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Green, Peter - 1979 In The Skies

ARTIST: Green, Peter
ALBUM: In The Skies
LABEL: PVK Records
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2005 Castle Music CMEED 1116


LINEUP: Peter Green - vocals, guitars * Snowy White - guitar * Peter Bardens - keyboards, hammond organ, electric piano * Kuma Harada - bass * Reg Isidore, Godfrey Maclean - drums * Lenox Langton - percussion, congas, bongos, timbales

TRACK LISTING: 01 In The Skies * 02 Slabo Day * 03 A Fool No More * 04 Tribal Dance * 05 Seven Stars * 06 Funky Chunk * 07 Just For You * 08 Proud Pinto * 09 Apostle


Peter Green is rightfully considered one of the greatest guitar players of all-time and was cited by the late Jimi Hendrix and Gary Moore, as well as the still breathing Joe Perry, Eric Clapton and Tony Iommi as a major influence. Yet despite the accolades from his contemporaries and critics alike, the musician and founding member of Fleetwood Mac has had a troubled life. During a 1970 European tour following the release of Mac's brilliant 'Then Play On' album, Green experienced an LSD trip that apparently went terribly wrong and subsequently underwent treatment for schizophrenia among other issues for the better part of a decade.

The Songs
And so it was a surprise when 'In The Skies' appeared in shops in the spring of 1979. It was Green's first solo LP since the directionless 'The End Of The Game' nine years previous and times had changed. Fleetwood Mac had become one of the biggest bands in the world and a radically different beast to the blues rock extravaganza Green fronted in the late 60's. The guitarist had moved on as well, finding God, cleaning up his life and with the help of his brother, scored a deal with the little-known PVK label. The resulting album with Thin Lizzy's Snowy White and keyboardist extraordinaire Peter Bardens on board is a beautiful piece of work with Green's playing as sweet and soulful as it ever. Kicking off with the languid Latin influenced title track and sounding very much like Santana, this might seem like plagiarism to the uniformed but it's important to remember the classic 'Black Magic Woman' was written by Green, recorded by Fleetwood Mac in late 1968 and he joined Carlos & crew for a memorable performance of the gazillion-selling tune at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 30 years later. 'Slabo Day' and the brooding 'A Fool No More' are perfect vehicles for Green's playing style while 'Tribal Dance' is more percussive and upbeat, almost verging on disco but thankfully not quite getting there. The poppy 'Seven Stars' co-written with his soon to be ex-wife Jane Green shows Peter could still hammer out great hooks but it's the closing classically influenced instrumental 'Apostle' that encapsulates the guitarist's warm, sensitive tone and why his approach is so unlike his better known peers. Of note PVK released 'Apostle' as a single the previous year with a very different mix which included choir-like vocals.

In Summary
Green put out a string of records in the 80's, though not nearly as good as 'In The Skies' but acceptable nonetheless. Medical issues have persisted and although he did a bit of touring between 2009-10 as Peter Green & Friends, not a lot has been heard from the man in the years since which is a shame.

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