Peter Green / Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac: BBC Recordings – Introduction
From February of 1966 through April of 1970 Peter Green recorded an estimated one-hundred and ten (110) performances for the BBC*, for broadcast on radio and television. This timeline takes Green from the Peter B’s, his tenure with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and his years as the leader of Fleetwood Mac.
Of these one-hundred ten performances, only twelve (12) titles were performed more than once.
Of all the titles that were documented, I know of only fourteen (14) that have yet to appear in circulation; commercially, on bootlegs or privately among collectors (to the best of my knowledge).
As with their concert recordings, the BBC recordings offer an “alternate history” of the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac.
A majority of the songs are “one-offs”; meaning they are the only available performances that we have of these songs. A few can be heard on concert bootlegs.
Most of these songs were covers, providing us a glimpse at their personal influences, but there were a few Danny Kirwan compositions that were performed for the BBC and apparently never put to tape in the studio.
I’ve chosen to go back over this already well-trod ground as with the expiration of European copyrights, there has been a flood of commercial releases of Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac recordings; the first group are concert recordings that were originally broadcast on radio.
The others are collections of BBC recordings with many collections combining both the concert recordings with tracks from the BBC.
In almost every case, the performances available on these dozens of releases has long been available, sometimes for more than thirty years. Many were released on now out-of-print CD collections and the vast majority has been transferred on line, either on file-sharing sites or on YouTube.
Too many of the collections offer little or no information as to the provenance of any given number, and then sometimes compounding the confusion by getting the song titles incorrect.
All that having been said, as fans, we always hold out the hope that something “new” may still turn up.
And in the last few years, that hope has been rewarded, with a few stray tracks appearing on line.
Breakdowns of performances that I was unaware at the time the three volumes of “A Love That Burns – The Music of Peter Green 1966 – 1971” have can be found on this site under “My Back Pages”, “Addendum”
One “new” performance came to light in January of 2022, the track appearing on two eighteen track collections of what promised to be “unreleased” BBC recordings – the two collections are identical, with one uploaded to YouTube the day after the first.
I will break down the eighteen tracks providing their origins (both when they were recorded and when known, where they may have first appeared) here: https://smilingcorgipress.com/annotated-breakdown-of-two-youtube-compilations/
*I say “estimated” because the BBC logs are not always complete; I would qualify that further by stating that this mainly refers to the logs that are publicly available, many of which are incomplete, incorrect, or both, something that I grappled with when work on my books about Peter Green.
Depending on the source consulted, there are sometimes complete broadcasts missing and other times, a single song or two will have been omitted from a specific session.
Even with official sources, the problem of incorrect song titles can still occur; this is sometimes due to the those bootlegging the recordings and sometimes because they were originally logged incorrectly by the BBC.