In February of 1971, while Fleetwood Mac was on tour in California, Jeremy Spencer departed from the band without warning and joined a Christian colony known as the Children of God, forcing Danny Kirwan even more to the forefront. Bob Welch, an American guitarist and songwriter, was quickly brought into the band, and in September, 1971, they released a new album, Future Games. The first track on Future Games, “Woman of 1000 Years,” a song written and sung by Danny Kirwan, shows his musical skill at its best, conveying an otherworldly mood with delicate layers of guitars and voices. “Sands of Time,” another song by Danny Kirwan, also has a dreamlike texture. His other song on the album, “Sometimes,” is a tuneful expression of regret, sung with sweetness and melancholy.
Bare Trees was released in 1972, and was the last album by Fleetwood Mac to include the songs and musicianship of Danny Kirwan. His five songs on Bare Trees display an undeniable degree of depth and maturity, making up the core of the album. “Child of Mine” and “Bare Trees” are driving rockers with solid riffs. “Sunny Side of Heaven” is a wordless composition that floats along on shimmery waves of graceful beauty. “Danny’s Chant” is a bold workout for guitar and wah-wah, combined with a free-form vocal. “Dust” is a plaintive setting of a poem by Rupert Brooke. It appeared that Danny Kirwan’s ability to write and perform music was gaining in strength, but in his private life, he had begun to fall apart.
The reasons for the decline and breakdown of Danny Kirwan are not entirely clear, but by all accounts, he never had been an easygoing or well-balanced person. His withdrawn temperament was ill-suited to the harsh obligations of fame and business, which frequently is the case with talented people. In addition, he was known to be drinking heavily, and his excessive consumption of alcohol undoubtedly had a harmful effect on his situation.