In September of 1969, Fleetwood Mac’s third studio album Then Play On was released. It was the first of their original albums to feature Danny Kirwan and the last with Peter Green. Jeremy Spencer did not feature on the album apart from “a couple of piano things” (according to Mick Fleetwood in Q magazine in 1990). The record, appearing after the group’s sudden success in the pop charts, offered a broader stylistic range than the classic blues of the group’s first two albums. The title is taken from Duke Orsino’s opening line, “If music be the food of love, then play on,” from William Shakespeare’s comedy play Twelfth night.
This was the band’s first release with Warner/Reprise after being lured away from Blue Horizon and a one-off with Immediate Records. Forty years on, Fleetwood Mac remain with Warner. The album, which at its original UK release had an unusually long running time, has been released with four different song line-ups. The original CD compiled all songs from the two US LP versions, both of which omitted tracks from the original UK version. In August 2013, a remastered edition of the album was reissued on vinyl and CD, restoring its original 1969 UK track listing. This version reached No. 112 on the UK Albums chart.