Songs I Like A Lot: “Sunny Side of Heaven” by Fleetwood Mac

Just one of many great songs from the classic album “Bare Trees”, when the masterful and mercurial Danny Kirwan was the main musical influence in the band.

Kirwan’s “Sunny Side of Heaven” is instrumental, melodic, and positively hypnotic. If you’ve never heard any Fleetwood Mac from before Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined the band, you ought to check into this song, and the rest of “Bare Trees”. Musically, there is a lot going on here; I first heard it back in 1977-8, and it still sounds fresh each time I listen to it today, 30 years later.

Last night I went running, and chose “Bare Trees” as my listening companion. I found it to be perfect for running or working out, because it is that rare combination: equal parts musical power and energy, beautiful melody, grunge guitar workout, calm peaceful interludes, and solid songwriting. It sounds good on earphones, too.

You can have your 23 minute Grateful Dead jams; I’ll take a beautiful, perfectly constructed 3+ minute instrumental like “Sunny Side of Heaven”, thanks.

As I’ve learned over the years, the trick is knowing where to leave the spaces between the notes.

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