As a co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green (1946-2020) expanded the boundaries of blues-rock and forged a powerful sound on such remarkable compositions as "Black Magic Woman," "Man of the World," "Albatross," and "Oh Well." Despite well-publicized challenges throughout his life and career, Green persevered and made music until the new millennium. Two years ago, Cherry Red's Esoteric Records returned his 1970 Reprise Records solo debut The End of the Game to CD. That album wasn't the end at all, though. In 1979, Green returned on the U.K.'s PVK label with In the Skies, igniting a comeback and a period of relatively prolific recording. Now, In the Skies is returning to CD from Iconoclassic Records for the first time in over a decade-and-a-half in its first-ever expanded edition. It's due on November 18.
Peter's brother Michael was working for Peter Vernon-Kell's PVK label when he suggested that the time might be right for his sibling to embark on a new musical excursion. Fleetwood Mac fever was in the air; as sessions for In the Skies began in 1977, Rumours was taking off. Later that year, former Mac member Bob Welch would score a top ten hit with "Sentimental Lady," a reworking of his Mac oldie with Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, and Lindsey Buckingham on hand. Rather than turn to his old bandmates, however, Peter Green surrounded himself with like-minded friends. The guitarist-singer-songwriter was joined for sessions by Camel keyboardist Peter Bardens (who played with Green and Fleetwood in Shotgun Express), guitarist Snowy White, and members of White's band including bassist Kuma Harada and drummer Reg Isidore (best-known for his work with Robin Trower). The End of the Game drummer Godfrey MacLean also played on one track, and Lennox Langton handled percussion.
Whereas The End of the Game was derived from a free-flowing, evening-long jam session, In the Skies was more structured if equally loose in spirit with its mix of five instrumentals and four vocal songs. Collectively, the new album's material was less intense than that of its predecessor but seemed to showcase Green in a better place. He shared lead guitar duties with White and the overall sound was more relaxed and less harrowing. Still, Green's chops were intact on such standouts as the blues burner "A Fool No More."
Iconoclassic's upcoming reissue has been freshly remastered by Vic Anesini and adds four bonus tracks including the single "Apostle" b/w "Tribal Dance" that preceded the album. The single version of "Tribal Dance" makes its debut here on CD. The bonus selections are rounded out by rehearsal takes of "Slabo Day" and "In the Skies." A 16-page booklet features liner notes by Ralph Chapman drawing on new interviews with Peter Vernon-Kell and surviving musicians Snowy White and Kuma Harada.
Peter Green lived long enough to see his music get the respect it deserved; just months before his death, Mick Fleetwood staged a concert in London at which the illustrious likes of Pete Townshend, Noel Gallagher, David Gilmour, Steven Tyler, Mac alumni Christine McVie and Jeremy Spencer, The Rolling Stones' Bill Wyman, and Peter's old employer John Mayall all performed.
In the Skies returns from Iconoclassic on November 18. You'll find the track listing and pre-order links below.
Peter Green, In the Skies (PVK PVLS 101, 1979 - reissued Iconoclassic ICON 1057, 2022) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- In the Skies
- Slabo Day
- A Fool No More
- Tribal Dance
- Seven Stars
- Funky Chunk
- Just for You
- Proud Pinto
- Apostle (Single Version) (PVK PV-016-A, 1978)
- Tribal Dance (Single Version) (PVK PV-016-B, 1978)
- Slabo Day (Rehearsal Version) (from Snowy White, Goldtop: Groups and Sessions, RPM CD 154, 1995)
- In the Skies (Rehearsal Version) (from Snowy White, Goldtop: Groups and Sessions, RPM CD 154, 1995)
This preview piece had the desired effect -- album preordered!
Looking forward to this. Happy to see Iconoclassic in action