Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lindsey Buckingham - Go Insane

Today (July 3rd) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Go Insane, the second solo album from Lindsey Buckingham. The record spent sixteen weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 45. It also went to number 33 in Sweden.

Buckingham played nearly all the instruments on the record. The list includes guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion, the Fairlight CMI synthesizer, the LinnDrum drum machine, pump organ and lap harp. He did get some keyboard assistance from Gordon Fordyce (keyboards and cowbell on track 1) and Bryant Simpson (bass on track 2).

The first eight tracks contribute to an overall theme. Buckingham used them to describe his break-up with his long-time girlfriend Carol Ann Harris, to whom he dedicated the album.

Side one opens with "I Want You", co-written by Buckingham and Fordyce. I like the audio effect at the start, with the sound going back and forth between channels; it sounds very cool if you are wearing headphones. The rest of the track has a bit of a south of the border vibe to it. I remember this one getting some radio play on the album-oriented rock stations back in 1984 as part of a multi-song block from this album.

The first single was "Go Insane"; it reached number 100 in Australia, number 23 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 4 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. It has a strong beat for dancing to; when this one came on at the clubs, I would just close my eyes and lose myself in it.

"Slow Dancing", the second single, peaked at number 104 on the US Billboard Hot 200. Contrary to the title, this one was not made for dancing slow.

"I Must Go" is next. Buckingham experiments a good bit with sounds on this track about a guy who has to leave his drug-using girlfriend.

"Play in the Rain" was the B-side to the first single. It plays off sounds like glasses of water being poured and heels on a sidewalk, creating a surreal landscape of thoughts. The vinyl version featured a "locked groove" at the end of this side, allowing the closing part of the song to play continually until you lifted the needle off the record.

Side two begins with more as we have "Play in the Rain (continued)”. This part sticks more to a traditional musical score. On later CD releases, the two tracks were combined into one.

"Loving Cup" shows off some of Buckingham’s amazing guitar skills on an in-your-face dance track.

"Bang the Drum" rises and falls like a merry-go-round horse.

The part of the closing "D.W. Suite" was chosen for the B-side to the second single. On the full, nearly seven minute long track, Buckingham pays tribute to the late Dennis Wilson who died in late December of 1983. This one took me a few listens to really appreciate as there is a lot going on here.

While I was very familiar with a few of the tracks back in 1984, I did not add the Go Insane album to my digital music library until November of 2011. The music here shows Lindsey Buckingham tacking some chances, throwing aside comfortable 70’s rock elements for a fresh spin around the block. The end results work for me.

For more blog posts about the music of Lindsey Buckingham, please click here.


Mark said...

Great album, great artist. Such an underrated guitar player and songwriter.

Martin Maenza said...

Mark, I totally agree on all counts. When I got a hold of his DVD concert a year or so back (check my blog on the name of it), I was blown away with how amazing he continues to be.

HERC said...

Remember how in the Eighties seemingly every song had an extended or remixed version?

Both singles from Go Insane were given this treatment in Germany:

Go Insane (Extended Remix)

Slow Dancing (Extended Version)

Lindsey also appeared on the hit and miss CMT/VH1/MTV series Crossroads which pairs a country act with a pop or rock act. Lindsey appeared with Little Big Town a few years back to glorious results as the four vocalists from LBT were a perfect substitute for Lindsey's Fleetwood Mac compadres.

Anonymous said...

Over the past couple decades Lindsey Buckingham has given up that the title track is about his failed relationship with Stevie Nicks. Many of his interviews in recent years also indicate most of the rest of the album is probably about her too.