Fleetwood Mac – The Green Manalishi
(Reprise Records 1970 RS27007)
Vinyl in Very Good condition
(there are some surface marks which do give pops/crackles)
Doesn’t have original Reprise company sleeve – single is in a CBS sleeve
Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band, formed in London in 1967. The band have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands. In 1998, selected members of Fleetwood Mac were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2018, the band were declared MusiCares Person of the Year.
Fleetwood Mac were founded by guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood and guitarist Jeremy Spencer. They lacked a permanent bass guitarist for the first few months before Green convinced John McVie to join, establishing the first stable line-up in time to record their self-titled debut album. Danny Kirwan joined as a third guitarist in 1969, and keyboardist Christine Perfect, who was used as a session musician starting with the second album, later married John McVie and joined the band in 1970. During this time period, the band was primarily a British blues outfit, scoring a UK number one with “Albatross”; and had lesser hits with the singles “Oh Well” and “Black Magic Woman”. Personal problems led to original guitarists Green and Spencer leaving in short order, replaced by Bob Welch and Bob Weston. However, by 1974, Welch and Weston had both left, leaving the band without a primary male vocalist or lead guitarist.
In late 1974, while the band was scouting studios in Los Angeles, they were introduced to folk-rock duo Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. The band sought to add Buckingham as their new lead guitarist, who agreed under the condition that Nicks, his singing partner and girlfriend at the time, also would join the band. The addition of Buckingham and Nicks caused the band to take on a more pop rock sound, with their 1975 album Fleetwood Mac becoming their best selling record to date, reaching No. 1 in the US. Rumours (1977), Fleetwood Mac’s second album after the incorporation of Buckingham and Nicks, produced four US Top 10 singles and remained at No. 1 on the American albums chart for 31 weeks, as well as reaching the top spot in various countries around the world. The album has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, making it the eighth-highest-selling album to date. During the recording of Rumours, the band went through personal turmoil, as both of the romantic partnerships in the band (John & Christine McVie and Buckingham & Nicks) separated, though the band kept making music together.
The lineup remained stable through three more studio albums, but by the late 1980s the band began to disintegrate. First to leave was Buckingham, followed by Nicks in 1991, to be replaced by a series of short-term guitarists and vocalists. In 1993, a one-off performance for the Presidential Inauguration of Bill Clinton featured the five key members back together for the first time in six years, and by 1997, a full reunion occurred. In 1998, Christine McVie retired from touring, and the band stayed together as a four-piece with John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks. In 2014, Christine McVie rejoined again full-time. The latest studio album by the band was 2003’s Say You Will, though a side project known as Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie was released in 2017 containing contributions from the other band members.
“The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)” is a song written by Peter Green and recorded by Fleetwood Mac. It was released as a single in the UK in May 1970 and reached No. 10 on the British charts, a position it occupied for four consecutive weeks.
The song was written during Green’s final months with the band, at a time when he was struggling with LSD and had withdrawn from other members of the band. While there are several theories about the meaning of the title “Green Manalishi”, Green has always maintained that the song is about money, as represented by the devil. Green was reportedly angered by the other band members’ refusal to give away their financial gains.
Green has explained that he wrote the song after experiencing a drug-induced dream, in which he was visited by a green dog which barked at him. He understood that the dog represented money. “It scared me because I knew the dog had been dead a long time. It was a stray and I was looking after it. But I was dead and had to fight to get back into my body, which I eventually did. When I woke up, the room was really black and I found myself writing the song.” He also said that he wrote the lyrics the following day, in Richmond Park. Supposedly, he was unable to record Robert Johnson’s ‘Hellhound on My Trail’ following the incident; having conflated Johnson’s hellhound with the green dog-demon of his dream. This is supported by his discography, in which Green’s sole post-Manalishi cover of ‘Hellhound’ was sung by band mate Nigel Watson.
The B-side of the single was an instrumental written by Green and Danny Kirwan, titled “World In Harmony”. The two tracks were recorded at the same session in Warner/Reprise Studios, in Hollywood, California.
A 13-minute live version of “The Green Manalishi” was recorded in February 1970, prior to the single’s release in May, but it remained unreleased until 1998 when it was issued on the Live in Boston: Remastered three-CD boxed set.
The song was played live by subsequent versions of Fleetwood Mac with Bob Welch and then Lindsey Buckingham singing the vocal and taking on the song’s guitar parts.
- Peter Green – guitar, vocals, six string bass
- Danny Kirwan – guitar
- John McVie – bass guitar
- Mick Fleetwood – drums, gong, maracas, claves
Jeremy Spencer is thought not to have been present at the recording sessions, though he was present when Green was recording the eerie howling noises heard at the end of the song, according to an interview with Spencer on the BBC Peter Green documentary DVD, “Man of the World”.
The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown)
World In Harmony