Sometimes I imagine a parallel universe where Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham never met cute while singing “California Dreaming” together at a youth church function in 1966. Without that moment, there would be no Buckingham Nicks album, no chiffon-twirling witchiness, no Rumours, and a lot less pain spread out over the lives of the five members of Fleetwood Mac who took the stage on Sunday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. That isn’t to say that the music that poured out from the decades of fighting, jealousy, drugs, and break-ups wasn’t sublime — it has always been that and more. But, while Fleetwood Mac’s tortured path through the pain has always been fascinating and tuneful, it has not always been easy to watch.
Another related question: why do the best lyrics end up in a song featuring Kenny G? I blame the late 80s for that one. For a better sounding take on the same theme, check out “Not Make Believe,” a Nicks composition from the early 2000s that eventually appeared as a bonus track on Fleetwood Mac’s sometimes fussy, but still underappreciated 2003 album, Say You Will.↵
A barely curated list of things that have distracted me from doing more important things this month:
1. Lindsey Buckingham Meets Soul Train
Not unlike that first Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercial (see below), the combination of Beach Boys’ acolyte Lindsey Buckingham’s layered California pop and the grooviest studio audience of all time is a strange pairing that kind of works, yet feels so wrong.
Known for his dense, sunny arrangements of Fleetwood Mac’s romantic turmoil, Lindsey Buckingham contributed this plaintive piano ballad to the band’s 2013 iTunes-only EP, Extended Play. A self-proclaimed stylist and studio rat, Buckingham has regularly infused both his contributions to Fleetwood Mac albums and solo output with his signature layered, guitar-laden production.
In some ways, “It Takes Time” is a radical departure for Lindsey Buckingham, a rare piano track adorned only with a delicate string arrangement. Yet, the raw emotion of the track is classic Buckingham. While the personal mythology of Stevie Nicks and the feel-good love songs of Christine McVie may have garnered them bigger hits, Buckingham’s heartfelt and direct lyrics, from “Go Your Own Way” to his still-modern contributions to Tusk, have always revealed him as the band’s beating, and often broken, heart.