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Bare Trees
Studio album by
Released6 March 1972 [1]
Studio De Lane Lea, London
(apart from track 10, recorded at Mrs Scarrott's home in Hampshire)
Label Reprise
Producer Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac chronology
Future Games
Bare Trees

Bare Trees is the sixth studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in March 1972. It was their last album to feature Danny Kirwan, who was fired during the album's supporting tour. In the wake of the band's success in the mid-1970s, Bare Trees peaked at number 70 on US Billboard Top LPs & Tape chart. [3] The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1988. [4]

Mick Fleetwood was particularly impressed with Kirwan's contributions to the album, saying that "Danny had the chops with layering techniques, and the ability to know what's right and wrong in the studio". [5]

Track notes

"Child of Mine" alludes to Kirwan's biological father not having been part of his life (Kirwan was his stepfather's surname). "The Ghost" was later re-recorded by Bob Welch for His Fleetwood Mac Years and Beyond, Vol. 2 in 2006, but this version was only available on the digital edition. The flute noises on "The Ghost" were triggered from a mellotron played by Christine McVie. [6] "Homeward Bound" alludes to McVie's road weariness and desire "for a proper night's rest in her own bed", according to Fleetwood. [7] "Sunny Side of Heaven" is an instrumental, which was later performed with Lindsey Buckingham on guitar for some shows in the mid-1970s. [8]

"Bare Trees" shares a theme with both the album's cover photography by John McVie and the closing poem "Thoughts On a Grey Day." " Sentimental Lady" was released as a single, and was later re-recorded by Welch (with Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, and Buckingham backing him) for his solo album French Kiss. Welch recorded the song again for His Fleetwood Mac Years & Beyond in 2003. "Danny's Chant" features the use of wah-wah guitars. The track is largely an instrumental, although it does feature rhythmic, wordless vocals from Kirwan.

"Spare Me a Little of Your Love" became a staple of the band's live act from 1972 to 1977. It was also covered by Johnny Rivers on his studio album New Lovers and Old Friends in 1975. [9] Jackie DeShannon recorded a version for her 1972 album Jackie although this did not make the final cut and was not released on her All the Love: The Lost Atlantic Recordings album. [10] The lyrics for "Dust" were taken from the first two verses of a poem of the same title, written by Rupert Brooke in 1910. [11] Unlike W H Davies, who received a credit for the words to " Dragonfly", Brooke was not credited.

The final track on the album, "Thoughts on a Grey Day", is not a Fleetwood Mac song, but a monaural recorded poem written and read by an elderly woman, Mrs. Scarrott, who lived near the band's communal home, 'Benifold', in southern England. Bob Welch, however, said in a Penguin Q&A in 1999, "The spoken thing Mick does about 'Trees so bare' was written, I think, by this sweet old lady that lived near Benifold ... Mick did an affectionate 'schtick' on her to close the album." [12]

Five of the ten tracks, comprising the majority of the music featured on the album, were written by Kirwan. "Trinity", another Kirwan song recorded at the sessions, was subsequently released in 1992 on the 25 Years – The Chain box set in stereo. [13] The 2020 remastered edition of Bare Trees from the 1969 to 1974 CD box set features the track in an alternate mono mix, alongside the US single mix of "Sentimental Lady", and a live recording of "Homeward Bound".

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic [14]
CreemB+ [15]
Rolling Stone(favourable) [16]

Commercial performance

Bare Trees debuted at number 175 on US Billboard 200 chart dated 22 April 1972. [17] The album reached its peak at number 70 on the chart dated 3 June 1972, after being on the chart for seven weeks. [18] The album ultimately spent a total of 27 weeks on the chart. [3]

On 9 February 1988, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over a million copies in the United States. [4]

Track listing

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Child of Mine" Danny KirwanKirwan5:09
2."The Ghost" Bob WelchWelch3:58
3."Homeward Bound" Christine McVieC. McVie3:20
4."Sunny Side of Heaven"Kirwaninstrumental3:10
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
5."Bare Trees"KirwanKirwan5:02
6." Sentimental Lady"WelchWelch4:35
7."Danny's Chant"KirwanKirwan3:16
8."Spare Me a Little of Your Love"C. McVieC. McVie3:44
10."Thoughts on a Grey Day"Mrs. ScarrottMrs. Scarrott1:46
2020 Remastered bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
11."Trinity" (Mono Version)KirwanKirwan4:08
12."Sentimental Lady" (Single Version)WelchWelch3:02
13."Homeward Bound" (Live)C. McVieC. McVie6:51


Fleetwood Mac

Additional personnel

  • "Special thanks to Mrs Scarrott for her readings, recorded at her home in Hampshire."



Chart (1972) Peak
Australian Kent Music Report [19] 37
US Billboard 200 [20] 70


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States ( RIAA) [21] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "RIAA". Recording Industry Association of America.
  2. ^ Molanphy, Chris (14 January 2023). "Thinking About Tomorrow Edition". Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia (Podcast). Slate. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Billboard Chart History - Fleetwood Mac". Billboard. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b "RIAA Certifications - Fleetwood Mac". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  5. ^ Farber, Jim. "Fleetwood Mac's Forgotten Hero". Music Aficionado. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Bob Welch Q&A Session, November 1999". Archived from the original on 26 October 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  7. ^ Fleetwood, Mick; Bozza, Anthony (October 2014). Play On (first ed.). New York, NY: Little Brown and Company. pp. 136–137. ISBN  978-0-316-40342-9.
  8. ^ Doerschuk, Bob. "From the Archive: Christine McVie". KeyboardMag. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Johnny Rivers - New Lovers and Old". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 December 2023.
  10. ^ "All the Love: The Lost Atlantic Recordings | Rhino". 21 August 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2023.
  11. ^ "148. Dust. Rupert Brooke. Modern British Poetry". Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  12. ^ "The Penguin Q&A Sessions: Bob Welch, November 8–21, 1999". The Penguin. 21 November 1999. Archived from the original on 10 January 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  13. ^ Lewry, Peter (1998). Fleetwood Mac: The Complete Recording Sessions 1967–1997. Blandford. p. 52. ISBN  0-7137-2724-1.
  14. ^ Mason, Stewart. "Bare Trees – Fleetwood Mac". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2006.
  15. ^ Christgau, Robert (August 1972). "The Christgau Consumer Guide". Creem. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  16. ^ Scoppa, Bud (8 June 1972). "Fleetwood Mac Bare Trees > Album Review". Rolling Stone. No. 110. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  17. ^ "Billboard 200 - April 22, 1972". Billboard. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Billboard 200 - June 3, 1972". Billboard. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  19. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN  0-646-11917-6.
  20. ^ "Fleetwood Mac Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
  21. ^ "American album certifications – Fleetwood Mac – Bare Trees". Recording Industry Association of America.