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Castle (2005)

When blues legend, guitarist and founder left Fleetwood Mac in 1970, following a breakdown, he pretty much became a recluse, with rumours of religious conversion, gravedigging and much else filling the tabloids for years.

This was pretty much his comeback, recording 6 albums for PVK in the late 70s and early 80s. The first 3, issued here in fine form by Sanctuary, show what a good guitarist the legend was (and still is).

In The Skies (Castle CMRCD1116) kicks off with the title track, co-written with his then wife. Like much of the album, itís a fine tune with some excellent if gentle guitar.

The songs themselves good but rather easy, the fire long since burnt out. Slabo Day features a simple yet catchy riff that does, however, become repetitive very quickly. Tribal Dance is a little more upbeat and a lot more memorable. The album features guitarist Snowy White and keyboard player Pete Bardens, amongst others, so thereís no shortage of talent around.**

1980ís Little Dreamer (Castle CMRCD1117) was a change of direction, with distinct addition (abeit in small amounts) of funk and soul. Most of the tracks were written by brother Michael. This album then showís Peterís song interpretation as well as his singing and guitar skills. Still pretty much gentle blues throughout, itís another fine set.***

1981 and Whatcha Gonna Do (Castle CMRCD1133) is a question Green could have been asking himself. His profile had been rejuvenated in the UK and Europe but did little in America. And good though these albums are, they hardly set the world on fire at the time.

Mixing R&B (Woman Donít), jazz funk (Bullet In The Sky) and rock ballads, the blues guitar comes through well, and Greenís soft voice with the saxophone giving a Dire Straits edge. ***

The packaging is light but good, Iíve seen a lot more extensive. Essential for Green fans but a long way off his best work for the more casual listener.

Review by Joe Geesin

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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