Christine Perfect

Band members                              Related acts

- Christine Perfect -- vocals, keyboards


  supporting musicians:

- Martin Dunsford -- bass

- Chris Hardining -- drums, percussion

- Rick Hayward -- lead and rhythm guitar

- Danny Kirwan -- bass

- John McVie -- bass

- Andy Sylvester -- bass

- Top Topham -- lead and rhythm guitar




Chicken Shack

- Fleetwood Mac

- Christine McVie (solo efforts)





Genre: blues-rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  The Legendary Christine Perfect Album

Company: Sire

Catalog: SASD-7522

Country/State: Birmingham, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1428

Price: $20.00


With Fleetwood Mac essentially owning the mid-1970s airwaves, it was only natural that record companies would go scrambling to search their vaults in an effort to locate anything even remotely related to the band.  Sire Records was no different, although in addition to owning the rights to some of Fleetwood Mac's earlier blues-oriented catalog, they somehow stumbled across rights to Christine McVie's pre-Fleetwood Mac 1970 solo debut "Christine Perfect".



Based in part on her work with the blues-rock band Chicken Shack, in 1969 Perfect was signed as a solo act to the Mike Vernon's Blue Horizon label.  She made her debut the same year with a single that attracted considerable attention in the UK.  Perfect also found herself crowned Melody Maker's 1969 top British female vocalist.  The resulting attention apparently helped her secure a US release via Epic Records:

- 1969's 'I'd Rather Go Blind' b/w 'Close To Me' (Blues Horizon catalog number BH 300) 

- 1969's 'I'd Rather Go Blind' b/w 'Get Like You Use To Be, Close To Me' (Epic catalog number 5-10536)


With backing from Chicken Shack, the single attracted sufficient attention for Blue Horizon to finance an album.  Released amidst a flood of blues-rock material, 1970's "Christine Perfect" (Blue Horizon catalog number 7-63860), was actually a surprisingly impressive and enjoyable artifact, but did little commercially and was quickly forgotten.  Good luck finding an original these days since it's become a high priced collectable.


There was one follow-up 45 in the UK and her solo career came to an end.













- 1970's 'I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around)' b/w 'Close To Me' (Blue Horizon catalog number 57-3172)


So stumble ahead six years.  Perfect's now married to Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie and was herself a member of Fleetwood Mac, having written a number of their biggest recent commercial successes.  To the vaults Batman and out comes 1976's "The Legendary Christine Perfect Album".  A re-release of the 1969 set with a slightly modified cover and new liner notes from Seymour Stein, the album was surprisingly enjoyable.  Yeah, McVie didn't have the most versatile voice you've ever heard (whenever she had to stray from mid-ranges things got difficult) and the predominant genre was blues-rock, rather than the Yacht rock that made Fleetwood Mac a radio mainstay, but Perfect was rare in being one of the few women who was really comfortable working the genre, to say nothing of the fact she was able to stamp her own stylings on much of the material.  The result was a blues-rock album that was actually far more commercial than virtually anything being released at the time.


Not the perfect (ha!) solo debut, but far better than the majority of competitors and as a blues set it was surprisingly accessible and enjoyable.  Worth looking for since you can still find it on the cheap.


"The Legendary Christine Perfect Album" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Crazy 'Bout You Baby   (Williamson) - 3:01   rating: **** stars  

The album opened up with one of the most commercial and rock oriented selections - a blazing cover of 'Crazy 'Bout You Baby'.  Showcasing Perfect's honey-like voice and light touch on electric keyboards, this one could have been a big radio hit.  Always the way the song ended and then jumped back for the close out.

2.) I'm On My Way   (Malone) - 3:08   rating: *** stars

A far more traditional blues number, thanks in large measure to her wonderful, crystal voice 'I'm On My Way' still managed to avoid the patented plodding feel that sunk so much of the era's recordings.

3.) Let Me Go (Leave Me Alone)   (Christine Perfect) - 3:33   rating: **** stars  

My pick for the album's best rocker, the Perfect original 'Let Me Go (Leave Me Alone)' actually had a lot going for it; nice melody, great wah-wah guitar, and Perfect's instantly recognizable voice.  Would have made a good choice for an FM single.    

4.) Wait and See   (Christine Perfect) - 3:12   rating: *** stars

Showcasing Perfect's keyboards and the lower register of her voice, 'Wait and See' was a stark, but pretty ballad that also had considerable commercial potential.  

5.) Close To Me   (Christine Perfect - Rick Hayward) - 2:39   rating: **** stars  

Co-written with Chicken Shack guitarist Rick Hayward 'Close To Me' was a mid-tempo rocker.  More commercial than much of the album, the only real complaint here was that her keyboards sounded like they'd been recorded in a gravel pit.     

6.) I'd Rather Go Blind   (E. Jordan - B. Foster) - 3:14   rating: ***** stars  

Previously released as her debut single 'I'd Rather Go Blind' was a slow blues number.  Normally slow blues don't do a great deal for me and taking on a song that Etta James had made famous was almost suicidal, but Perfect managed to inject the song with a surprisingly commercial soul edge.  The effect wasn't hurt by some great screaming guitar from Rock Hayward (?).  Easy to see why it was picked as a single and my only complaint was that the song faded out just as it was gathering some real steam.  

Sire also saw fit to tap the album for a single:





- 1976's 'I'd Rather Go Blind' b/w 'Get Like You Use To Be Close To Me' (Sire catalog SAA-733)








(side 2)
1.) When You Say   (Danny Kirwan) - 3:14  rating: ** stars

Written by Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan (he also played guitar on the track along with John McVie on bass), 'When You Say' was the most pop-oriented selection.  That said, it was also one of the most labored performances.  Perfect simply didn't sound very comfortable on the song. 

2.) And That's Saying a Lot   (C. Jackson - W. Godfrey) - 2:57  rating: ** stars

'And That's Saying a Lot' was a return to the blues, though with a softer edge than most practitioners.  Still the performance was perfunctory and quite forgettable.  

3.) No Road Is the Right Road   (Christine Perfect) - 2:48  rating: ** stars

Another Perfect original, the up tempo 'No Road Is the Right Road' was one of the album's best compositions, but the results were undermined by a flat vocal from Perfect.  Shame she couldn't have redone it in a different key.  

4.) For You   (Christine Perfect) - 2:44     rating: ** stars

'For You' found Perfect taking a stab at country-blues.  Bad move since she just didn't have the pipes to handle the track.  When she tried to bulk up her voice the results simply came out as sounding shrill.  Giving credit where due, the song did sport some nice slide guitar (Rick Hayward ?).  

5.) I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around)   (C. Otis - B. Hendriks) - 3:25  rating: ** stars

Another straightforward blues number, 'I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around)' was selected as Perfect's second single.  Technically there wasn't anything to complain about here, but the performance wasn't particularly exciting.  No wonder Epic skipped on the opportunity to release it in the States. 

6.) I Want You   (Tony Joe White) - 2:22  rating: ***** stars

The good news was the album ended on a high note with the slinky rocker 'I Want You'.  My personal favorite song, Perfect sounded great on this one, literally spitting out the lyrics.  Backed by some snarling guitar and a pounding rhythm section, the song was exceptionally catchy with a dynamite hook.   Always loved the echo effect at the end of the song and the abrupt ending.  Would have been a far better selection as a single that the other tracks. 



Who knows why, but for some reason in 2008 Sony saw fit to release the Perfect retrospective "Christine Perfect - The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions" (Sony catalog SICP-1870).  It included the original "Christine Perfect" LP and a series of four previously unreleased tracks.  Only the hardcore need apply.


"Christine Perfect - The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions" track listing:

1.) Crazy 'Bout You Baby   (Jacobs) - 3:05

2.) I'm On My Way   (Malone)  - 3:12

3.) Let Me Go (Leave Me Alone) - 3:37

4.) Wait and See   (Christine Perfect)  - 3:17

5.) Close To Me   (Christine Perfect - Rick Hayward)  - 2:43

6.) When You Say   (Danny Kirwan) - 3:18

7.) And That's Saying a Lot   (Christine Perfect) - 2:51

8.) No Road Is the Right Road   (Christine Perfect) - 2:51

9.) For You   (Christine Perfect) - 2:41

10.) I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around)  (C. Otis - B. Hendriks) - 3:28

11.) I Want You   (White) - 2:27

12.) Tell Me You Need Me (previously unreleased)   (Christine Perfect) - 3:23

13.) I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around) (single version)  (C. Otis - B. Hendriks) - 3:19

14.) Hey Baby  (previously unreleased)   (Christine Perfect n- Mike Verb=non - Stan Webb) - 2:36

15.) It's You I Mess (previously unreleased)   (Christine Perfect) - 3:48

16,) Gone Into the Sun (previously unreleased)   (Christine Perfect) - 2:45