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Future Games
Studio album by
Released3 September 1971
RecordedJune–August 1971
Studio Advision, London
Label Reprise
Producer Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac chronology
The Original Fleetwood Mac
Future Games
Greatest Hits
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic [2]
Christgau's Record GuideB [3]

Future Games is the fifth studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 3 September 1971. It was recorded in the summer of 1971 at Advision Studios in London [4] and was the first album to feature Christine McVie as a full member. This album was also the first of five albums to feature American guitarist Bob Welch. "He was totally different background – R&B, sort of jazzy. He brought his personality," Mick Fleetwood said of Welch in a 1995 BBC interview. "He was a member of Fleetwood Mac before we'd even played a note." [5]

The album peaked at number 91 on the US Billboard 200 chart dated 18 December 1971. [6] The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2000. [7]


After founder and original bandleader Peter Green departed Fleetwood Mac in May 1970, the remaining members recorded the album Kiln House, with bassist John McVie's wife Christine Perfect being a major collaborator during the sessions. She was soon promoted to full-time membership as the band's keyboardist, and began writing and singing her own material with them. While the band was touring the Kiln House album, guitarist and vocalist Jeremy Spencer abruptly quit the band in February 1971 to join the Children of God, a Christian new religious movement founded by David Berg. Fleetwood Mac held auditions for a replacement during the summer and eventually selected Bob Welch after hearing his demo tape. [8]

Without Spencer's Chicago blues and 1950s rock and roll leanings, the band moved further away from blues and closer to the melodic pop sound that would finally break them into America four years later. After the band completed the album and turned it in, the record label said that it would not release an album with only seven songs, and demanded that they record an eighth. "What a Shame" was recorded hastily as a jam to fulfill this request. [9]

Welch's primary guitar at the time was a Gibson ES-345, which he played on the record along with a Fender Stratocaster. [10]

Track notes

There is an early version of "Morning Rain" with the title "Start Again", as recorded in a BBC session on 5 January 1971. [11]

"What a Shame" featured saxophone from Christine McVie's brother John Perfect whose son Dan later co-produced and featured as guitarist/co-writer on McVie's 2004 album In the Meantime.

The title track, written by then-newcomer Bob Welch, [12] was later re-recorded for his 1979 solo album The Other One and again for His Fleetwood Mac Years & Beyond in 2003. The original version is featured in the 2000 movie Almost Famous.

A heavily edited version of "Sands of Time" (b/w "Lay It All Down") was an unsuccessful single in the United States and some other territories. An alternate version of "Lay It All Down" appeared on the 1992 compilation 25 Years – The Chain. The single edit of "Sands of Time" was released on the deluxe edition of the 50 Years – Don't Stop compilation in 2018 and later as a bonus track on the 2020 remastered Future Games from the 1969-1974 box set. Also included on the remastered Future Games from this box set were alternate versions of "Sometimes" and "Show Me a Smile", a much longer alternate version of "Lay It All Down", the full jam of "What a Shame" which included vocals, plus an acoustic demo of another Welch song, "Stone". [13]

Four of the eight tracks were written or co-written by guitarist and vocalist Danny Kirwan.


The image on the front cover was photographed by Mick Fleetwood's sister, Sally. On the back are individual shots of the band members, with the exception of John McVie, who instead opted to replace his headshot with one of his photographs of a penguin from the London Zoo, which he visited on a near-daily basis. [4] Early UK and American releases of this album, along with some other country's issues, have a yellow background to the picture of the two children and cover text. All subsequent releases have a green background. The 2013 vinyl reissue by Warner/Rhino available in the Fleetwood Mac: 1969 to 1972 4-LP box set restores the original yellow background to the album artwork, and it was released as a standalone LP two years later. The 1969-1974 CD box set also restores the original yellow background to the album artwork.

Release and reception

Charts and commercial performance

Future Games debuted at number 186 on the US Billboard 200 chart dated 30 October 1971. [14] The album reached its peak at number 91 on the chart dated 18 December 1971, after being on the chart for eight weeks. [6] The album ultimately spent a total of 12 weeks on the chart. [15] On 4 October 2000, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over 500,000 copies in the United States. [7]

Track listing

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Woman of 1000 Years" Danny KirwanKirwan5:28
2."Morning Rain" Christine McVieC. McVie5:38
3."What a Shame" Bob Welch, Kirwan, C. McVie, John McVie, Mick Fleetwoodinstrumental2:20
4."Future Games"WelchWelch8:18
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Sands of Time"KirwanKirwan7:23
3."Lay It All Down"WelchWelch4:30
4."Show Me a Smile"C. McVieC. McVie3:21
2020 Remastered bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
9."Sands of Time" (Single Version)KirwanKirwan3:04
10."Sometimes" (Alternate Version)KirwanKirwan5:25
11."Lay It All Down" (Alternate Version)WelchWelch8:18
13."Show Me a Smile" (Alternate Version)C. McVieC. McVie3:23
14."What a Shame" (Unedited)Welch, Kirwan, C. McVie, J. McVie, FleetwoodKirwan, Welch8:28

Notes: The song timings listed here are not as indicated on all LPs/CDs, since some of the timings on some releases are inaccurate. On some versions of the album (depending on the country of issue), the notes state that the track "Woman of 1000 Years" runs for 8:20, when in fact it runs for 5:28. Similarly, "Morning Rain" is listed as 6:22 and runs for 5:38, while the track "Sometimes" is listed to run for 6:25 and only runs for 5:26. [16]

The opening track was titled "Woman of 1000 Years" on original UK, European and Japanese vinyl pressings, and original cassettes, 8-track cartridges and CD releases in the US, Japan and Europe. It was shown as "Woman of a Thousand Years" on vinyl pressings in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, some European vinyl reissues, as well as later CD releases. Some vinyl releases differed between record sleeve and label.


Fleetwood Mac

Additional personnel



Chart (1971) Peak
US Billboard 200 [17] 91


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States ( RIAA) [18] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  • Bob Brunning, Fleetwood Mac: The First 30 Years, Omnibus Press, London, 1998, ISBN  978-0-71196-907-0


  1. ^ Holtje, Steve (1998). "Fleetwood Mac". In Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds.). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. p. 444-434.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: F". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN  089919026X. Retrieved 24 February 2019 – via
  4. ^ a b 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.
  5. ^ Swanson, Dave (3 September 2016). "45 Years Ago: Fleetwood Mac Play 'Future Games'". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Billboard 200 – December 18, 1971". Billboard. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b "RIAA Certifications - Fleetwood Mac". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  8. ^ Brunning, B (1998): Fleetwood Mac – The First 30 Years. London: Omnibus Press p37
  9. ^ "Deep Dive: Fleetwood Mac, FUTURE GAMES | Rhino". Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  10. ^ Saulnier, Jason (4 May 2010). "Bob Welch Interview, Fleetwood Mac Guitarist on Nashville Flood". Music Legends Online. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  11. ^ Live at the BBC 5-1-71 (CD running order). Fleetwood Mac. Reprise. 1971.{{ cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) ( link)
  12. ^ Fricke, David (21 June 2012). "Bob Welch's Missing Music: The Fleetwood Mac Years". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  13. ^ Lewry, Peter (1998). Fleetwood Mac: The Complete Recording Sessions 1967–1997. Blandford. p. 52. ISBN  0-7137-2724-1.
  14. ^ "Billboard 200 - October 30, 1971". Billboard. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Billboard Chart History - Fleetwood Mac". Billboard. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  16. ^ Future Games (CD booklet notes). Fleetwood Mac. Reprise. 1971.{{ cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) ( link)
  17. ^ "Fleetwood Mac Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
  18. ^ "American album certifications – Fleetwood Mac – Future Games". Recording Industry Association of America.