Dire Straits’ John Illsley Picks The Fleetwood Mac Song Summed Up Peter Green’s Guitar Playing


In an interview, Dire Straits’ bass player John Illsley recently talked about his favorite tracks. He named the Fleetwood Mac song that he loves and stated that that song is the founder Peter Green‘s summary in many ways.

Peter Green found Fleetwood Mac with Mick Fleetwood and Jeremy Spencer in 1967. Being the founding member of the iconic rock band that made sensational songs over the years, Green unexpectedly left the band early in 1970, three years after the formation. Before he left, he contributed to the band’s success with his songs covered by other musicians later on.

The songs ‘Albatross,’ ‘Black Magic Woman,’ ‘Oh Well,’ and ‘Man of the World’ quickly became hits for Fleetwood Mac and showed Green’s songwriting and guitar playing talents. Recently, Dire Straits’ John Illsley talked about Peter Green and named his favorite Fleetwood Mac song created by him.

Illsley stated that he grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac but mentioned that it was Peter Green period Fleetwood Mac, meaning the formation years until 1970. He named the song, ‘Man of the World,’ an incredible song with Green’s guitar sound and personality. He stated that this song sums up the musician’s essence and guitar playing and called it a ‘beautiful thing.’

Regarding the song, Illsley said:

“I grew up listening to the early Fleetwood Mac, with John McVeigh and Peter Green. He just produced this incredible guitar sound with Les Paul and the Marshall. He just had the sweetest tone, and I think ‘Man of the World’ summed him up as a person and also as a guitar player. It’s the most beautiful thing.”

Composed and written by Peter Green, ‘Man of the World’ was released in 1969. It peaked at number two on UK Singles Chart and stayed there for 14 weeks. The lyrics describe a man who wished to have never been born after seeing everything. This could be why Illsley thinks it’s a summary of Green, as he was suffering from mental health problems at the time.

You can listen to the interview and the song below.