Buried Treasure: Peter Green - In The Skies (1979)
|The American LP cover on Sail Records|
After leaving the band in 1970 Green spent most of the decade either in jail or in hospitals due to mental illness that was heavily fueled by his unfortunate usage of LSD. If you want to read all of the sordid details about the personal problems that still haunt him today you can find them in Wikipedia and All Music.
Regardless, Green was considered one of the premier blues-rock guitarists of the classic rock era and many considered him the equal of Eric Clapton, the man he replaced in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.
Green released one poorly received solo album, The End of the Game, not long after he left the Mac but it took another nine years until he issued In the Skies, quite possibly the best work he's done outside of his famous band.
Green sang lead on the LP's only four songs with vocals. The rest are instrumentals. He wrote or co-wrote all nine tracks and shared lead guitar with Snowy White, another renowned, English blues-rocker who was a member of both Thin Lizzy and the 90s version of Pink Floyd. White's lead fretwork is featured on the title tune and on the instrumental "Slabo Day."
In the Skies is not a blues album in the truest sense. The songs are solid, straight ahead rock but they remain outside the mainstream because of the unique work of both axemen. Every note is crisp, tasteful, and inspiring.
The highlight of the record is a slow, smoldering blues, "A Fool No More," that proved Green could still knock listeners' socks off when the world was going well for him.
In the Skies was widely released in Great Britain but in America it was issued on a very small label, Sail Records, after Green rejected a multi-million dollar contract from a major company.
The album isn't vintage, early Fleetwood Mac but it definitely is a joy to listen to. One spin on your turntable and you'll realize how great of a career Green could have had if his circumstances had turned out differently.