Buckingham Nicks – Buckingham Nicks (Deluxe Edition)

In this age of deluxe editions on every conceivable anniversary, here is one that continues to be missed. On the 5th September, 1973, an album slipped out by a Los Angeles based duo called Buckingham Nicks. These were guitar player/singer Lindsey Buckingham and vocalist Stevie Nicks. The sessions players were not too shabby, with Waddy Wachel (sessions up to this point include the Everly Brothers, Bill Cowsill and Dory Pravin), Jeff Scheff (sessions up to this point include The Association, The Doors and Elvis Presleys’ TCB Band) and Jim Keltner (more sessions that most people have had hot dinners). The band were able to acquire a small but dedicated following in Birmingham, Alabama, but the record failed to make any waves anywhere else and the duo were were forced to find work outside of the music industry to pay the rent. 

That may well have been the end of the story until a year later when a certain Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac was checking out the Sound City studios for his bands next album. Ken Olsen, who had produced the ‘Buckingham Nicks’  decided to use the song ‘Frozen Love’ as a way of demonstrating the studios capabilities. Fleetwood was not only impressed by the sound of the album, he was mightily impressed but the guitar player on the tracks. Fleetwood Mac were in the market for a new guitar player and Fleetwood felt he had found his man. Buckingham was keen to join, but only on the condition that his musical partner Nicks (and then girlfriend) join as well. A bit of a bold move considering Fleetwood Mac were an established name and the ‘Buckingham Nicks’ had sunk without trace. Not wanting to lose this player, Fleetwood said that this could happen as long as the rest of the band agreed to it. The group met with Nicks, who turned up to the meeting in her waitress uniform having come straight from work. The parties got along and Buckingham Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac. Within two years, they had released ‘Rumours’ and the rest is history. 

So who did two members of one of the biggest selling groups in the world have such an obscure record in their back catalogue? There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer to this. Some of the songs from this album were re-recorded by Fleetwood Mac. ‘Crystal’ appeared 1975’s ‘Fleetwood Mac’, and ‘Don’t Let Me Down Again’ featured on 1980’s ‘Live’ LP. ‘Frozen Love’ was also performed on the tour but did not make the LP. ‘Long Distance Winner’ appeared on Stevie Nicks’ ‘Enchanted’ box set where as ‘Stephanie’ appeared on Buckingham’s ‘Word & Music (A Retrospective)’ promo CD. Both artists have also performed the odd song from this record in their solo shows since the turn of the century. Another song from the period (‘Without You’) was released on Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Extended Play’ EP in 2013.

But what about the album itself. There was talk in 2006 of a Buckingham Nicks tour to support a potential re-release of the album. Neither of these happened. Lindsey Buckingham has said that ‘it was a victim of inertia’. There was talk of a 40th anniversary edition being released back in 2013, but in the end, nothing happened. The record has been bootlegged a number of times, with one even claiming to have been taken form the original master tapes. There is a version that contains demos and studio cuts otherwise unavailable. Some live material from 1975 has also become available down the years but still, a re-release is nowhere to be seen. It might be that we never seen a re-release of the record. Buckingham and Nicks have had a less than harmonious relationship since their romantic partnership broke up during the making of the ‘Rumours’ LP. Even though there has been a thawing of relations down the years, but with Buckingham having been fired from Fleetwood Mac in 2018 (supposedly after an ultimatum from Nicks that either he goes or she goes), it would seem that relations are once again at a low. 

I decided therefore to create my own Deluxe Edition of the album with what is available. Disc 1 is the ten track album with two additional tracks. These are single mixes of ‘Crying In The Night’ (which differs from the album version, especially in the intro where there is more electric guitar) and ‘Don’t Let Me Down Again’ (which is a mono mix).  There were another couple of single releases from the record but I have not been able to find out if there any differences between them and the album mixes. 

Disc 2 is a mix of demos and live tracks. It starts off with ‘See The World Go By’, which might be a solo Nick performance and seems to come from the time between Buckingham Nicks and Fritz,  the band the duo were in from 1968-71. The next nine songs are from a bootleg called ‘The Coffee Plant Demos’. None of these songs appear on the ‘Buckingham Nicks’ LP (even though ‘Sorcerer’ was eventually recorded by Nicks in 2001) and were recorded on a tape machine in the coffee roasting plant Buckingham’s father owned. I almost didn’t include ‘After The Glitter Fades’ because it dates from around the time she joined Fleetwood Mac, but it did not appear on any of the bands records so it found a home here. Nicks would eventually record it for her 1981 LP ‘Bella Donna’. This disc finishes with a number of live recordings. The first six come from a recording made on 28th January 1975 whilst the duo were recording their first Fleetwood Mac album. As has been noted earlier, Buckingham Nicks had had a good following in Birmingham, Alabama and this is where they played their final and best attended shows. The next three are also live recordings but I have not been able to find out where they were recorded. 

Disc 3 is their gig from the Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa on 29th January 1975. The sound on these recordings is a little rough and there are some not too professional cuts, but as an archival release, this is is fascinating especially when you hear Nicks say she has never seen this many people. They also used these shows to preview some material that was about to appear on the forthcoming Fleetwood Mac album in ‘Monday Morning’ and ‘Rhiannon’. The ‘Guitar Instrumental’ track on this disc also has passages that sound as though they were later used by Buckingham in his song ‘Never Going Back’. 

So there is my take on a ‘Buckingham Nicks’ Deluxe Edition. It isn’t perfect but it most probably the best that could be put together with the material available. Maybe we’ll see the album gets it long awaited deluxe edition treatment for its 60th Anniversary. 

Disc 1

  1. Crying In The Night
  2. Stephanie
  3. Without A Leg To Stand On
  4. Crystal
  5. Long Distance Winner
  6. Don’t Let Me Down Again
  7. Django
  8. Races Are Run
  9. Lola (My Love)
  10. Frozen Love
  11. Crying In The Night (Single Version)
  12. Don’t Let Me Down Again (Mono Single Mix)

Disc 2

  1. See The World Go By (Demo)
  2. Without You (Demo)
  3. Candle Bright – Nomad (Demo)
  4. That’s Alright (Demo)
  5. Garbo (Demo)
  6. Sorcerer (Demo)
  7. Goldfish & The Ladybug (Demo)
  8. Going Home (Demo)
  9. Yesterday I Saw The World (Demo)
  10. After The Glitter Fades (Demo)
  11. Farewell Failure (Live – Alabama State Fairgrounds, Birmingham, AL, 28/1/1975)
  12. Sorcerer (Live – Alabama State Fairgrounds, Birmingham, AL, 28/1/1975)
  13. You Won’t Forget Me (Live – Alabama State Fairgrounds, Birmingham, AL, 28/1/1975)
  14. Blue Letter (Live – Alabama State Fairgrounds, Birmingham, AL, 28/1/1975)
  15. Rhiannon (Live – Alabama State Fairgrounds, Birmingham, AL, 28/1/1975)
  16. Guitar Instrumental (Live – Alabama State Fairgrounds, Birmingham, AL, 28/1/1975)
  17. Lola (My Love) (Live)
  18. Races Are Run (Live)
  19. Rhiannon (Live)

Disc 3

  1. Lola (My Love) (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)
  2. Monday Morning (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)
  3. I Don’t Want To Know (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)
  4. Guitar Instrumental (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)
  5. Races Are Run (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)
  6. Rhiannon (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)
  7. Long Distant Winner (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)
  8. Django/Sorcerer (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)
  9. You Wont Forget Me (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)
  10. Blue Letter (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)
  11. Heartbreaker (Circles In Times) (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)
  12. Don’t Let Me Down Again (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)
  13. Frozen Love (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)
  14. Crystal (Morgan Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, AL, 9/1/1975)

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