. Almost immediately, you can feel that sigh of relief greeting Danny’s (yet again) deceptive, pondering 'I Can Tell’ They say misery loves company, well Kirwan turns that on its head, often at his own expense, his generous soul translated into some of the most aching balladry and essays of self doubt ever, this one doesn’t buck that trend. Focused around folk and adult themes rather than blues or rock, he slips in some out of the blue teasers; 'Midnight in San Juan’ a McCartney tinted instrumental with commercial eyes peering at its sassy lead synth riff, an easier to trace homage to the Scouser in Reggae arranged 'Let It Be’, which should be a fiasco, yet thrives on Kirwan’s sincerity and gentle no angst required technique. Sadly that angst cut away at Danny internally, and those traces of sorrow are never out of the picture, delicately pieced together essays of this mind-frame haunt nearly every note Kirwan hums, plucks and sighs…..KildareJohn …



There’s this character who runs a used record store in Chinatown here in town. Last time I was in, he was chatting it up with me concerning Mac members and I asked if by chance he ever got Midnight in San Juan by Danny Kirwan as it’s “my favourite of his solo efforts” to which he says “well, you have to hear the first one he did, Second Chapter, because it’s worlds better than the other two he ended up doing”. Uh, no; I wouldn’t pick a favourite out of a measly 3 LPs if I hadn’t heard them all you mook! 

Second Chapter is the pick of the litter for most people but I think, as pretty as some of it is, it falls a bit flat when compared to Kirwan’s efforts before in the Mac and after while solo. There’s some great production and instrumentation but it doesn’t as effortlessly capture any of the whimsy of his tunes that he presented in Fleetwood Mac. Whereas that record had simpler songs and - I hate to say it - ho-hum songwriting Midnight steps it up with a more exotic flair and channels Kirwan’s seemingly laid back, yet majestic playing. 

Admittedly no single cut on this one dethrones, say, Coming Your Way, Woman of 1000 Years or Bare Trees but there are surely lots of moments that rival Kirwan’s best work. Even though he was disintegrating mentally already, tracks like I Can Tell, Life Machine and the instrumentals Rolling Hills and the title track are classic Kirwan. Interestingly, Danny takes a stab at Macca Beatles in a cover of Let it Be; this version is the lone stab at reggae (though with a shot of pop) for Danny and it’s a nice little workout and contains a solid solo. Upon first listen I thought this cover distasteful, but it’s a nice summer tune. 

It’s a darn shame this LP is so rare. It, like other Danny Kirwan efforts, didn’t push many units and hasn’t been reissued outside Japanese markets, really. If you ever find it, I’ll buy it from you at a high price if you wish…..by….heliotropic2007 






Midnight in San Juan is an album by British blues rock musician Danny Kirwan, who was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1968–72. Released in 1976, this was his second of three solo albums with the DJM Records label. 

This album was released in the USA and Canada in May 1977 under the title Danny Kirwan, with a different sleeve (front and back) and a biography / review written by Michael Hogan. The recorded material is identical to the UK release. It was released for the first time on CD, only in Japan, in February 2006. 

Songs and backing band 
Apart from the self-penned tracks, Kirwan includes a reggae-style cover of The Beatles’ “Let It Be”, which was a single in the United States. The other single from this album was “Misty River”. Another cover version was “Look Around You”, written by Dave Walker, himself an ex-Fleetwood Mac member. 

Kirwan’s backing band on the album was made up of members of Stretch; an earlier incarnation of Stretch had briefly toured as a bogus version of Fleetwood Mac in 1974.

Reception 
Allmusic critic Joe Viglione claimed that the album was “chock-full of quality material – there isn’t a bad track on it musically”. Raising comparisons with America, The Beatles, Kirwan’s last album with Fleetwood Mac, Bare Trees, and also the music of his old bandmate Bob Welch, he suggested that Kirwan’s record label should have supported the album more strongly. Viglione gave particular credit for Kirwan’s creative treatment of “Let It Be”, rather than simply covering the Beatles song note for note….wiki…







- Danny Kirwan – guitars, vocals
- Steve Emery – bass
- Jeff Rich – drums
- John Cook – piano 


Tracklist 
A1 I Can Tell 3:02 
A2 Life Machine 2:26 
A3 Midnight In San Juan 2:38 
A4 Let It Be 
Written-By – Lennon-McCartney 
2:28 
A5 Angel’s Delight 2:47 
A6 Windy Autumn Day 2:38 
B1 Misty River 3:59 
B2 Rolling Hills 2:25 
B3 I Can’t Let You Go 2:42 
B4 Look Around You 3:09 
B5 Castaway 3:47


Discography

Solo albums
Second Chapter (DJM 1975) 
Midnight in San Juan (DJM 1976) 
Danny Kirwan (DJM 1977 – US release of Midnight in San Juan) 
Hello There Big Boy! (DJM 1979) 
Ram Jam City (Mooncrest 2000 – recorded in the mid-1970s as demo tracks for the Second Chapter album) 

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