Six Pack: Lindsey Buckingham

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Monday, October 3, 2016
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Six Pack: Lindsey Buckingham

Turning 67 today is one of those guitarists you can’t hear playing without wanting to learn how to play guitar yourself, even though you know you’ll never be half as good as he is. That’s right, it’s Lindsey Buckingham’s birthday, and to celebrate the occasion, we’ve put together a playlist featuring all of his solo albums – both studio and live – as well as the “Holiday Road” / “Rockin’ Across the U.S.A.” 45 – and we’ve also compiled a six-pack of tracks by other artists on which Buckingham can be heard contributing vocals.

1. Warren Zevon, “Backs Turned Looking Down the Path” (1976): It’s an oft-told story how Zevon roomed with Buckingham and Stevie Nicks in Los Angeles for a brief period when he returned to the City of Angels after living for a spell in Spain, but Buckingham also turned up on a few tracks on Zevon’s self-titled album. The two most notable of those contributions are on “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” and “Mohammed’s Radio,” but Buckingham is also on this oft-forgotten album track, so we thought we’d spotlight that one instead.

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2. Walter Egan, “Waitin’” (1977): Buckingham can be found all over Egan’s solo catalog, but the two musicians first met in 1976 when Egan was looking for a producer for his debut album. Although Egan’s dream picks included Brian Wilson, John Fogerty, and Todd Rundgren, engineer Duane Scott suggested Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. “At the time, I thought Fleetwood Mac was Bob Welch and the Bermuda Triangle, which was not exactly the direction I wanted to go,” Egan recalled to the website FleetwoodMac.net. “But Duane said Bob was gone and there were new people in Fleetwood Mac and [said], ‘You should hear this new record as well as their old record called BUCKINGHAM NICKS.’ Of course, hearing that great record, I could relate.”

3. Leo Sayer, “Something Fine” (1978): Buckingham guested on Sayer’s cover of this Jackson Browne song, which also featured Waddy Wachtel. “Waddy was a bit wasted at the time, so Lindsey used to leave his house and then come and pick up Waddy, and drive him to the studio,” Sayer recalled in an interview with SuperDeluxeEdition. “I always thought that was really beautiful.”

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4. John Stewart, “The Spinnin’ of the World” (1979): A former member of the Kingston Trio, Stewart’s greatest contribution to pop music as a songwriter is arguably the composition that he provided to the Monkees – that would be “Daydream Believer,” of course –but he maintained a career as a solo artist as well. Stewart’s biggest hit, “Gold,” came from his 1979 album BOMBS AWAY DREAM BABIES, which is home to this track as well.

5. Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo, “I Want You Back” (1982): After tentatively beginning a solo career in 1981 with THE VISITOR, on which he recorded a version of Buckingham’s “Walk A Thin Line,” Fleetwood built himself a band called the Zoo and recorded a second solo album which actually featured Buckingham playing on it. This track was written by Buckingham and Steve Ross, and it sounds quite a bit like a Fleetwood Mac outtake, a sensation no doubt aided by the fact that Richard Dashut produced it.

6. The Dream Academy, “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” (1987): Over on the less-than-likely side of Buckingham’s collaborations, it’s admittedly odd to learn that he worked with the Dream Academy on, of all things, a Korgis cover, but it was an opportunity that was presented to the group. “I was a huge fan, of course, particularly of Lindsey's work with Fleetwood Mac because of TUSK,” said Nick Laird-Clowe in an interview with Rhino. “He obviously had great music-making and record-making sensibilities. Lindsey's production can take a song and make it into a complete masterpiece. He's an absolutely amazing record maker and a really original person. So, of course, I wanted to work with him.” And so he did, both on this track as well as “Indian Summer,” both of which appeared on The Dream Academy’s second album, REMEMBRANCE DAYS.

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