It is once again time for me to reach back in the refrigerator for some "choice cuts". Each time, I will be featuring sizzling and succulent morsels that are grabbing my ear right now that range from funk to country, from afro-beat to garage rock, etc. Sometimes there will be a theme to these songs that ties them all together in a nice bow, but other times the songs featured will just be a musical hodgepodge of eclectic delights. Without further ado, lets see what "choice cuts" the vinyl butcher has prepared for us today.
Peter Green: Bottoms Up
From: End of the Game [1970, Reprise]
I can't believe that the last time I posted a Choice Cuts episode was July of 2013. How time flies, regardless of whether you are having fun or not. This is a special Choice Cuts episode as it only features one song. I feel that this song is so great that it deserves its own post.
Over the past several months, I have listened to many songs, none of which have impacted me to the same extent as as Peter Green's "Bottoms Up". When I first ran across this song, it wasn't while digging in the crates at one of my local record stores, or while searching for tunes within the plethora of music blogs that I had earmarked for further exploration, but while listening to the new Portland independent radio station XRAY.fm.
It was the beginning of June, and my former employer had enlisted me with performing the mind-numbing task of administering their technical knowledge base. In order to prevent myself from falling into a stupor due to extreme boredom, I needed some music to keep my head in the game. I had been checking out some of the radio shows on XRAY.fm, and became particularly fond of one called Going to Bed with Morning Remorse. I can't recall when I first listened to the show featuring Peter Green, but it had been broadcast in the previous week or two, and archived for everyone's listening pleasure. Considering that the set started out with the whacked-out electro-funk of Bruce Haack seamlessly segueing into the psychedelic wonder of Animated Egg, I should have been prepared for the mind-blowing track waiting patiently in the wings.
As the final strains of Michael Chapman’s epic folk song"The Aviator" faded out, the bass line of Peter Green's "Bottoms Up" unassumingly enters the scene. After some introductory noodling, the song starts to really build some steam around the minute mark, with each beat of the drum moving it along at a steady clip. Around the 2:30 minute mark, Green's solo takes off, and reaches for the heavens. All the while, the rhythm section increases the tempo to unbelievable heights, only to slow things down completely at the 3:30 minute mark. At this point, a subtle rhodes piano works perfectly with the undulating bass line and skittering drums. This goes on for about a minute, until the funky bass line congeals with the drums, rhodes piano and Green's otherworldly, effects-heavy guitar. At the six-minute mark of the song every single member of the band is firing on all cylinders, creating a sound that literally sends chills up and down the listener's spine. While the rest of the album features some interesting experimental rock, there is nothing else that comes even close to the level of musicianship of "Bottoms Up".
I’m sure that you will agree that it’s worth the price of admission alone to take this ride with Peter Green. Bottoms up, indeed!