Solo Anthology: The Best of Lindsey Buckingham
by David Chiu
(Promo photo by By Raph_PH, via Wikimedia Commons)
Throughout his career, Lindsey Buckingham’s solo work never really gotten the appreciation or recognition compared to his collaborations with his now-estranged band Fleetwood Mac. Of course Fleetwood Mac will always take center stage and get the most attention. But on his own, Buckingham’s solo music reveals a more adventurous side of him that goes beyond mainstream and commercial acceptance (although the songs are quite catchy and melodic in themselves anyway). Fortunately his non-Fleetwood Mac music has now finally gets the deluxe treatment it truly deserves on Solo Anthology, a sprawling 3-CD collection that draws from his solo albums Law and Order, Go Insane, Out of the Cradle, Under the Skin, Gift of Screws, and Seeds We Sow. It’s a great and balanced mix of songs that showcases Buckingham’s eccentric and rootsy side, not to mention his brilliant production talents and musical arrangements in the studio. (And of course, there are plenty of great and ripping guitar solos in nearly all of the tracks in this collection; the mind-blowing playing on “Countdown” comes to mind). After the last 20 years that saw Buckingham perform tracks onstage like “Go Insane” and “Trouble” in reworked acoustic form, it’s finally nice to hear them in their original studio incarnations here; not only does the compilation features those important tracks, but also some soundtrack recordings, especially the bouncy and beloved “Holiday Road” from National Lampoon’s Vacation. After a long hiatus following his departure from Fleetwood Mac the first time in 1987, Buckingham came back with 1992’s brilliant Out of the Cradle album, from which Solo Anthology offers a generous heaping of that Cradle‘s great tracks: “Countdown,” “Soul Drifter,” “Say We Meet Again,” “Turn It On,” and “Surrender the Rain.” Since then, the singer/guitarist has eschewed the eccentricity and gloss of his earlier stuff (especially from the ’80s Go Insane period) for something more minimalist-sounding but still melodic, like the quiet intimacy of “Show You How” and “Not Too Late,” and the lovely and charming ballad “Did You Miss Me.” Adding to the specialness of Solo Anthology are two new and previously unreleased songs (the upbeat-sounding “Hunger” and the reflective “Ride This Road”), as well as a third disc of recordings containing both his Fleetwood Mac songs (such as “Go Your Own Way,” “Big Love”) and solo material (the sublime “Cast Away Dreams” and the dreamy “All My Sorrows”). While it’s unfortunate Buckingham is no longer a member of the Mac, Solo Anthology reclaims his legacy as a gifted artist and musical genius in his own right; it’s an opportunity for casual listeners to give his works another reevaluation.