"Peter Green was NOT happy with Chess studios. He was "angry" in his own words. Many of the Chicago bluesmen that the Mac idolized were not so fond of the Mac either. And, it shows on this record.Much of the music is horrendously out of tune. Honeyboy Edwards especially refused to tune. But, so did supposedly great producer Willie Dixon. Buddy Guy appeared on one uninspired track and left.Yet, there is some terrific music here among the crud. Otis Spann, one of the greatest bluesmen ever, shines. He seemed to be among the few locals who appreciated what the Mac were trying to do. A few months later, he cut an album in NY with the band that is one of the most stunning blues albums I've ever heard. Otis became a fan of Peter Green's, reciprocating a love Green himself had for Otis' deeply emotional, flowing work. Later, Christine McVie carried Otis' influence into the more "popular" version of the Mac. Her piano playing was always heavily influenced by Otis.Even amid the rather lackluster playing by the other bluesmen, Otis' playing stands out...from the background!But, there is an even stranger aspect to this recording. Jeremy Spencer, whose renditions of Elmore James songs seem to rankle so many Mac fans, was in his glory. Although people accused him of mockery, Jeremy truly loved Elmore James' music. On this recording he had the opportunity to play his versions of EJ with Elmo's own sax player, the great JT Brown. And, the tracks featuring the pettite slidemeister with the old vet are absolutely the highlight of the set. Jeremy was so obviously ecstatic and humbled to play with JT that the glee oozes from the recording. This is not a "Peter Green" highlight. This is Jeremy Spencer and Otis Spann in Chicago. Jeremy in ecstasy and Otis simply saving what could easily have been a nightmare with his incredible empathy and compassion. No crap from Otis. Too bad the other bluesmen couldn't get past their "We'z the blues" arrogance and Peter Green couldn't get past his anger at their attitude. Both show on this set."
Early Days - A Different Sound
bojangle12 | APO, AE United States | 11/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you have only heard the Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks version of Fleetwood Mac, you are missing why this band has held together through many various formations, and also why Peter Green was present when Fleetwood Mac was indoctrinated to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. A different, bluesy period of the band, jamming with other now famous stars. Only better than the more well known line up if you are strictly a blues listener. The earlier versions of Fleetwood Mac are stungingly good. When I began to recreate my music collection in CD version, I focused more on Fleetwood Mac from 1975 to the present. I had forgotten what a different sound they used to have, and how good that sound was. If you like music of the 60's and 70's, you will enjoy this."
Robert Carlberg | Seattle | 05/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with my colleagues' comments here on the music, and would only add:One of the great things about this album, which you rarely see, is that the studio tapes are very sparsely edited. You get some fascinating 'studio chatter' between the participants, as these brash young 20-something Brits come to Chicago to record with these old black American blues legends. At first the atmosphere in the studio is decidedly chilly, as the presumption of these kids grates on the nerves of those who have 'been there, done that.'But after they play a few numbers, and everyone sees that these cocky kids really can play, the atmosphere warms considerably, and by the end of the session you can feel a mutually-reciprocated affection. The music is great, but for me it's the progression of the session that makes this set special."
Brendan Hagin | The Moon | 11/25/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I finally found this on CD after taping my father-in-laws vinyl version a few years back. What a great record! Chicago and Britian meld a mean session and bring it on home. Disc one is my fave, with the opener "Watch Out" leading the way with some mean lead from Peter Green. Great record."
The real Fleetwood Mac
2-b determined | Houston - USA | 12/25/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, and Danny Kerwin; John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. Wow! Pull me out of my nostalgia and recognize that these guys had a band!!!! Fleetwood and McVie are one of the best rhythm sections in rock and roll, and PA Green knew it from before the beginning. Hear is a guy whose playing has an honest and felt depth that was, and I hope still is, unmistakeable and fine. Any young kid wanting to start out today with the hope of ending up with style, integrity, and soul, should listen to these guys."