CLASSIC ALBUM SERIES #9: Peter Green – The End Of The Game

green-peter_new1Released in December 1970, Peter Green’s debut solo album after leaving Fleetwood Mac can be considered a complete mess or a musical masterpiece. On first listen the album appears to be a collection of noises randomly sewn together to form an album but in reality The End Of The Game gives you an insight into Green’s mental state at this point in his life. The result is an explosive yet underrated album that certainly deserves more attention than it receives.

Bottoms Up is the opening track which begins with a long fade in and laid back riffs by Green while using his wah pedal to great affect. The song builds and builds from there with the plodding yet aggressive bass and pounding drums pushing Green to his very best. What can be best described as a hard blues jam, the song is anything but short of greatness, with Green firing on all cylinders and treating us all to some of his very best playing. Things quieten down in the middle of the song but that doesn’t last long as the band builds again before slowly fading out to bring things to an end. Songs like this are right up my street because, as I’ve said time and time again in previous articles, jamming really brings out the best in people and that’s what happens here. Timeless Time in comparison is the complete opposite musically. A short number at only two and a half minutes long, the song is full of atmospheric sounds and tones which really sounds fantastic after Bottoms Up.

  1. Bottoms Up
  2. Timeless Time
  3. Descending Scale
  4. Burnt Foot
  5. Hidden Depth
  6. The End Of The Game

Descending Scale is more of a jazz based number and upon close listen it appears Green plays something reminiscent to the riff from Layla by Derek and the Dominos a few times around the 1:30 mark. Coincidence of course because this album was recorded a few months before Derek and the Dominos hit the studio in Miami to record their album. But this song certainly is the most…interesting on the album, to put it lightly. The next song is Burnt Foot which is dominated by a drum solo by Godfrey Maclean which Green on guitar and Alex Dmochowski on bass jam around brilliantly to create a very dark sounding riff. It’s followed by Hidden Depth which contains some absolutely stunning guitar playing from Peter Green to create a really laid back, smooth and calm song, especially compared to a few of the previous songs on the album. It’s a really nice moment on the album and the presence of a piano adds another dimension to the song and the album as a whole.

The final song is the title track, The End Of The Game, which takes things back to the explosive nature of the opening song. Green’s guitar is yet again played through a wah pedal and that paired with reverb creates some fine moments and exciting riffs. The song starts out fairly timid but by the two minute mark all hell breaks loose and the whole band take off. To many it may sound like each musician is playing their own thing to create a musical mess and to be honest, that’s exactly what happens here. But Green stays in control and brings the song and the album to a gentle finish with some quieter guitar lines. It’s an interesting album closer which in a way sums up perfectly what the album is about.

Overall it’s a pretty good album. It’s by no means Green’s finest moment as a guitarist but his playing is as good as it ever was and the jam based tracks open him up as a musician more than any structured song could, especially at this point after his departure from Fleetwood Mac. There are better albums to listen to but if you want an insight into one of Britain’s finest blues guitarists it really is a must listen.

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