Monday, September 26, 2011

Lindsey Buckingham continues to hone his skills as a songwriter, guitarist and producer

Lindsey Buckingham stops Thursday at Mayo Center

Many people whose resumes include one of the best-selling albums of all time would probably be content to sit back and either recycle the riffs that made them famous or simply collect royalties.

Lindsey Buckingham is not like many people.

More than 30 years after “Rumours,” his second album with Fleetwood Mac, topped sales charts, Buckingham continues to hone his skills as a songwriter, guitarist and producer.

His new CD, “Seeds We Sow,” is the first on his own label, Mind Kit Records. His current tour will take him to the Mayo Performing Arts Center Thursday night (Sept. 29).

“Seeds We Sow,” with its layered guitars and vocal harmonies, is the latest step in a career that began in the late 1960s. As a teenager growing up in California, Buckingham taught himself to play guitar and banjo by listening to the Kingston Trio and other folk acts.

In the early 1970s, Buckingham and his then-girlfriend, Stevie Nicks, traveled to Los Angeles with a handful of demos in search of a record deal. Polydor Records released “Buckingham Nicks” in 1973. Despite a rather risqué cover photo of the two musicians, the album sold poorly, and they were dropped by the label.

In the years since, however, “Buckingham Nicks” has been appreciated for its unusual folk-influenced harmonies and the caliber of the musicianship. The lineup included Ron Tutt and Jerry Scheff (both of whom had played with Elvis Presley), drummer Jim Keltner and other top session players.

The songs also caught the ear of other musicians, including John McVie, Mick Fleetwood and McVie’s wife, Christine. The three were looking for a new guitarist for Fleetwood Mac and were impressed by Buckingham’s skills. Buckingham agreed to join only if Nicks could join the band, too.

The result was a potent combination of the traditional blues-based Fleetwood Mac sound coupled with Buckingham and Nicks’ folk-rock-pop. The reconstituted Fleetwood Mac released a self-titled album in 1975 that sold well.

But the 1977 followup, “Rumours,” launched the group into the stratosphere, in part thanks to Buckingham compositions such as “Go Your Own Way.”

After “Rumours” (and after splitting with Nicks), Buckingham insisted on a more experimental tone, resulting in the offbeat double-album “Tusk.” In the 1980s, Buckingham became less involved with the band and more involved in pursuing a solo career, beginning with his 1981 album “Law and Order,” which yielded the hit “Trouble.” He also wrote the song “Holiday Road” for the movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”

As his 1984 album “Go Insane” proved, Buckingham has an ear for intricate arrangements. The centerpiece of that album was a suite dedicated to the memory of the late Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, and other tracks reflected some of the more nuanced songs of Brian Wilson.

For a time, Buckingham put his solo work on hold to rejoin Fleetwood Mac in the studio and on the road. But in the past six years, he has released three acclaimed solo albums and a live disc.

With this burst of creativity and a national tour under way, Buckingham shows that there is more to his reputation than just “Rumours.”

Written by Bill Nutt - NJ Press Media
Daily Record


Anonymous said...

If Lindsey is such a great producer and so responsible for Fleetwood Mac's success (according to lazy writers to recycle press releases), why hasn't he produced he produced anything of note for another artist and why is the public so indifferent to his solo career. Not one of his albums has gone Gold or cracked the top 30. He has one forgettable top 10 solo hit ("Trouble" #9) and one other top 40 entry ("Go Insane, #23). He did produce the white album or Rumours, it was Ken Caillait and Richard Dashut with the WHOLE band. He performed in Boston last night at 1,500 seat theater and it was not sold out. No impact as solo artist. Stevie can wave to him to from the Hall of Fame when she becomes to the first female double inductee.

Anonymous said...

^^ Since when did this become a competition between Stevie and Lindsey? Stevie writes lyrics and melody, someone else helps her or produces it into something... Lindsey writes lyrics and melody but then takes it a step further and actually creates the WHOLE sound (produces). On this album he took it a further step and mastered and mixed it himself, something Stevie doesn't do... Give the guy some credit or respect, he's not playing to the mainstream if you haven't noticed, he's doing it for himself. If you like it, follow along, if not, move on. The Producers on Rumours and the White album producer Keith Olsen produce! They manage the recording sessions, man the knobs, mold the sounds created by the artist... The artists come up with the lyrics, melody guitar parts, drum parts...all of it, the producer puts it all together... etc. And do you honestly believe Lindsey DIDN'T have a hand at producing the early Mac albums even with Ken, Richard and Keith along? As for outside producing, maybe he was asked.. maybe he declined, who knows. If Stevie is inducted to the Hall as a solo artist, that will be really great for her and I think Lindsey will be just as happy to see that as anyone... It's not a competition!

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