Sometimes the first track on a rock album just doesn’t grab you.
Neither does the second.
By the third, though, you’re beginning to absorb what the artist is putting out. You’re starting to dig it.
Soon you’re hooked, and by the time the record is done spinning — or the sequence of digital files has run its course — you’re sorry to see the experience end.
But you’re thankful for that bit of nourishment for your soul.
That’s roughly the case with “Daisy Jones & The Six,” a Prime Video limited series debuting this week that’s based on the 2019 novel of the same name by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
A 10-track affair — the story of a 1970s rock band that rocketed to superstardom based not just on their songs but also on the obvious mutual attraction of their lead vocalists — is inspired by the saga of Fleetwood Mac even if myriad differences exist with the tale of this fictional act. (Reid writes about how, as a child of the 1990s, she came to be interested in Fleetwood Mac during the band’s “The Dance” reunion in a post for the website of the show’s production company, Hello Sunshine.)
Riley Keough’s enchanting-but-self-destructive Daisy Jones, with her flowing dresses and heavy drug use, is a fine stand-in for Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks, while Sam Claflin’s strong-willed and selfish singer-guitarist Billy Dunne works well as the show’s answer to Lindsey Buckingham. And although less crucial to the equation, Suki Waterhouse’s keyboardist Karen Sirko gives off some serious Christine McVie vibes, especially in the character’s later years — a time when the band members are interviewed for a documentary about the meteoric rise and spectacular fall of Daisy Jones & The Six.
In October 1977, Daisy Jones & The Six played a sold-out show at Chicago’s massive Soldier Field. However, they would never perform together again. In the two decades that pass, members of the band and its inner circle have said little about what happened. That is changing as they open up to a probing documentarian.
And so, via this flashback-heavy format, the series goes back in time to the band’s beginnings, minus Daisy, in Pittsburgh, when they were called the Dunne Brothers, as well as to Daisy’s attempts to get noticed as a singer-songwriter.
The first hourlong installment, “Track 1: Come and Get It,” shows some promise, but there isn’t much of a melody yet. The same goes for “Track 2: I’ll Take You There.” However, by “Track 3: Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” with Daisy and Billy entering into the love-hate collaboration that will fuel the band’s success, the show starts to find its groove.
Sooner than later, Billy, a recovering alcoholic, must deal not just with Daisy’s liberal use of pills and, later, cocaine, but also his intense attraction to her. He is, after all, married to Camilla (Camila Morrone), the mother of his very young daughter. Daisy, meanwhile, battles demons that grow more possessive as her substance abuse increases.
Other dramas simmer within the band’s dynamic, including good-natured lead guitarist Graham Dunne (Will Harrison), Billy’s brother, longing for Karen, who seems content to keep him in the bandmate zone.
“Daisy Jones & The Six” also follows the story of disco singer Simone Jackson (Nabiyah Be), who must hide her attraction for women while she struggles to make it in music as a Black woman. Although Simone is Daisy’s best friend, her tale never feels essential to the overall plot, largely existing as an aside.
Mostly, we get Daisy and Billy butting heads, starting from the time their mutual veteran producer, Teddy Price (Tom Wright), introduces Daisy to the band, by then known as The Six, despite there being five of them. Initially, she’s a guest vocalist on a song that becomes a huge hit.
When it’s time for Daisy and Billy to work together full-time, they constantly are at each other’s throats, but they both recognize that something exists in their shared songwriting. (That we never get a scene when the band’s name changes to Daisy Jones & The Six — something Billy surely must have detested — is a bit of a head-scratcher.)
Created by “The Fault in Our Stars” writing team of Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, “Daisy Jones & The Six” is rarely if ever exceptional but, after its slow start, it is consistently entertaining.
Leads Keough (“Logan Lucky”) and Claflin (“Adrift”) sizzle together. Whenever Daisy and Billy are apart, such as during the mildly frustrating “Track 7: She’s Gone,” the show loses its rhythm.
Certainly, a significant part of you wants to see Daisy and Billy get together. However, thanks in part to the delicate performance of Morrone (“Never Goin’ Back”), you feel for the sweet Camilla, who stays at home with her child while her husband is off working ever so intimately with a woman who much of the world — and possibly he — has fallen in love with.
Lastly, Timothy Olyphant (“Justified”) adds a bit of dry fun in the recurring role of Rod Reyes, the band’s ultra-cool tour manager.
One challenge for the show was crafting songs you could buy as big ’70s hits. Wisely, the producers recruited highly regarded musicians — among them were Phoebe Bridgers, Madison Cunningham, Marcus Mumford and Jackson Browne, according to Town & Country — for the task. And while nothing you’ll hear rivals anything on Fleetwood Mac’s iconic 1977 album, “Rumors,” you can imagine spending some time with the soundtrack, set to debut along with the show. There are some catchy numbers here.
Plus, the show makes good use of some actual classic rock tunes, most notably a particularly well-timed “Gold Dust Woman,” a Fleetwood Mac favorite sung by Nicks.
At the end of the day, “Daisy Jones & The Six” is pretty standard rock ‘’n’ roll stuff — sex, drugs and, of course, music.
So go your own way if you choose, but this is a record worth giving a spin.
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