Thursday, December 01, 2005


Photo via Goldduststevie
By Andy Capper, Stevie Nicks
Dec 1 2005

I'm 56 now, but music still has the same effect on me as when I was 15. Every so often, I'll hear a couple of songs that will just kill me and make me go instantly to my desk to write, and then straight to the piano to compose. That feeling is something that's never gone away and I feel really blessed by that.

I know some people say they used to write better when they were younger, but I feel the greatest writing for me is yet to come. I'm always working on new material and I'm always inspired. At the moment, I'm going between preparing for a short residency at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and composing a series of songs based on the books of Rhiannon, these Welsh legends that I really love. They're such beautiful stories. It's what the old Welsh people left behind to teach future generations about how to raise their children and how to deal with relationships—how to run their lives, basically.

Another thing that inspires me in my music at the moment is my niece Jesse. She's 13 but she's an inch taller than me, with black hair and blue eyes. Sometimes when I'm running on my treadmill and listening to music on my CD player, I'll be singing and howling along while Jesse's in the same room and I'll make her listen to how the singer is singing. Jesse was with me when I wrote four songs for the last Fleetwood Mac album, and she even got to sing on the title track, "Say You Will." That was fun.

It's not that I want to push her into music. I would never do that. The arts are not something that you can push on anybody. People either have it or they don't. I really believe that. I would say to girls who are thinking about getting into making music that the most important thing to do is to learn how to play an instrument well. If you're a girl who can play, you can always get a job. You can play keyboards or guitar in a band no problem. Since you're a girl, you're even more special.

But making it all last, you know, having longevity, is another story. The thing that's kept me going all these years is absolutely "the music." It sounds like a cliché, but the music is way more personally motivating than being in a band. Yes, I was in a band, but it's not like Lindsey Buckingham and I wrote songs together. We never did. We were very, very separate in that. He was a very good producer for my music but that was that.

I was very selfish and was not willing to give up my art for a family and a husband. Now, at this point in my life, I am really glad, because I see so many of the people that did get married and did have relationships—they're all divorced, they're all miserable, their children are miserable, and it's like I'm thinking to myself: "You made the right decision."

I guess for me, as a woman, there was nobody who would tolerate my lifestyle. Even the richest of rock stars had reason to be jealous of me. The poorest of people, the waiter, the great men in my life, it hit them all very hard.

There was the waiter. There were the doormats and the security guards with some other famous bands. There were all these really beautiful and sweet men who have been in my life and then there's the rich, famous men, but at some point or another, my life was too much for ALL of them. They started to make demands. Like, "Where are you going? And what do you mean you're coming home from your tour but you're stopping over in England for a month?"

That kind of thing doesn't go over well. The long black limousine drives up the long path to your house to pick you up and your boyfriend is waving goodbye to you. It's never fun to be left. It wouldn't be for me.

I had my chances but I would never marry a rock star either. Because you can never trust them. I know, I have watched them while I was out there. There was an unspoken society, which Christine McVie and I always stayed completely away from. We didn't really ever know what the rest of the boys in our band did, but we knew what boys in other bands did because that gossip got to us. Whatever went on in Fleetwood Mac was kept from us. We didn't wanna know anyway. As a woman who lived in that world of groupies and rock and roll excess, I can understand why the men do what they do. But I don't have to like it.

I swear on my mom's grave (and she's not even dead yet) that Christine and I didn't go out and have one-night stands while we were on tour. We never met someone in a coffee shop and then went back and slept with them, ever. But the guys would. And in the rest of the world it happens all the time and it's not a big deal. It still happens now with all the new rock and roll bands.

Whatever went on—and plenty of things did—I'm just grateful that I've had so many beautiful memories in this life of music. I would say the most memorable day I ever had was when I was 29 and we played the first ever "Day on the Green" concert in San Francisco. It was Peter Frampton headlining. We were on before him. The concert was a tribute to the success of Peter's Frampton Comes Alive album, so the promoter Bill Graham had built a huge fairy tale castle on top of this massive stadium stage. The castle was so gorgeous. It was sparkling and glittering, and it had turrets and stairs that went up on both sides. The turrets had seats, so it had this Rapunzel kind of feeling. This was the beginning of 1976, and at that point Lindsey and I had only done a small tour with Fleetwood Mac, where there were like 5,000 people per show. This audience was 75,000 people!

We had no idea what to expect. When I got there, I saw each of our dressing rooms had personalized, carved-wood signs in beautiful calligraphy with our names written on them. Of course they were just trailers, but oh what trailers they were!

The first performer was this guy named Lee Michaels. I'd lived in San Francisco, where he's from, so I was a fan of his already. I went out and hid on the side of the stage and watched the show, and then I went back and got dressed during the last half of the next act's set. When we finally got on stage to do our set, I just thought to myself: "Where would I ever want to be in the world except for this sparkling castle in front of 75,000 people?"

I was standing in the middle of the stage thinking, "This is the big time!"

Even better than that was that my best friend and I got to go up the stairs on the side of the castle and sit in those little princess chairs and watch Peter Frampton play live. Peter's an amazing guitarist and back then he had that shoulder length golden hair. He was so gorgeous. He looked like a king. So to sit up there and watch him from that vantage point was just wonderful. When the show was over there was a huge party in Frampton's hotel suite. It was just a magnificent rock and roll moment.

At the party, everybody was drunk. But I can remember it like it was yesterday, so that means it was fun. Everybody was drinking wine, and there were wine spritzers there because of all the English people. It was a beautiful thing. At that point the serious drugs hadn't kicked in yet.
So yes, some bad days came later, but there's always been good days too. All of it, the good and the bad, is what allows me to sit now in a house that overlooks the ocean and have complete freedom in my life. I'm just really grateful to music every day.

By: Andy Capper, Stevie Nicks - Vice

Monday, April 05, 2004

CHRISTINE MCVIE WILL release In the Meantime July 27, 2004

McVie Returns With “Meantime”
Former Fleetwood Mac keyboardist to release third album

April 5/2004

CHRISTINE MCVIE WILL release In the Meantime, her first set of new songs since departing Fleetwood Mac, on July 27th. Meantime is only the singer/keyboardist’s third solo release in her almost four-decade career, and it’s the follow-up to a self-titled album issued two decades ago.

McVie’s return contradicts comments from her former Mac mates who said that she had left the music business altogether and retreated to her home in the U.K. Because Fleetwood Mac’s 2003 release Say You Will included some material from the mid- and late-Nineties, McVie’s keyboards were heard on a couple of the songs, but according to drummer Mick Fleetwood, McVie “retired” because “she doesn’t want to be in this business anymore. Her heart was in the music always, but she didn’t have her heart in what comes with it.” The group released the album as a four-piece and toured without McVie.

McVie’s departure followed a tenure of more than three decades with Fleetwood Mac, to which she contributed several of its Top Forty hits including “You Make Loving Fun” and “Say You Love Me.” Christine McVie spawned a pair of hits itself, with “Got a Hold on Me” breaking the Top Ten and “Love Will Show Us How” going Top Forty in 1984.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

WARNER BROS. WILL reissue Fleetwood Mac‘s landmark late Seventies albums

Fleetwood Mac Dust Off Demos
Expanded reissues of late Seventies albums due in March

January 28, 2004
Rolling Stone Magazine

WARNER BROS. WILL reissue Fleetwood Mac‘s landmark late Seventies albums Fleetwood Mac, Rumours and Tusk on March 23rd.

The expanded version of Fleetwood Mac, originally released in 1975 and the first to feature Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, will include a previously unreleased jam, along with four alternate takes of album cuts. Both Rumours (1977) and Tusk (1979) will come with a full disc of unreleased demos and outtakes.

Rumours, which has sold more than 19 million copies, has become almost as famous for its creators’ feuding as its blockbuster hits. “All of those problems and all of those drugs, and all of the fun and all of the craziness, all made for writing all those songs,” says Nicks in the liner notes. “If we’d been a big healthy great group of guys and gals, none of those great songs would’ve been written.”

The roughs and outtakes on the discs offer a behind-the-scenes peak at the group’s sometimes fractured songwriting process, which gave “The Chain” its name.

“It started out as one song in Sausalito,” Buckingham told Rolling Stone. “We decided it needed a bridge, so we cut a bridge and edited it into the rest of the song. We didn’t get a vocal and left it for a long time in a bunch of pieces. It almost went off the album. Then we listened back and decided we liked the bridge, but didn’t like the rest of the song. So I wrote verses for that bridge, which was originally not in the songs and edited those in. We saved the ending. The ending was the only thing left from the original track. We ended up calling it ‘The Chain’ because it was a bunch of pieces.”

Fleetwood Mac outtakes:

  • Jam #2
  • Say You Love Me (Single Version)
  • Rhiannon (Single Version)
  • Over My Head (Single Version)
  • Blue Letter (Single Version)

Rumours demos and outtakes:

  • Second Hand News
  • Dreams
  • Brushes (Never Going Back Again)
  • Don’t Stop
  • Go Your Own Way
  • Songbird
  • Silver Springs
  • You Make Loving Fun
  • Gold Dust Woman #1
  • Oh Daddy
  • Think About It
  • Never Going Back Again
  • Planets of the Universe
  • Butter Cookie (Keep Me There)
  • Gold Dust Woman
  • Doesn’t Anything Last
  • Mic The Screecher
  • For Duster (The Blues)

Tusk demos and outtakes:

  • One More Time (Over and Over)
  • Can’t Walk Out of Here (The Ledge)
  • Think About Me
  • Sara
  • Lindsey’s Song #1 (I Know I’m Not Wrong)
  • Storms
  • Lindsey’s Song #2 (That’s All for Everyone)
  • Sisters of the Moon
  • Out on the Road (That’s Enough for Me)
  • Brown Eyes
  • Never Make Me Cry
  • Song #1 (I Know I’m Not Wrong)
  • Honey Hi
  • Beautiful Child
  • Song #3 (Walk a Thin Line)
  • Come On Baby (Never Forget)
  • Song #1 (I Know I’m Not Wrong)
  • Kiss and Run
  • Farmer’s Daughter
  • Think About Me (Single Version)
  • Sisters of the Moon (Single Version)

Tuesday, May 01, 2001

Stevie Nicks "Trouble in Shangri-La"

MAY 1, 2001:
Stevie Nicks sixth solo album "Trouble in Shangri-La" was released May 1, 2001 and debuted at No.5 on Billboards Top 200 Albums Chart with 109,000 units sold in the U.S. on May 19, 2001 This was the second highest debut for the week behind Destiny's Child "Survivor" at No.1 which feat. a sample of Stevie's "Edge of Seventeen" on "Bootylicious". This was also Stevie's highest charting solo ranking since 1983's The Wild Heart hit the same peak, and her biggest SoundScan era sales week ever, besting her previous solo album, 1994's "Street Angel", which started with 27,000 units sold and debuting at No.45. Trouble in Shangri-La was also the No.1 Internet Album for the week with Destiny's Child coming in at No.2.

The album spent a total of 20 weeks on the Top 200 chart. To date the album has been certified gold in the U.S.

Thursday, October 30, 1997

Rumours of Fleetwood Mac's demise are exaggerated -- for the time being

Is the Mac Truly Back?
Rumours of Fleetwood Mac's demise are exaggerated -- for the time being
By Steve Appleford - Thursday, Oct 30 1997
Houston Press

This is an odd bit of paradise for Lindsey Buckingham. He's ensconced in a plush East Hollywood recording studio, eyes closed, his bare feet tapping at the hardwood floor as he listens to a playback of "Bleed to Love Her," another forceful blend of acoustic guitar and tortured romance from the singer/guitarist. His hands beat silently against imaginary drums. Maestro Buckingham looks like a happy man.

More remarkable is the reason for this musical bliss. It's right there on the video monitor in front of him, confirming that Buckingham isn't here working on some long-awaited solo project, but that he's somehow reunited with Fleetwood Mac for the first time since abruptly quitting that fraying superstar act in 1987. Buckingham is a little surprised himself.

"If you had asked me six or eight months ago if I would be doing this, I would have said no," Buckingham says gravely. The singer/ guitarist had his reasons for leaving Fleetwood Mac a decade ago, even as it was enjoying a new surge in popularity. Various forms of excess had taken their toll. There had also been lingering resentments between him and singer Stevie Nicks in the years after the breakup of their romance in 1977. But most profound for Buckingham, the band had taken a disturbingly commercial direction in the 1980s, and thus could no longer fulfill his dreams of off-center studio wizardry.

"The priorities had gotten a little screwed up," he says. "A lot of people were having personal problems, and it was not a nurturing atmosphere creatively. It was very unfocused. Now that a lot of [that] doesn't exist, I don't know. I have to say I'm enjoying just sharing the situation with these people."

There's a beat of hesitation in his voice, as though he were still trying to convince himself that he should even be here. But the good vibes seem real enough among Nicks, singer/pianist Christine McVie, bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood, all of whom inadvertently reunited this year during the making of a still-unfinished Buckingham solo effort, his first since 1992's Out of the Cradle. "Nobody's pissed off anymore," says Nicks. Maybe so. But the ultimate test is coming now, with Fleetwood Mac's current 40-date national tour, which will deliver the band to the Summit on Sunday.

For the moment, Buckingham's taking a break from mixing The Dance, a new live release culled from the MTV special of the same name. He soon takes a call from Reprise Records president Howie Klein, and you can almost feel the steam rising at the other end of the line as Buckingham describes which major hit songs won't be on the disc. Afterward, he laughs. "Everything," he says, "is about that far from the fan."

Buckingham is dressed in casual black, the hair at his temples and chest a subtle gray -- all the band members are now, after all, in their late 40s or early 50s -- and he slouches comfortably on a porch just outside the control room. The studio overlooks a badminton net and a jungle paradise of green, right in the midst of urban Los Angeles; it's where the band (except for the laissez-faire John McVie) made almost daily visits before going on tour. At a nearby table, Fleetwood speaks quietly into a telephone as Christine McVie prepares to leave.

Before stepping into her car, the singer stops to kiss Buckingham on the cheek. "Good-bye, Lindsey," says Christine, looking reed thin in a T-shirt and tinted glasses. "Don't stress yourself out too much."

That's a tall order in a band that has thrived most when suffering the greatest turmoil. In 1977, Fleetwood Mac discovered profound inspiration in their own shattered relationships for the 20-million-selling Rumours release. That year saw the breakups of Buckingham and Nicks, Fleetwood's marriage and that of the McVies. The result was music energized by bitterness (Buckingham and Nicks) and romantic faith (Christine McVie). Songs were at times accusatory, loving and mystical, with a dark undercurrent that owed much to the ominous brooding of the Mick Fleetwood/ John McVie rhythm section.

For all the tales of bad love on Rumours, it was pure musical escapism, and it connected deeply with the masses. It remains one of the best-selling albums of all time. "We kind of captured the imagination of people back then -- the idea in those days of a sort of heavy-duty alcohol/drug band with broken relationships all kind of singing to one other," Christine says. "We seemed accessible to them, and people related greatly to the content of the songs. And the chemistry between us was awe-inspiring. People used to meet us and feel intimidated when there was more than three of us in a room. It was a pretty heavy-duty thing."

If Rumours was the band's perfect pop document, it took 1979's Tusk to suggest real ambition. It was an unexpected reaction to mass appeal, particularly when compared to the Eagles' utterly disposable atrocity The Long Run, a different kind of reaction to success that was released the same year. Tusk was an outing that eased into focus via gentle strumming and the warm longing of Christine McVie's voice. What immediately followed was a rich fabric of sounds and ideas: Buckingham's subtly twisted rhythms and twangy guitar, the off-kilter piano that opens Nicks's "Sara," the perverse recruiting of the USC Marching Band for a horns-and-drum section on the title track. And throughout, listeners could hear the blissful sense of freedom in Buckingham's voice.

"That was probably my favorite time in the band," Buckingham says now, "because I felt the most empowered and the most spontaneous in terms of understanding what I was doing and why I was doing it."

The ultimate source of Buckingham's frustration within Fleetwood Mac originated not in Tusk's commercial disappointment (if two top ten singles and sales above four million can be called disappointing), but with the shift in internal politics that determined experimentation was not the way to continued riches, and therefore not the way for Fleetwood Mac. So what followed were records that were smooth and safe, leaning heavily on tested hit-making formulas. A Buckingham solo career was inevitable.

Buckingham was not the only notable talent within the band, but his was the vision that held it together. In 1987, Fleetwood Mac were met with renewed popularity and critical acclaim for Tango in the Night, a CD of real pop craftsmanship, but with emotions that sounded more manufactured than before. The heavy breathing of the song "Big Love" notwithstanding, the heat within Mac was largely gone.

By then, Fleetwood Mac was more an obligation than a useful venue for Buckingham. The band had ceased to be the setting where the singer bared his tortured soul, becoming instead merely a profitable hit factory, designed to keep the old fans happy during their morning commutes. When Tango in the Night was finished, after a year of sessions in his garage studio, Buckingham announced that he could not be part of a scheduled tour and essentially quit the band.

The quintet's only high-profile reunion came as a result of the 1992 presidential election, after Bill Clinton adopted the band's "Don't Stop" as his campaign song. When he was elected, Clinton requested that the late-'70s lineup of Fleetwood Mac reunite for his inaugural celebration and perform the song as the climax of a show populated by the likes of Barbra Streisand and a uniformed Michael Jackson. Even John McVie, now an American citizen and staunch Republican, was ready to oblige. Only Buckingham was hesitant, but Nicks finally convinced him to participate.

"I thought it was touching that for the first time you had a president who was openly professing his alliance [with] rock and roll," Buckingham says with a shrug. "That gave off a sense of possibility that maybe didn't really pan out."

If there were any hopes within the band of a permanent reunion, it was soon clear that Buckingham didn't share them. "It was a one-off thing, and I don't think anyone thought much beyond that show," Christine says. "At the airport as we left to come back to L.A., it was pretty much, 'Well, see you around....' " Soon after their return, Nicks quit the band.

"At the inauguration I just realized I wanted it to be back the way it was, or I didn't want to be in it anymore," says Nicks, who had remained committed to the band even as her solo career took off. (Indeed, she has just signed a new five-release deal with Reprise and plans to head into the studio after the Fleetwood Mac tour.) "For me, it made me realize that it had to be that five, or it couldn't be. I couldn't continue to be in a Fleetwood Mac that didn't have Lindsey in it."

Fleetwood Mac was formed in 1967 by London blues guitarist Peter Green, an alumnus of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. It was a different kind of outfit then, a quintet of dedicated blues fanatics. Green named the group after his Fleetwood/McVie rhythm section largely because he wasn't interested in the sort of "Clapton is God" hero worship that was already heading his way.

That rhythm section formed the spine of an ever-changing lineup after Green's departure in 1970. "I'm not a singer/songwriter," Fleetwood says. "I'm a drummer who's a good organizer. And I love what I do with a passion, and I still have a passion that's intact. My setup is, I have to keep this going in order to function. What will I do? Who will I play with? I can't play in my front living room. I need a band. John and I are a couple of gigsters."

By 1975, Fleetwood had heard a little-noticed release by a duo called Buckingham-Nicks. The two singer/songwriters were struggling just to pay the bills; Nicks worked as a waitress in coffee shops and restaurants around Los Angeles, and Buckingham toured as a sideman to a fading Phil Everly. When Fleetwood called, the couple spent their last few dollars on old Fleetwood Mac vinyl, searching for something they could identify with. "I had to say to Lindsey, 'Well, I'm very tired of being a waitress, so I definitely think we should join this band,' " Nicks recalls.

Nicks had wanted to be Joni Mitchell, but instead she ended up a singer with a strange, raspy vibrato. Critics weren't immediately won over. She particularly remembers one reviewer describing her vocals as the sound of a "bleating goat." Still, the vocals were memorable. And the eventual result was a voice as distinctive as any other in '70s music, as much an acquired taste as Robert Plant or Johnny Rotten.

The self-titled Fleetwood Mac effort, released in 1975, was immediately successful; it sold four million copies and then was followed by Rumours. "It was great," Nicks says. "It made us all a mess. We did a lot of drugs -- we're all lucky to be alive. We had a great time; there was no getting around it. Anybody tells you any different, they're lying. It was incredible."

That excess sent her to the Betty Ford Clinic a decade ago, and the bloated, dazed, black-magic woman who appeared on at least one solo tour bore little resemblance to the fresh-faced California girl who had met Buckingham as a high school student. But today she's slimmed down and garbed in her usual black chiffon, sipping hot tea. "It's hard to be really famous," she shrugs, "but it's hard to be really poor and not famous."

Fleetwood Mac was, for one moment, the biggest band in the universe, seemingly oblivious to the movements of punk and disco then swirling around them. They were instead awash in limousines and private jets and Grammy Awards, and they became easy targets for the American punk movement for what it viewed as appalling rock-star excess.

Even today Buckingham sounds bitter about the punk attacks. But if the likes of Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles helped give the Los Angeles punk movement some of its fire, L.A. punks should be grateful to them, even if the band's real life wasn't so simple. It's with some irony that contemporary punk-based acts such as the Smashing Pumpkins and Hole now refer to Fleetwood Mac as one of their great inspirations.

"We were their age when we started, and we're still doing it today," Nicks says of her close friendships with Courtney Love and Billy Corgan. "So maybe we give them hope."

Like the Sex Pistols last year, Fleetwood Mac's return to the concert stage now will signify nothing more than nostalgia unless it leads the quintet back into the studio, where their work always mattered the most. The final version of The Dance isn't exactly a revelation, though the band does inject some contemporary fire into the old songs. And the inclusion of four new tunes, including the torrid "Bleed to Love Her," suggests the band again has a future -- if, that is, they choose to take it.

Fleetwood Mac performs Sunday, November 2, at the Summit, San Antonio, TX. Tickets are $36.25 to $101.25. For info, call 629-3700.

Wednesday, October 29, 1997

Fleetwood Mac delivers old songs, new songs and fun

Fleetwood Mac Live at Delta Center
Las Vegas, NV - October 28, 1997
The Desert News October 29, 1997

Tuesday, April 06, 1993

Review/Pop; A Musically Mad Scientist - Lindsey Buckingham

Published: April 06, 1993
The New York Times

Lindsey Buckingham might be described as the mad scientist of California pop. The singer, songwriter and guitarist who masterminded the gossamer folk-rock harmonies of Fleetwood Mac's biggest hits is a notorious perfectionist in the recording studio. And at Town Hall on Wednesday evening, in a concert that was part of his first solo tour, he worked with considerable success to recreate the layered textures that have made both his Fleetwood Mac and his solo albums models of a certain kind of meticulous craft.

Especially on his solo albums, Mr. Buckingham has applied his wizardry to the creation of tortured psychodramas in which every sigh of pleasure is balanced by a primal scream or a Gothic nightmare. His newest record, "Out of the Cradle," is an autobiographical song cycle describing a midlife crisis with many characteristics of a nervous breakdown.

In introducing songs from the album on Wednesday, the wiry, frizzy-haired singer talked about their personal associations. A brooding acoustic version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "This Nearly Was Mine," which he said was his father's favorite song, prefaced "Street of Dreams," a reflection in which a visit to his father's grave sets off howls of loneliness and despair.

Since Mr. Buckingham plays most of the instruments and sings most of the parts on his own recordings, even to begin duplicating what he does by himself in the studio required a nine-member band. He was joined by four guitarists doubling as backup singers, a drummer, a keyboardist, a bassist and two percussionists.

Even though the sound had an impressive clarity, there was something bizarre about finding the stage of Town Hall jampacked with tons of electronic equipment that dwarfed the performers. This sort of technological barrage befits a heavy-metal concert in which the goal is to create a sonic explosion. But it seemed excessive for an artist as quirky and introspective as Mr. Buckingham.

Pumped up to heavy metal levels, such Fleetwood Mac songs as "Go Your Own Way," "The Chain" and "Tusk" sounded overblown, although they had an undeniable visceral clout. When things quieted down, as in "Street of Dreams" and "All My Sorrows" (Mr. Buckingham's freewheeling adaptation of "All My Trials"), the layered voice, guitar and percussion found a blend that was almost as refined as the texture of the recording.

Sunday, June 21, 1992

RECORDINGS VIEW; A Studio Wizard Takes a Psychic Journey

Published: June 21, 1992
The New York Times

In "Street of Dreams," the most anguished song on Lindsey Buckingham's third solo album, "Out of the Cradle," the narrator visits the grave of his father, who has been dead for 10 years, and prays, "Will I ever stop dreaming dreams?" His father's ghost answers, "Never, never, never!" in a vengeful primal scream.

The tormented father-son dialogue, which revolves around the word "lonely," is cast in a dank, echoey setting that suggests Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" transformed into a surreal dirge. As much as any cut on "Out of the Cradle," it demonstrates Mr. Buckingham's brilliance at using the recording studio to create intricate interior dramas in which ambiance and an allusive pop sensibility matter more than the actual words and music.

The most elaborate and ambitious of Mr. Buckingham's solo recordings, "Out of the Cradle" is an album-length suite that describes a young musician's descent from innocence into a dark night of the soul and his eventual re-emergence into a slightly shaky autonomy. Mr. Buckingham plays most of the instruments on the record, which took two years to record in his home studio with his longtime collaborator and songwriting partner, Richard Dashut. His labors have produced one of the most exquisitely textured rock albums ever made.

The style that Mr. Buckingham has refined on "Out of the Cradle" is a personalized extension of the sound he devised for Fleetwood Mac in the late 1970's. The ultimate studio distillation of harmonized California folk-rock, his technique mixes carefully layered guitars and other stringed instruments with voices (both real and electronic) into a scintillating orchestral fabric. His master stroke has always been his ability to buoy these rich, three-dimensional textures with rhythms that have the feel of streamlined Celtic folk dancing. Their brisk, airy bounce keeps the productions from seeming overworked.

As the sonic architect of Fleetwood Mac, Mr. Buckingham used this studio wizardry to create the rock equivalent of a nighttime soap opera, starring the flighty, sexy Stevie Nicks and the stalwart, long-suffering Christine McVie.

The sound Mr. Buckingham has created for his solo albums employs the same ingredients but adapted to suit his passionate yet pinched vocal style. Where Fleetwood Mac's albums were glamorous comedies of manners, "Out of the Cradle" is one long, brooding interior monologue. The psychic journey begins on a note of frightened euphoria ("Don't Look Down"), takes a look at music-industry crassness ("Wrong"), then descends into despair ("All My Sorrows") and borderline insanity ("This Is the Time," "You Do or You Don't," "Street of Dreams"). With "Surrender the Rain" and "Doing What I Can," the narrator begins to recover, and the last songs, "Turn It On" and "Say We'll Meet Again," express an almost giddy affirmation.

Mr. Buckingham writes charming folkish melodies, and his best lyrics make serviceable use of archetypal symbolism, but his manipulation of instrumental atmosphere is what makes "Out of the Cradle" memorable. Mr. Buckingham's psychological changes parallel an exploration of his musical roots.

His influences range from Rodgers and Hammerstein (an acoustic instrumental rendition of "This Nearly Was Mine") to the Kingston Trio (a haunting adaptation of their version of the traditional "All My Sorrows") to rockabilly ballads ("Street of Dreams") to good-timey mid-60's folk ("Say We'll Meet Again"). "Countdown" momentarily echoes the Turtles, while "Soul Drifter," a gorgeous folk-cowboy song, ends with quotes from the Tokens' "Lion Sleeps Tonight."

The sum total of all these fragments, reflections and echoes is an impressionistic, if eccentric, memoir of his own painful loss of innocence and musical evolution.