From the opening bars of Don’t Let Me Down Again the seeds for Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours can be heard plain as day. Even outside the context of Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham Nicks is an absolute joy to listen to. There’s something special about hearing the seeds of something great before they were sown.
Before they broke it big with Fleetwood Mac Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks released Buckingham Nicks in 1973. Unfortunately, the album flopped and the dynamic duo were dropped by their label.
Any or all of these tracks would not have sounded out of place on a Fleetwood Mac album. The vocal harmonies are tight, the music is rather laidback and the whole vibe is vaguely reminiscent of the vibe on America’s Ventura Highway. I can feel the warmth of the sun and the soft carpet of grass underneath my bare feet in most of the songs. This is a rather welcome feeling on days when the outdoor temperature is hovering closer to zero and that soft carpet of grass is covered with a blanket of snow.
On Lola (My Love) Buckingham’s fretwork is reminiscent of his later work on Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain. While the lyrics to the two songs are drastically different, the guitar is uncannily similar leaving me wondering if Lindsay either intentionally or unintentionally plagiarized himself (is it still plagiarism if you’re lifting material from yourself?—I guess that’s a different discussion for another time).
From the perspective of a music buff, the standout track is Frozen Love as that’s the song that impressed Mick Fleetwood enough to ask Lindsey Buckingham not only to join Fleetwood Mac, but also agree to Buckingham and Nicks being a package deal and asking them both to join the band. It's almost trippy to imagine oneself being Mick Fleetwood hearing Frozen Love for the first time, impressed and excited about the prospective new guitarist... and at the same time having no idea of the kind juggernaut the addition of both he and Stevie Nicks would be for his band.
Sadly this album is still (as of 2009) yet to be officially released on CD. It was originally released on vinyl in 1973 and briefly re-released in 1982 on the cusp of the success of both Nicks and Buckinghams respective solo careers. It remains one of the most heavily bootlegged albums of the seventies.
Perhaps the music industry would be better served using their resources to release and promote excellent out of print albums like Buckingham Nicks than it is retaining attorneys to sue their customers for illegal downloads. But that too is another discussion for another time. One of the other most heavily bootlegged albums of the seventies was Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue. That album was finally released on CD within the past couple of years, so maybe there’s hope for Buckingham Nicks yet!
Buckingham Nicks (wikipedia album entry)
Lindsey Buckingham (official site)
Lindsey Buckingham (wikipedia entry)
The Nicks Fix (Stevie Nicks Official Site)
Stevie Nicks (wikipedia entry)
Fleetwood Mac (official site)
Fleetwood Mac (wikipedia entry)