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Old 09-05-2017, 11:24 AM
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SisterNightroad SisterNightroad is offline
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Location: Italy
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44 Years Later: Buckingham Nicks Started It All

You could say that Buckingham Nicks was the album that started it all.

When Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham released Buckingham Nicks on September 5, 1973, they had already had a taste of rock and roll. Lindsey played bass in a not so well known band called Fritz. In 1968, he asked Stevie to join and within a few weeks, they were opening for acts like Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane.

By 1971 Fritz disbanded, but Stevie and Lindsey continued writing songs and recording demos. Young and full of hope, they moved to Los Angeles and met producer Keith Olsen. Keith recognized the potential and raw talent in the aspiring duo and would ultimately produce Buckingham Nicks, the 10- track collaborative debut, for Polydor Records.

Listening to Buckingham Nicks is interesting. It never gained commercial success, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. The lyrics were poetic yet relevant, and Stevie’s voice held its innate ability to perfectly capture the words she sang. You felt her heart and soul in each line, each verse, each chorus. And you got an early glimpse into both Stevie and Lindsey’s ability to tell stories through their music. From “Crying in the Night” to “Frozen Love,” I can honestly say that I’ve lost myself between the lines, and loved every bit of the journey.

Buckingham Nicks never made it to the top of the charts, or even close. Polydor Records all but disowned it, deleting the album from its catalog. But as fate would have it, Buckingham Nicks would come to serve a bigger purpose. When Bob Welch left Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood was in search of a replacement. While at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, Mick met Keith Olsen who played him “Frozen Love,” the last track on Buckingham Nicks. Mick asked Lindsey to join Fleetwood Mac and Lindsey agreed on the condition that Stevie becomes a part of the band as well. On New Year’s Eve 1974, Stevie and Lindsey both joined Fleetwood Mac, and the rest is history.

Richard Dashut, assistant engineer on Buckingham Nicks, was close friends and roommates with both Stevie and Lindsey long before their Fleetwood Mac days. He reminisces on their humble beginnings and Stevie’s positive impact, even back then. “A naturally nurturing soul, I was blessed to share a home with both her and Lindsey for a couple of years. Perhaps not the best homemaker (she was never cut out for that) she more than made up for it by making great Hamburger Helper and providing a sensitive feminine balance to our young lifestyle. Very outgoing, she had social skills at the time that Lindsey and I were just beginning to develop. This kept us moving in a positive direction, never once dreaming of giving up on our lofty ambitions. Of course, we never did give up and ended up being part of musical history, in no small part due to her. Because of her charming presence, people immediately felt a sense of warm intrigue, inviting a deeper exploration into her mysterious heart. Before fame found one of my best friends and roommate, there was a girl with the magic of a brilliant aura that she wore like a cape of glittering stars on a moonless night.”

While working on Buckingham Nicks, there was no doubt that Stevie was a star. “Stevie was always serious about her career as a song writer,” Richard continues, “never without a notebook to write lyrics and song ideas in. A permanent fixture at my upright piano, there was a constant melodic beauty that rang through the apartment. Although you had a sense that Stevie was a very special soul (her songs reflected that), it was the combination of both Stevie and Lindsey that gave one a glimpse of future success. They always seemed to bring out the most creative inspiration from each other, rooted from a burning love and a volatile relationship. From this cauldron of creative magic, the formula gave birth to the star and legend she has become. While no one really knows what the future holds, we could feel a strong sense of change was coming and a confidence of staying the course seemed the best path to the inevitable goals we had set for ourselves.”

More than almost anyone, Richard has personal insight into why Stevie’s legacy has endured for so many years, beyond her beginnings on Buckingham Nicks. “What made Stevie the icon she is today, is a combination of a creative presence wrapped in the mystery of forever yearning for a lost love. That vulnerability has touched a universal heart that beats in all of us seeking the ultimate truth through love and escape from loneliness. I think Stevie carries that cross for all of us.”

It’s almost overwhelming when you think of all the little details that need to fall into place for one amazing thing to happen. Without Buckingham Nicks, there might not have been the Fleetwood Mac the world would come to love. Without Fleetwood Mac, there might not have been a solo Stevie Nicks. And without Stevie Nicks…well, I can’t imagine a world without Stevie Nicks.

You could say that Buckingham Nicks was the album that started it all.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:22 AM
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TheWildHeart67 TheWildHeart67 is offline
Addicted Ledgie
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 551

It's so frustrating the album has never been released on cd or digital download officially.
As sales for music dwindles, the market for this album keeps shrinking.
It's looking like it won't get released until one of them dies.
I don't understand.
It should have been released in the 80's.
I understand that the problem is both Stevie and Lindsey own the rights and cannot come to any mutual agreements for a re-release, but c'mon!

Last edited by TheWildHeart67 : 09-06-2017 at 10:25 AM. Reason: grammer
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:07 PM
Andrew Smith Andrew Smith is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 110

The version I've got is directly from the master tapes, with some extra B/N tracks, so I'm not complaining. I agree though that an official CD and/or digital download is so long overdue! I don't know what the hold up is.
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Old 01-30-2018, 03:33 PM
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SisterNightroad SisterNightroad is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Italy
Posts: 5,204

How The Elusive 'Buckingham Nicks' Established Stevie Nicks' Songwriting Voice

On Oct. 26, 2016 — the opening night of her 24 Karat Gold tour, in Phoenix — Stevie Nicks announced something that gave the audience pause: She was about to sing "Crying in the Night," a song she hadn't performed since 1973.

She did the math out loud: "'73, '83, '93, 2003, 2013, '14, '15, '16 — that would be 43 years. This was gonna be the single off the Buckingham Nicks record. It was so long ago, I don't even know if it made it out."

Over the past 44 years, Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham have become household names, but Buckingham Nicks, the album they made before joining Fleetwood Mac, is still largely unknown outside a small, devoted fanbase. With lukewarm initial reviews and sales, it was dropped from Polydor Records within months of its release and has remained elusive, with out-of-print vinyl copies fetching anywhere from $40 to $150 on the internet. Since 1973, there have been bootlegs, but no officially released cassettes or CDs, no Spotify streams nor iTunes downloads, no shrink-wrapped, remastered LP at Urban Outfitters. And, until 2016, when Nicks resurrected "Crying in the Night," few songs have re-appeared on later releases or box sets or in live performances.

Most of the audience that night had showed up expecting the hits: songs like "Edge of Seventeen" and "Dreams," songs they had heard so many times over the years, played on classic rock radio stations seemingly every hour on the hour, and so firmly ingrained in their consciousness they could loudly sing along without hesitation.That's what Nicks and Fleetwood Mac have given their audiences for the past several years: a greatest hits live show, devoid of deep cuts like the songs on Buckingham Nicks — thereby furthering the album's mystique. So the mere mention of an album that has reached such cult status with fans drew deafening screams from the crowd.

Plenty of artists have early recordings of questionable quality that they've publicly disowned, from Emmylou Harris' Gliding Bird to Billy Joel's Cold Spring Harbor. But Buckingham Nicks is an album its creators have only spoken fondly of over the years, often musing half-heartedly in interviews about re-release plans that have yet to come to fruition. One almost has to wonder if there's a performative aspect to it all, if by talking up this "lost" album they're furthering their own melodramatic narrative, the same way they join hands and play a happy couple on stage only to later stare each other down during "Silver Springs."

This wouldn't be surprising. So much of what has been written about the pair focuses more on personal drama they create and continue to feed into — one minute they hate each other, the next they're closer than ever — than their music; Buckingham Nicks leaves less juicy fodder for critics to feast on. "Before fame and all the creepiness creeped in, there was a really sweet girl and a really sweet boy that sang together and made beautiful music," Nicks once said of Buckingham Nicks. Compared to Rumours, its innocence is hardly popcorn-worthy.

Nicks in particular often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to critical recognition. While much has been said about Buckingham and his skills as a guitarist and producer, commentary on Nicks — who makes up for what she lacks in technical musical ability with lyrics that can be complex and layered, capable of being both deeply personal and broadly universal — seldom dips below the superficial. From the start, she's been portrayed more as a sex symbol than a serious musician, described by her time's leading critics as everything from "a shaggy-haired love object who cultivates an onstage mystique that only the very young could thoroughly buy" to a narcissistic "space case, a terminal mutation of the genus Superstar."

Today, it seems Nicks' image continues to overwhelm her art, her legacy written about more in terms of fashion influence than musicianship. Fawning accolades for Stevie Nicks, aesthete, are everywhere. Tougher to find is that same praise for Stevie Nicks, musician.

But beneath the Tumblr-fetishized witchy exterior lies Nicks' prolific songwriting gift: an innate ability to view the world with a particular romantic haziness, to look devastating heartache that could cripple most people square in the face with unfathomable optimism. "It's as if, by the time Nicks got around to singing about something, she already knew that she would survive it," critic Amanda Petrusich wrote in a 2016 essay for the New Yorker.

Nicks boldly took the confessional style that a few female singer-songwriters from Laurel Canyon were exploring and placed it in the increasingly macho late-70s and early-80s arena rock scene. Men are part of her songs, yes, but she is the scaffolding at the center, always; as Nora Ephron once encouraged women, she is the heroine of her life, not the victim. Drawing influence from songwriters like Joni Mitchell, she wrote complex, intimate songs from an honest, female perspective and played them to stadium crowds accustomed to hyper-masculine bands like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones.

Traits that sculpt her greatest songs emerge in their most raw, naive and even prophetic form on Buckingham Nicks. It's a snapshot of a woman at a very specific, tumultuous time in her early 20s, and the range of emotions, from passion to frustration, that comes with it. She is introspective and full of questions for herself and the world around her; she is deeply in love, but already anticipating the end.

On "Crystal," she asks: "Do you always trust your first initial feeling? / Special knowledge holds true, bears believing." Later, on "Races Are Run," she grapples with coming of age again, asking if people can really start again, and, understanding that there are both winners and losers in the world, questioning which side she'll land on.

In 1975, Nicks would both re-record "Crystal" with Fleetwood Mac and croon similar sentiments on "Landslide," which has since become a touchstone for those wearily wondering whether or not they, too, can sail through the changing ocean tides of their lives. Connecting the songs shows an encouraging thread of a sustained optimistic perspective: Life changes and charges forward relentlessly, but we can survive it, especially with the right people by our sides. We can, if anything, at least just be okay.

Nicks' later love affairs spurred plenty of breakup songs whose seeds were planted years before. Though yet to go through a serious split before recording Buckingham Nicks, Nicks wrote the anticipatory "Crying in the Night," a warning to a partner about a manipulative woman who would seduce him away before eventually ruining his life. Think of it as a precursor to the reminder that "women, they will come, and they will go" she sings on 1977's "Dreams."

In Buckingham Nicks' frenzied, showstopping finale, the Nicks-penned "Frozen Love," Buckingham sings: "You may not be as strong as me, and I may not care to teach you." Nicks echos the line, at times just barely catching up, and their voices crescendo together, both dueling and embracing each other seamlessly like the tempestuous lovers who control them. It sets the stage for the darker, crueler performances they'd give later in Fleetwood Mac like "Go Your Own Way" and "Silver Springs," knowing they had no choice but to sing on each other's kiss-off tracks. Nicks is on both the giving and receiving ends of this line. She is at the same time the stronger of the two — shouldering multiple jobs so Buckingham wouldn't have to work — and the one cast in songs and by critics as weaker — aware that Buckingham can musically bring her "skeletons" of songs to life in ways she cannot. And she's fine with that: "Hate gave you me for a lover," she sings pointedly, as if to say that she is who she is, take it or leave it.

This is the early emergence of the Nicks we have come to know and love: both vulnerable and fierce, beaten down but not broken, scorned but still staggeringly confident. In Buckingham Nicks, she is, like many people in their 20s, coming into her voice and learning to trust it. In songs that would come later, from "Silver Springs" to "Beautiful Child" to "Wild Heart," she grows to confidently own all her contradictions, finding strength in embracing her flaws and weaknesses and saying them out loud. From the girl on Buckingham Nicks, she has become many women at once: the one howling that her voice will haunt you, the one quietly letting go of a lover, admitting that she was too naive, the one proudly shrugging off her tendency to fall hard in love so quickly and recklessly.

Nicks has recently emerged as a self-proclaimed fairy godmother for countless millennial women. Her songs serve as lighthouses, there in the darkest of nights to offer safety and guidance. It's refreshing to look back at Buckingham Nicks and see that she was once one of us, still unformed and trying to figure out her place in the world. Through her music, she finally found her way, taking the public with her on that journey. It's encouraging, even, to look back to this beginning knowing that she turned out okay. Maybe, if we listen closely enough, we will, too.
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