Peter Green: Bottoms Up
Peter Green (guitar)
The End of the Game (Warner 926758)
Nick Buck (keyboards), Alex Dmochowski (bass), Godfrey Maclean (drums).
Composed by Peter Green.
Recorded: London, mid-1969
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
Peter Green's CD The End of the Game is a worthy purchase. Its lead track, "Bottoms Up," is a freeform jam worthy of its placement right at the top of the album's playlist. As the rhythm section plows and pianist Zoot Money holds it down, Green's Les Paul leads the barebones group into the Stratocastersphere. Ironically, the music sounds focused, as persistent rumors from around this time chronicling Green's mental instability seem unfounded given the quality of the music.
This cut is certainly amongst the top five recordings that Green appears on, and anyone interested in his back story and catalog should start here. It sounds nothing like the Fleetwood Mac music heard these days on the FM dial. The track, though, does follow in the footsteps of the brief instrumental excursions pioneered by Green on the early, yet seminal (and still relatively unknown) Mac album Then Play On, which had been cut earlier in the year.
Hendrix-ian in his approach, yet very original, Green's performance here is the real reason that he is remembered at all, because, without this document (and since most of his recordings with Fleetwood Mac were steeped heavily in straight-ahead, twelve-bar blues), it would be tough to place him near the Beck/Clapton/Page pantheon of rock guitarists based on recordings alone. "Bottoms Up", though, shows that Green's instrumental approach, when unleashed, was as "out there" as both wah-heavy progressive rockers and as the recognized forefather of this style of avant-garde jamming, John Coltrane. At least at this stage of the game, anyway...
Reviewer: Marcus Singletary