Reaching No.2 in the British charts in 1969, Man Of The World is one of Peter Green’s sweetest melodies – one imagines he came up with the guitar part and then wrote the words to that melody. The arrangement is unusual in that it has smartly placed absorbing pauses and is peppered with memorable guitar lines. It’s emotionally punctuated with the musical equivalent of the lyric and in the solo (1.15) you can here that classic Peter Green tone and touch. The short burst of distortion at 1.04 “I just wish I’d never been born”, kills me every time.
My copy was without picture sleeve on the hot pink Immediate label that was startling after the white Immediate label of The Nice and The Small Faces releases that preceded it (another pink label was Humble Pie’s Natural Born Bugie). The B-side was credited to Earl Vince And The Valiants, the song was sung by Jeremy Spencer and was called Somebody’s Going To Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight – it was the musical polar opposite to the A-side and that might be why the band was named something else, although as a band Fleetwood Mac could play contrasting styles between Peter Green’s excellent original songwriting and the traditions of their roots in Blues music.
Man Of The World is a masterpiece of restraint, an autobiographical and personal outpouring, charged with meaning, simplistic and complex, easy on the ear and penetrating to the soul, a true example of what the music we all love is supposed to do. Man Of The World is a contradiction of sublime beauty and everyday magic.
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