Fleetwood Mac / Peter Green

Live at the BBC

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A substantial (and official) supplement to the band's recorded legacy with Peter Green, this double CD features 36 songs broadcast between 1967 and 1971, in mostly superlative sound. The title, though, isn't 100 percent accurate; half a dozen tracks were recorded shortly after Green left the band, and since Green is still listed as part of the lineup for all but one of these in the liner notes, Castle Communications either has the dates or personnel wrong. Anyway, the music gives a good idea of the range of the band in their earliest, and by many accounts, best incarnation. It is not, however, all blues-rock by any means; quite a few of these are given over to Jeremy Spencer-dominated parodies of '50s rock, and while these are entertaining in a modest fashion, the best moments, unsurprisingly, are when guitarists Danny Kirwan and (more particularly) Green play their own material. Some of Green's most well-known compositions from the era are here ("Man of the World," "Albatross," "Rattlesnake Shake," and "Oh Well"), and in the usual BBC tradition, these have a sparer and rougher feel than the studio versions, though they don't either match or redefine them. "Preachin'," "Preachin' Blues," and "Early Morning Come" are otherwise unavailable showcases for Spencer, Green, and Kirwan, respectively, that demonstrate their facility with no-nonsense, down-home blues when they got in a serious mood. While this isn't as essential a collection as Then Play On or the numerous best-of anthologies covering the Peter Green era, it presents more solid evidence of the band's skills in both blues-rock and surprisingly straight rock (a cover of Tim Hardin's "Hang on to a Dream" is the surprise find of the set), though some may find the detours into comedy and '50s rock irksome.

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