Sunday, 8 November 2009

The End Of The Game

My good friend Dr Wommm swears by Peter Green's solo debut, and I can hear why. Despite having a reputation as an indulgent mess (check the severely unimpressed Allmusic review) it's actually a pioneering exercise in free blues rock, edited down from a series of jams the guitarist conducted a month after his departure from Fleetwood Mac in 1970. It's also brilliant; Green is on astonishing form throughout, tearing through the tracks with a trancelike concentration which suggests he's taking this opportunity to exorcise a multitude of personal demons... but y'know, that kind of talk is all too tempting when discussing the mercurial Mr Green. The band assembled for these sessions is stellar, comprising the legendary Zoot Money on piano plus keyboardist Nick Buck and the frankly inspired rhythm section of drummer Godfrey Maclean and bassist Alex Dmochowski, who probably deserve as much credit as ol' Petey for making this album so damn good.

The End Of The Game suggests a possible future for post-60s blues rock that few opted to explore at the time. The title itself appears to herald a 'next level' to Green's music that never arrived, his subsequent solo material restricted to undemandingly bluesy fare with nothing like the same degree of audacity or chutzpah displayed here. This album should have been included in The Wire's '100 Records That Set The World On Fire (While No One Was Listening)' feature of several years back, such is its boundary-breaking brilliance and fearless expansion of a then-popular rock genre.