I left the topic of Fairport Convention over 2 years ago, and that of Fleetwood Mac not long after that. In each case, however, I took the story to the end of 1970. This is because that new year marked a very significant turning point for each group, both of which had already suffered seismic personnel changes. Indeed, one thing that the bands had in common in the early 1970s is that a Rock Archivist called Pete Frame drew up a “family tree” for each of them, so labyrinthine had the two matters become.
It is a good idea at this point briefly to recap what had happened to these groups in the 13 months to the end of 1970. In the case of Fairport Convention, a third of the group, Sandy Denny and Ashley Hutchings had quit more or less simultaneously before the end of 1969. Ashley Hutchings left to form Steeleye Span, a band whose early years I have mentioned in a series of posts above. Sandy Denny left to form Fotheringay, a sadly short-lived group I shall talk about some more, God Willing. A new bass player had been brought in, Dave Pegg, but even then the chaps knew that Sandy Denny simply could not be replaced; such an idea amounted to a contradiction of terms.
In the case of Fleetwood Mac, in May 1970 the Main Man, Peter Green, gave notice that he was going, and went. At least he gave notice, but again nobody could replace him, so the group soldiered on as a four-piece, producing the excellent LP “Kiln House”. That produced by the 1970 Fairport Convention, oddly enough, was called “Full House”.
Something akin to disaster was, unfortunately, going to happen to each group at the end of 1970.