RIP Peter Green

I wouldn’t normally post on two consecutive days, but yesterday saw the loss of one of the greatest guitarists this country – or any other – has produced. Most people of my generation were probably introduced to his music by his band’s number one hit Albatross, but there was much more to Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac – to give them their full name – than that. I have loved this guy’s music since the very early days, and it seems right that I mark his passing, as I have done with some of my other musical heroes. Sadly, we are all getting older, and those passings are much more frequent than I’d like!

As my tribute, I’m sharing six of the band’s early singles, in chronological order. All were only released at the time as singles, though they have of course featured on many compilations since then. They take me back to the days when bands treated the singles chart as being at least as important as the albums chart – just think how many of the Beatles’ #1 hits weren’t originally on albums and you’ll get my drift.

Their first foray into the top 40 was actually their third single, the previous two having done little in sales terms. This one was my introduction to the band:

It may come as a surprise to some to learn that Carlos Santana didn’t write that song: Peter Green did, and it’s a great showcase for his bluesy voice and superb guitar playing. Released in early 1968, it reached #37 in the UK charts.

Their next single fared slightly better, reaching #31. I wonder if something as soulful as this would reach the top 40 today, amongst all the autotuned nonentities:

Their third hit of 1968 was the one with which they hit the big time, so much so, in fact, that I didn’t need to buy the record – my Mum beat me to it. Talk about a crossover!

That piece of simple beauty reached #1 in summer 1968. Sadly, the US never ‘got’ this incarnation of the band, but they were important here in the UK and two members retained their part of the name for the later version that we know as Fleetwood Mac.

The band had another two UK hit singles in 1969 (out of three releases). This was the first of those:

That reached #2 in the UK. It is, I think, one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and is still one of my top two all time favourite songs, more than fifty years on.

They also had a #2 hit with their next single:

I love the way Peter has to pause for a moment’s thought before announcing the song, and the wry smile when he remembers the title! That was the only one of their singles to chart in the US, attaining a peak of #55. It took a further five years, several changes in band membership, and a change in style before the new version of the band broke big across the pond.

The original line up’s final UK hit came in 1970:

That got as high as #10. It features some wonderful guitar playing, and has a kind of eerie menace about it which I think is great. I remember getting home after buying the single and asking my Mum if she wanted to hear the new record by the ‘Albatross band.’ It lifted her out of her chair!

RIP Peter Green. Thank you for the music, which lives on.

41 thoughts on “RIP Peter Green

    • Clive August 4, 2020 / 7:13 pm

      Thanks, Robbie. The huge success of the later version of the band tended to overshadow this era, but those of us who grew up with them know how good they were. Peter Green had a difficult life – addiction and mental health issues – but he was always a superb guitarist.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Stevie Turner August 1, 2020 / 2:04 pm

    I only really got into FM after Peter Green had left, but then i listened to the early songs such as you’ve put on here, and loved them. I’ve been to several FM concerts and enjoyed their gig at the Isle of Wight Festival a few years back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive August 1, 2020 / 2:15 pm

      I think the huge success of the reshaped band rather eclipsed the earlier version, which is a shame. As you say, they made some great music, and I don’t think they’ve ever bettered Man Of The World, though Songbird runs it close. I’m jealous: I’ve never seen any incarnation of the band live!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clive August 1, 2020 / 2:22 pm

        Another lovely song – from an underrated album. You don’t have to look far through their catalogue to find them, do you?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Stevie Turner August 1, 2020 / 2:36 pm

        I don’t think there’s any songs that I dislike. I’ve seen them at Wembley a couple of times too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive August 1, 2020 / 2:40 pm

        Hard to find one! You’ve done well to see them so many times.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Stevie Turner August 1, 2020 / 2:52 pm

        Ha ha, pre-Covid. Doesn’t look as though I’ll be going to any concerts in the near future…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive August 1, 2020 / 2:54 pm

        Sadly, not. Even more so after yesterday’s latest COVID rules change from the home of the undecided.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Clive July 28, 2020 / 8:29 am

      Many thanks for reblogging!

      Like

    • Clive July 27, 2020 / 1:52 pm

      He was, and they were. Much as I like the later version, nothing quite matches the raw power of the original line up.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Clive July 26, 2020 / 11:09 pm

      Thanks, Diane, glad you enjoyed it 😊

      Like

  2. petespringerauthor July 26, 2020 / 4:53 pm

    You’re right, Clive, I had no idea of the long history of Fleetwood Mac. I didn’t become a fan until Rumors.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jim Borden July 26, 2020 / 5:09 pm

      I’m with Pete. I also only found about Fleetwood Mac when they released their White Album – one of my all-time favorite albums. Sounds like they had a prequel act…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clive July 26, 2020 / 6:12 pm

        By ‘White Album’ I’m guessing you mean the one called just ‘Fleetwood Mac?’ That was the first one with the Buckingham-Nicks axis. I actually prefer it to Rumours, but that probably makes me odd! The earlier band was a bit different from the multi-million selling ensemble.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden July 26, 2020 / 9:43 pm

        Yes, that was their first one with Buckingham-Nicks. That’s a tough call between this album and Rumors. But the White album does have Landslide on it, one of my all-time favorite songs…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive July 26, 2020 / 9:52 pm

        A lovely song, and the version by The Chicks is good, too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden July 26, 2020 / 10:24 pm

        I think you made me aware of the Chicks great version a little while ago!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive July 26, 2020 / 10:26 pm

        Not sure that was me but I’m always happy to take the credit for someone else’s efforts 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive July 27, 2020 / 2:53 pm

        We even have an award for it. Our honours system (knighthoods and the like) has one called the OBE, generally known as standing for Other Buggers’ Efforts 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive July 27, 2020 / 2:59 pm

        It really stands for the Officer level of the Order of the British Empire. Never let it be said that we Brits are behind the times 😂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Clive July 26, 2020 / 6:08 pm

      I think most on that side of the pond would be with you on that, Pete. And Rumours wasn’t their first album with that line up, either. You may know the songs Rhiannon and Say You Love Me, both of which were on the remade group’s ‘debut,’ which was simply called Fleetwood Mac. Those earlier days haven’t been forgotten by those of us who were fans at the beginning, though!

      Like

  3. clivebennett796 July 26, 2020 / 12:35 pm

    I so totally agree – he was a music genius! I bought ‘Albatross’ ostensibly for my Mum but I think I played it more than she did. I think I listened to the ‘B’ side more though and this is still my all time favourite song – ‘Man of the World’! Yes RIP Peter Green. Thanks for posting Clive and reminding me of some music from an almost forgotten past!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive July 26, 2020 / 12:40 pm

      Jigsaw Puzzle Blues, if my memory serves me well? I played that side more than my Mum did! Glad you liked the post – the least a legend deserves, I think 👍

      Liked by 1 person

      • clivebennett796 July 26, 2020 / 12:53 pm

        You’re right of course – my memory not as sharp as it should be. I used to play both back to back – hence the confusion!

        Liked by 1 person

      • clivebennett796 July 26, 2020 / 1:00 pm

        Prior to this my other two all time favourites were ‘Concrete and Clay ‘ by Unit 4+2 and this time it is the ‘B’ side – ‘I knew I’d Want You’ by the Byrds – the ‘A’ side being their version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Mr Tambourine Man’

        Liked by 1 person

      • clivebennett796 July 26, 2020 / 1:15 pm

        Likewise Clive. One other song that now comes to mind from around that time was ‘Heart Full of Soul’ by the Yardbirds with Jeff Beck replacing Eric Clapton and before Jimmy Page … What an era that was.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive July 26, 2020 / 1:35 pm

        Never bettered. 65 to 75 saw some great music.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thom Hickey July 26, 2020 / 12:19 pm

    Good to read such a heartfelt tribute to a true music master.

    Regards Thom

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive July 26, 2020 / 12:23 pm

      Thanks, Thom. His music has meant a lot to me for over fifty years.

      Have a good day.

      Liked by 1 person

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