Peter Green

Alone with the Blues

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Peter Green was a great talent but put out very erratic records, and never recaptured the brilliance of his best work with the early Fleetwood Mac. This compilation, though drawing from both solo and Fleetwood Mac recordings, is far from the best way to sample or even gain some appreciation for his music. The track selection is so haphazard, and so concentrated on the margins of his discography, that Alone with the Blues doesn't often showcase Green at his best, leaving the impression that the pool of possibilities to be licensed was severely limited. Just two of the songs -- "Jumping at Shadows" and "Sandy Mary" -- are performed by Fleetwood Mac, and while they're good, these live February 1970 tracks have been available on a number of other releases. As for the three lo-fi late-'60s duets with fellow British bluesman Duster Bennett, their placement on any Peter Green compilation other than a rarity-oriented one is downright peculiar; they're of interest to serious fans and collectors, but too informal and poorly recorded to merit high praise. The rest of the CD is devoted to cuts culled from Green's solo releases of the late '70s and early '80s, and while these contained more acceptable stuff than many listeners acknowledge, they didn't approach the fire and inspiration that Green brought to his Fleetwood Mac days. At times, the rough-hewn vocals and silvery blues-rock guitar work approaches the special soul he was capable of mustering, as on the Santana-esque instrumental "Tribal Dance" and the slow-burning blues "A Fool No More"; at others, he sounds like he's just going through the motions; and on yet others, there's a misguided attempt to follow trends (as on the mildly disco-fied "Loser Two Times"). The documentation on the packaging, too, is wholly inadequate, offering hardly any recording dates or original release info.

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