Recording information: CBS Studios, London, England (1967).
PETER GREEN'S FLEETWOOD MAC, the band's full-length debut, is miles removed from commercially tailored soft rock of Fleetwood Mac's 1970s incarnation. The '60s version of the band, led by guitarist/singer Peter Green, was edgy, psychedelic, and rooted deeply in the blues. Green's love of revved-up 12-bar jams, raw boogie grooves, and shredding electric leads come together beautifully on this album, with the help of slide guitarist/singer/pianist Jeremy Spencer, drummer Mick Fleetwood, and bassist John McVie.
With the exception of Spencer, the members had played together in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and took the slashing, mercurial sound and lock-step interplay from that outfit and--arguably--improved on it. Though the album is steeped in traditional blues and includes covers of tunes by Robert Johnson ("Hellhound on My Trail"), Howlin' Wolf ("No Place to Go"), and Elmore James ("Got to Move"), the compositions penned by Green and Spencer stand up, especially the subtler singing and playing by Green (as on "Looking for Somebody"). Released at time when the market was glutted with amped-up British blues, PETER GREEN'S FLEETWOOD MAC stands above the competition with its superior musicianship and gutsy punch. It remains a template for hard-driving blues-rock.
Well, after you get to a certain age, you are more likely to buy old favorites than to find something new. I've always been a blues fan, but generally the blues I like are Delta blues by singers who are, or sound like, actual old Delta guys. I mean, I appreciate Eric Clapton and others for rediscovering and republicizing these great old songs. But I just don't connect with the British blues singers. And: I regard a number of Fleetwood Mac's songs as rock anthems, songs everybody should own. I was poking around on iTunes deciding which old Fleetwood Mac anthems I loved enough to buy for my iPod, and hadn't heard too many times already, and, of course, the way iTunes' search works, I could hardly miss Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. It's seldom that iTunes out-obscures Amazon, but here's one. Amazon (at least, as I write this) has no samples of this CD; go to iTunes and listen to some samples. You might actually like it well enough to buy the whole CD. Otherwise, I bet you'll find several cuts you can't do without: particularly, Moneymaker and Cold Black Night. And be sure to check out Tallahassee Lassie. Really outdoes Freddy Cannon.
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1. My Heart Beats Like A Hammer
2. Merry Go Round
3. Long Grey Mare
4. Hellbound On My Trail
5. Shake Your Moneymaker
6. Looking For Somebody
7. No Place To Go
8. My Baby's Good To Me
9. I Loved Another Woman
10. Cold Black Night
11. World Keeps On Turning, The
12. Got To Move
13. My Heart Beat Like A Hammer (Take 1)
14. Merry Go Round (Take 1)
15. I Loved Another Woman (Takes 1,2,3 & 4)
16. I Loved Another Woman (Takes 5 & 6)
17. Cold Black Night (Takes 1,2,3,4,5 & 6)
18. You're So Evil
19. I'm Coming Home To Stay
Peter Green (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
Jeremy Spencer (vocals, slide guitar)
John McVie, Bob Brunning (bass guitar)
Mick Fleetwood (drums).