Thursday, May 3, 2012
Even if you’re not a Fleetwood Mac fan, you’ve probably heard of their 1977 release Rumors. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, it’s the sixth best-selling album in U.S. history. Glee recently devoted an entire episode to the seminal LP.
But selling more than 20 million albums worldwide doesn’t seem to be satisfying enough for guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, one of Fleetwood Mac’s main songwriters (along with Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks).
“It’s hard to backtrack,” Buckingham told the Weekly in a previous interview. “Once you go down a road, you can’t just suddenly say: ‘Now, we are going to be what we were in 1976.’ That was when I started solo records. I probably wouldn’t have done that otherwise.”
Next Thursday, Buckingham will perform a one-man show at the Sunset Center featuring Fleetwood classics and tunes from his personal library.
Though he’s most widely recognized for Fleetwood Mac hits like “Go Your Own Way” and “Dreams,” many of Buckingham’s solo efforts have gained acclaim, including Under the Skin, which was named one of the Top 50 albums of 2006 by Rolling Stone. The Los Angeles Times called his most recent effort Seeds We Sow (his third in five years), “a blend of midlife introspection and limousine-liberal hand-wringing.”
Though Buckingham’s solo work – including his newest – bring elements of Fleetwood Mac’s airy folk feel, they also reflect his expanding musical tastes inspired by bands like Phoenix, the Dirty Projectors and Arcade Fire.
Seeds We Sow’s title track offers a chord progression that definitely recalls “Landslide,” but Buckingham manages to give it a Bon Iver-esque indie twist using a time signature and reverberated vocals that at times sounds like Harry Nilsson singing falsetto. And Buckingham’s lyrics always resonate with delicious prose: “Sweet things, pretty things are dying/ In the penny arcade of Edgar Allan Poe/ Medicine men have all gone off spying/ Oh, the seeds we sow.”
Another nugget Buckingham borrowed from the indie handbook: He released Seeds We Sow independently (he wrote, performed, mixed and produced the entire album on his own) after 30 years on the Warner Bros. label.
“I’ve lived a double creative life,” he says. “On the one hand there’s the large mainstream machine of Fleetwood Mac and, on the other hand, the small esoteric machine of solo work. Warner Bros. never fully embraced or supported that small machine.”
The last time Fleetwood Mac toured was in 2009 and various sources, including Rolling Stone, have reported the group will reunite some time in the next year or so. But for now, Buckingham seems to be just as excited with his solo work, and is confident that Fleetwood Mac fans are as well.
“It is just a case of following your instincts,” he says, “and having people pick up on it.”
LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM performs 7:30pm Thursday, May 10, at Sunset Center, San Carlos Street at Ninth, Carmel. $58; $68; $78. 620-2048.