12 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though Lindsey Buckingham is best known for the straight-forward mainstream pop of ‘70s Fleetwood Mac, his solo work has embellished those natural, flowing hooks with obsessive, experimental studio activities that here, on his first solo album in nearly 15 years, come forth in playful weirdness. How to explain the manic cell-division madness of his cover of Donovan’s “To Try for the Sun”? Or his modern day psychedelic shake-up of the Rolling Stones’ “I Am Waiting”? Lock Buckingham in his room long enough and he goes simply bonkers. He jumpcuts his rhythms with a hasty hand, whispers his vocals in unison until they sound like a hushed army marching and fingerpicks his guitar as if he were racing the devil to the finish line. Unlike Fleetwood Mac, this isn’t for everyone. (Think fans of Tusk, not Rumours.) Those willing to depart from familiar ground are rewarded with the otherwordly cadences of “Cast Away Dreams,” the hushed ramble of “Shut Us Down,” where putting the cart before the horse, Buckingham seems to be approximating the late Elliot Smith (!). High weirdness, with an emphasis on both words.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though Lindsey Buckingham is best known for the straight-forward mainstream pop of ‘70s Fleetwood Mac, his solo work has embellished those natural, flowing hooks with obsessive, experimental studio activities that here, on his first solo album in nearly 15 years, come forth in playful weirdness. How to explain the manic cell-division madness of his cover of Donovan’s “To Try for the Sun”? Or his modern day psychedelic shake-up of the Rolling Stones’ “I Am Waiting”? Lock Buckingham in his room long enough and he goes simply bonkers. He jumpcuts his rhythms with a hasty hand, whispers his vocals in unison until they sound like a hushed army marching and fingerpicks his guitar as if he were racing the devil to the finish line. Unlike Fleetwood Mac, this isn’t for everyone. (Think fans of Tusk, not Rumours.) Those willing to depart from familiar ground are rewarded with the otherwordly cadences of “Cast Away Dreams,” the hushed ramble of “Shut Us Down,” where putting the cart before the horse, Buckingham seems to be approximating the late Elliot Smith (!). High weirdness, with an emphasis on both words.

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About Lindsey Buckingham

Before he joined Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham was sketching out his brand of Brian Wilson-influenced pop with Stevie Nicks in the folky duo Buckingham Nicks. Mick Fleetwood invited the duo to join his band in late 1974. After Buckingham joined, the band's pop tendencies flowered under his direction. Not only did he provide the group with some brilliant, surprisingly dark pop songs, he sharpened the other members' songs with his production, arrangements, and breathtaking guitar playing. Buckingham left the band after its 1987 album, Tango in the Night, to concentrate on his solo recordings, work that had thus far included 1981's Law and Order and 1984's Go Insane. Out of the Cradle arrived in 1992, followed by the slow but ultimately rewarding reunion of Fleetwood Mac in the late '90s. Buckingham then released Under the Skin in 2006.

While Buckingham's solo albums are deceptively simple and calm on the surface, there are complex arrangements and emotions beneath the smooth production. None of them has sold anything approaching the level of Rumours -- or even Tango in the Night -- yet they are rich, layered pop albums; his first solo record, Law and Order, had a hit single with "Trouble," while his contribution to National Lampoon's Vacation, the infectious "Holiday Road," has become a cult classic. A two-disc (one audio disc and one video disc) concert album, Live at the Bass Performance Hall, was released in 2008. Buckingham left the Reprise label in 2009, and began recording a follow-up album on his own. Seeds We Sow was released on his own imprint, Mind Kit Records (through Fontana), in September of 2011.

Buckingham spent the next few years touring with Fleetwood Mac and preparing to record a new studio album. Christine McVie officially re-joined the band in 2014. She and Buckingham assembled at Village Recorder's Studio D in Los Angeles (the same room where Tusk was cut) in order to re-establish creative chemistry. It worked. After returning to England, an inspired McVie began sending Buckingham demos and song snippets. They re-engaged in the recording process with John McVie and Mick Fleetwood for a new Fleetwood Mac studio album -- Nicks was to add her parts later. The quartet cut eight songs before breaking off to rehearse for the band's upcoming On with the Show tour, which began that fall and lasted an entire year. When Nicks decided to tour her own material in 2016 rather than reconvene with Fleetwood Mac in the studio, McVie, Buckingham, Fleetwood, and John McVie went back in to finish the record they'd begun. The finished project, entitled Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie was issued in June 2017. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

  • ORIGIN
    Palo Alto, CA
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • BORN
    October 3, 1949

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