‘World in Harmony’ – BBC recording, April 27, 1970

As mentioned in “Errata” I incorrectly reviewed an alternate studio recording of ‘World in Harmony’ in place of the BBC recording from April 27, 1970.  (Volume 3, Chapter Five, e-book; Chapter Twenty-Six, print edition)

                 The session information for the BBC session should read as follows:

Fleetwood Mac

Peter Green: vocal, guitar & percussion / Danny Kirwan: vocal & guitar /

Jeremy Spencer: vocal, guitar & piano / John McVie: bass /

Mick Fleetwood: drums /

Guest musician: Nick Pickett: violin^

BBC session – Radio One Top Gear

Recorded April 27, 1970, Playhouse Theater, London England, broadcast May 23, 1970

Available on: Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac Live at the BBC (Castle 1995)*

Show-Biz Blues Fleetwood Mac 1968 to 1970 (Receiver 2002) **

 bootleg ***


Sandy Mary* (P. Green) (5:00)

World in Harmony*** (D. Kirwan / P. Green) (3:26)

Tiger*** (Fabian) (2:51)

Only You* (D. Kirwan) (2:51)

Leaving Town Blues**^ (trad.) (3:50)

Sandy Mary* (P. Green) (5:00)

World in Harmony’ (3:15) – the rough quality of the recording injects an unfortunate waver to the guitars as the number begins.

For the first forty seconds, the guitars toll and chime.  Repeatedly circling back on itself, the lead guitar builds a feeling of anticipation rather than alarm.  A new day awakens.  Dew drops silently slip off the leaves as life begins to stir.

The addition of drums and bass add to the sense of gentle urgency, like older children attempting to rouse their youngest sibling from a deep slumber so they can all see what this new day will bring.

As they set out, the guitars take on a darker hue; what at first appeared to be the warm glow of a new rising sun is now revealed as the light of a conflagration, its brightness increasing as the flames grow higher.

Green has approached this break in a number of ways since they began playing this number, but this, for me, is one of the more successful.

The transition is a deceptively smooth one; jumping into a river for safety, you find yourself unable to fight the current and are carried along without will.

Kirwan drops out of the first half and Green’s playing takes on a jagged rhythm, the guitar lines roiling where before they had shimmered.

When Kirwan returns, his powerful chording amplifies and gives momentum to Green’s churning lead.

And then a series of descending notes leads us out and we are awakened by the tolling guitars once again ringing out.

The opening is reprised at half its length and the number ends on bright note.

For Kirwan, it seems like every silver cloud has a dark lining.

1 Comment

  • comment-avatar
    Chris Conklin May 5, 2017 (10:35 am)

    Nice write-up as always, Richard – very informative.