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Fleetwood Mac- Mr. Wonderful
Aug 1968

Peter Green/Guitar & Vocals, Jeremy Spencer/Slide Guitar & Vocals, Christine Perfect/Piano, John McVie/Bass, Mick Fleetwood/Drums

1. Stop Messin' Round (Green) - 2:22
2. I've Lost My Baby (Spencer) - 4:18
3. Rollin' Man (Adams/Green) - 2:54
4. Dust My Broom (James/Johnson) - 2:54
5. Love That Burns (Green) - 5:04
6. Doctor Brown (Glasco) - 3:48
7. Need Your Love Tonight (Spencer) - 3:29
8. If You Be My Baby (James) - 3:54
9. Evenin' Boogie (Spencer) - 2:42
10. Lazy Poker Blues (Green) - 2:37
11. Coming Home - 2:41
12. Trying So Hard to Forget (Green) - 4:47

Review (by Tommy Chung)
"Mr. Wonderful" together with "Bluesbreakers John Mayall and Eric Clapton" form simply the cream of British Blues. Nothing recorded before or after these two recordings by anyone in England even came close. When Eric Clapton left John Mayall after one recording, John Mayall got Peter Green to fill Eric's shoes. What shoes to fill! But Peter Green came of with flying colours in "A Hard Road" London B20-474-2. Audience at John Mayall shows were reportedly jerring at Peter Green at the start of the shows, but their mouths dropped after the first note from Peter. I can believe that.

When Peter Green left John Mayall, he took with him Mick Fleetwood. Then he got Mick's old friend John McVie to play bass. In these two, Peter Green found the best Blues rhythm section in England. In fact I think these two were one of the best Blues rhythm section in the world. Peter Green's first recording was released in around 1976 (I cannot remember the exact date now), simply called "Fleetwood Mac" Epic ESCA 5420, commonly know as "the one with the dustbin cover". It was a very interesting recording featuring the Elmore James maniac Jeremy Spencer. But "Mr. Wonderful" was truly the flagship of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. For a start, the rhythm section was scalding hot. You listen to the drums and bass on Dust My Broom. Mick Fleetwood and John McVie were doing the simplest shuffle beat on the bass and drums. Snare drum on the two and four, no drum rolls, no fill-ins and a rock steady bass. The "monotony" of the rhythm section just gets under your skin, it laid the foundation and feel for the song. To get the right groove, you have to start with the rhythm section. If they overplay, that's the end of it. They have to be simple, steady and play with feel. Simple but very, very difficult. The rhythm section drives me up the wall. When I heard the first few bars of the first song Stop Messing Around, I knew I was not just listening to any ordinary Blues record by an average Blues band. Rock solid bass from McVie and that tinny dead-in-the-eye snare drum by Mick Fleetwood, there was nothing like it.

There is no dispute that Eric Clapton and Peter Green (maybe Mick Taylor as well) were the finest of Blues players in England. The difference between Clapton and Green is style and feel. Clapton's chops and licks on the John Mayall recording were so good it almost sounded inhuman. Clapton was simply clinical, not unlike a professor discoursing on a serious subject, dissecting the most delicate argument and unfolding the most difficult Blues licks with a piece of chalk on a blackboard. With Peter, it was more a matter of feel. There is nothing clinical in "Mr. Wonderful," Green's licks were much easier to follow; you will know what I mean if you are a guitar player. But it is Peter's guitar licks that are more difficult to perfect. With Eric Clapton's guitar work, I am sure if you do it eight hours a day for one year you can play every single note on "Bluesbreakers" note-perfect. But you cannot do that with Peter Green's stuff. Peter had the feel, which transcends technicality. There other thing is, Green's music was all feel and so much deeper. You cannot copy feel. On top of that, Green's music is fun. You have to have that in the Blues. It is not all my-women-left-me-and-I-ain't-got-a dime kind of thing. People danced to the Blues in juke joints in Mississippi and Blues clubs in Chicago. In "Mr. Wonderful," you hear the happy Blues and sad Blues. One major contributing factor to the brilliance of "Mr. Wonderful" was the presence of Jeremy Spencer. This guy just copied everything Elmore James did, but he was good and his personal touch came out when he did it. Listening to this recording was like riding an emotion roller coaster. You hear songs like Doctor Brown, Rolling Man where the sexual insinuation was skin-deep and you cannot help but laugh. Then you get Love That Burns that makes your skin crawl.

In the 60's Fleetwood Mac commanded higher fees than the Rolling Stones. But Peter Green splitted after he did "Then Play On" Reprise 927 448-2. "Then Play On" was extraordinary. I have never heard a recording that has a darker mood, not even Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon." I could feel the pain, sorrow and sadness that afflicted Peter Green, knowing that something was very wrong with the guy. No one can do something so sad and dark unless he was going through something really bad. "Then Play On" was the last Fleetwood Mac recording with Peter Green. In "Then Play On" you hear the talented teenage guitar wizard Danny Kirwan. In 1970, Peter dropped out of music completely for over 10 years. Jeremy Spencer became a disciple in religious cult and vanished. Danny Kirwan is now a homeless person sleeping on the streets of London. Every time I pick up a Fleetwood Mac CD, I feel the personal tragedies, reminding me how frail life is and how fragile happiness is.

Peter Green re-launched his music career in 1982. In 1983, I saw in the gig guide in Melody Maker that Peter would be playing in a pub in London on a Friday night and show would start at 9:00 p.m. I was at the pub at 4 in the afternoon waiting for the doors to open. This band came on to play shortly after 9: two guitarists, a left-handed Black guy playing a right hand-handed guitar and a fat bald guy playing rhythm guitar. They had a bassist and a drummer. After about half and hour, I asked the guy next to me "When is Peter coming on?" He told me he was on, the fat guy was Peter. I was stunned. I took many pictures that night of course. After I had the film developed, I looked at the pictures once and threw them away together with the negatives. I almost cried. What has life done to my hero? Life is so cruel.

Extended Listening

-Fleetwood Mac- The Original Fleetwood Mac
-Fleetwood Mac- Live in Chicago '69
-Gary Moore- Blues For Greeny

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