Having been a creative force behind two of the '70s biggest selling albums, "Fleetwood Mac" ('75) and "Rumours" ('77), Lindsey Buckingham could have spent the remainder of his career cruising on past successes. After all, his songs, arrangements, voice and guitar identify those albums.
But even by the double album "Tusk" it was clear Buckingham wanted to chart a more adventurous course. The title track was one of the oddest things, right down to using the USC marching band, to ever crack the Top 10 (#8). His experimentation got some push back from the band who were not too happy he seemingly was abandoning the "Fleetwood Mac sound." One that he'd so carefully crafted and had brought such huge success. In the end, Steve Nicks' epic "Sara" was the album's major hit and "Tusk," selling a mere four million albums, had no where near the commercial appeal of its predecessors.
Before Fleetwood Mac released another album, both Buckingham and Nicks launched solo careers. Rather than chase hits like his former muse/soul mate, Buckingham took a less mainstream approach on "Law And Order," though it did yield the minor hit "Trouble."
When Fleetwood Mac reconvened for "Mirage" ('82) the group pared "Tusk's" excesses and achieved a fair amount of pop success ("Hold Me," "Love In Store" and "Gypsy," in particular). Still, this too fell far short of expectations as Fleetwood Mac ran out of gas. Even so, Buckingham was quoted saying it would be a shame if that album was the group's swan song.
Not seeing an immediate resolution to Fleetwood Mac's plight Buckingham returned to his solo career issuing "Go Insane" ('84). But Fleetwood Mac, like a lost love, had a way of returning. Another solo effort evolved into Fleetwood Mac's last true shot with its most popular line-up, "Tango In The Night" ('87). Solo again, Buckingham produced his most accomplished album "Out Of The Cradle" ('92).
Buckingham's solo career didn't see a lot activity for the next decade. There were shows and all, but the bigger news was an honest-to-goodness Fleetwood Mac reunion - album and tour. Buckingham, back on his own once again, put out "Under The Skin" ('06) and "Gift Of Screws" ('08).
"As an artist I'm still, for better or worse, clinging to my idealism and to my sense that there is still much to be said," said Buckingham of "Gift Of Screws." "This album is a culmination of that." Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie contributed to several tracks.
1981 Law And Order
1984 Go Insane
1992 Out Of The Cradle
2006 Under the Skin
2008 Live At The Bass Performance Hall
2008 Gift Of Screws
2011 Seeds We Sow
2011 Songs From The Small Machine: Live In L.A At Saban Theatre In Beverly Hills, CA / 2011
2012 One Man Show
Hearing Buckingham's catalog is like playing a musical version of Where's Waldo. In amongst the overblown and often pretentious 'artistic statements" there are actually some Pop/Rock gems. Having been born in Palo Alto, Buckingham was raised on California pop and it's clear he internalized the Beach Boys vocal harmonies (even though he was north of the SoCal beaches). While he often tries to put a different spin on his work, his finely honed pop sensibilities, which served Fleetwood Mac so well in their heyday, come seeping through.
"Gift Of Screws" takes a few tracks to get going but when it does, "Did You Miss Me," "Waiting For You" and "Love Runs Deeper" illustrate Buckingham's taste and craftsmanship. The title track is excellent though Buckingham punctuates it with a lunatic laugh - just to give it an edge - whether necessary or not.
"Out Of The Cradle" featuring "Countdown" and "Soul Drifter," is Buckingham's premier solo shot. "Law And Order" and "Gift Of Screws" are next.