Here is yet another Peter Green collection comprised mainly of material from 1979 through 1983, with the thoroughly enjoyable Fleetwood Mac A-side "Man of the World," from 1969, included for some inexplicable reason. The material here is culled from Green's first return to recording after a six-year hiatus for personal and mental health reasons. The Peter Green who returned to the scene on In the Skies was a leaner and meaner player. His concern was more with the atmospherics of playing blues-inflected material than with the attack of the blues themselves. The opening track from that album, "Slabo Day," with its four-chord repetitive minor-key figure and organic hand percussion, is an anomaly in the Green discography, with the possible exception of "Albatross." Like that track, "Slabo Day" is a showcase for Green's deeply lyrical and mysterious phrasing: taut, open-ended, and razor-sharp. Also from In the Skies come the spooky, mystifying "Just for You," which along with "Black Magic Woman" could have been recorded by Santana, and "A Fool No More," a scathing little blues jam with staccato phrasing that has the wheels coming off the track ever so slowly. And these are indicative. Green upped the production ante a little on his subsequent albums from the period, such as Little Dreamer from 1980, Whatcha Gonna Do? from 1981, White Sky from 1982, and Kolors from 1983, and he continued to develop his singing voice. In fact, cuts such as "Fool No More," "Last Train to San Antone," "Same Old Blues," "Born Under a Bad Sign," and "Gotta See Her Tonight" showcase Green as a consummate British blues singer. These 14 tracks reveal that Green might not have possessed his full self-confidence, but he was restless, adventurous, and in full grasp of his guitaristry. The liner notes by Greg Russo offer a solid if concise documentation of the songs themselves and their respective lineups, and the price is right. This is a true best-of from an overlooked middle period in Green's erratic yet musically wondrous career.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek