Top 10 Fleetwood Mac Songs Sung By Lindsey Buckingham looks at the music of the band Fleetwood Mac and the contributions made by Lindsey Buckingham. As a group, Fleetwood Mac has rocked the audience since 1967. Among the many top hit songs from this iconic band, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks each have their own contribution as lead singers. With the focus on Lindsey Buckingham, which is the all-time favorite as sung by him?
In the Beginning
When Mick Fleetwood, Peter Green, and Jeremy Spencer formed the group out of London, England, their musical niche was in blues. They, along with John McVie, Danny Kirwan, and Christine Perfect (before becoming Christine McVie), each made their contribution before vocal dynamos Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were recruited. Prior to Buckingham and Nicks, Fleetwood Mac already made a name for itself on the music scene, especially on the UK Singles Chart. Like many bands that start out, lineup changes came about and this is where Buckingham and Nicks would make their mark.
Let’s Get Folksy
In 1974, Fleetwood was on the hunt for a suitable replacement for the departed Bob Welch, Bob Weston, and Dave Walker. He learned about the American folk-rock duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks while he was in Los Angeles, California. As soon as Buckingham and Nicks joined the lineup, Fleetwood Mac ventured into a musical direction that featured pop rock. The 1975 album, Fleetwood Mac, became a number-one seller. It was followed by the 1977 success of Rumours, which earned a Grammy Award for Album of the Year the next year. To this day, Rumours remains one of the best-selling albums of all time as it sold over forty million copies.
Until 1987, Fleetwood Mac enjoyed the fruits of its success as one cohesive unit. Between grueling recording and touring schedules, the personal lives of the band’s lineup underwent a series of changes that would ultimately break the group up. It started in 1976 when John McVie and Christine Perfect’s marriage came to an end. At the same time, the romance between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks also ended. At the time, Nicks was involved with Mick Fleetwood. It was a relationship that caused his own marriage to his wife, Jenny, to divorce. It was also a time when the abuse of drugs and alcohol took center stage. Adding this to the fuel of so many fires already burning among the ranks, it was only a matter of time before everyone would go their own way.
In the meantime, Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham performed like a vocal machine with one hit song after another. To his credit, ‘Go Your Own Way,” “Second Hand News,” and “Tusk” were among the few that became major fan favorites that graced the radio waves. When Tusk was released as an album in 1979, this was Buckingham’s influence to have Fleetwood Mac experiment with new sounds musically. This was a step in the direction to ensure it didn’t sound so much like Rumours. As far as Mick Fleetwood was concerned, this album was exactly that and it became his personal favorite as a recording artist.
Although Tusk sold four million copies worldwide, it didn’t share the same level of mainstream presence as Rumours did. This was blamed on the radio’s decision to play the album out in its entirety before it was released. This move allowed listeners to record it while it was playing. Because of this, fans fortunate enough to record the music didn’t have to go to the store to buy it.
AfterFleetwood Mac recorded and released Mirage in 1982, this came after the solo albums that were released by Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and Stevie Nicks. Despite the success, the taste of solo careers witnessed Buckingham, Nicks, and Christine McVie each launched solo work again. For Mick Fleetwood, he wanted the group to do another album together. This brought forth the fourteenth studio album, Tango in the Night. It was released in 1987 as one of the most successful albums in the band’s career.
This was the final album that would feature Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks as members of Fleetwood Mac before the breakup. At this point, neither vocalist was able to get along with the other. Between the two, Buckingham was the first to leave.
Reunions and Departures
Shortly after Fleetwood Mac was officially disbanded in 1995, Mack Fleetwood began to work with Lindsey Buckingham. Also joining Lindsey Buckingham over time was John McVie, then Christine McVie. Stevie Nicks also turned to him for a soundtrack production. By 1996, this group worked together again as a band.
It was a reunion that had the band members stay together for the most part until Buckingham filed a lawsuit against Fleetwood Mac in 2018. This came on the heels of disagreements that gave him cause to break ties with the band.
The departure of Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac resulted in a new lineup that included Mike Campbell and Neil Finn as his replacement. Since then, the roster of this iconic group has met with the deaths of its founding member, Peter Green in 2020, as well as Christie McVie’s death in 2022.
Lindsey Buckingham’s Legacy
Whether as a member of Fleetwood Mac or as a solo artist, Lindsey Buckingham’s accomplishments as a recording artist are nothing short of spectacular. While with the group, there were sixteen studio albums released, along with nine live albums, twenty-three compilation albums, an EP, and sixty-two singles.
Top 10 Fleetwood Mac Songs Sung by Lindsey Buckingham
#10 – Not That Funny
As a song, “Not That Funny” was a jab against the punk style that was taking over as a musical and fashion statement that dominated the 1970s. Released as a single in 1980 from the album, Tusk, Lindsey Buckingham delivered the song as Fleetwood Mac’s lead vocalist. He did this while holding a push-up position in a setting that was designed like a bathroom. As a single, it was a limited release in Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.K. Despite receiving positive reviews from the critics, it failed to make a chart impression.
#9 – I’m So Afraid
Written and sung by Lindsey Buckingham, “I’m So Afraid” was a song that was recorded on Fleetwood Mac, the group’s tenth studio album which was released in 1975. It was a song he wrote before he and Stevie Nicks joined Mick Fleetwood’s band in 1974. This hard-rocking number wound up becoming a live performance favorite as Lindsey Buckingham used it as a means to show off his guitar talent. For Lindsey Buckingham, the inspiration for the song came from Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols.”
The mix of church-style music and orchestra dictated “I’m So Afraid” as a recording that meshed folk and rock together as an edgy song. This also became one of Buckingham’s signature tunes as a solo artist when he wasn’t performing as a member of Fleetwood Mac.
#8 – Oh Diane
Released in 1982 from Mirage, “Oh Diane” was a single that was written and sung by Lindsey Buckingham. On the UK Singles Chart, it became a number nine hit while on the Irish Singles Chart it peaked as high as number eight. On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart, it peaked as high as number thirty-five. It also made an impression on Germany’s chart at number forty-six. The appeal of “Oh Diane” was the 1950s style this song took on. Inspired by Paul Anka’s “Diana,” Lindsey Buckingham not only performed as the song’s lead vocalist but as the guitarist and keyboardist.
#7 – Monday Morning
“Monday Morning” was a song sung by Lindsey Buckingham as one of the lead vocalists for Fleetwood Mac. It came from the group’s self-titled album, which was released in 1975. At the time, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were still a couple. In the song, Lindsey Buckingham expressed his love for a girl who wasn’t willing to fully commit herself to him. Ironically, by 1976, Lindsey Buckingham and Nicks ended their romance but still managed to work together as bandmates.
Before hooking up with Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham and Nicks already wrote this song and intended to perform it as a duo. “Monday Morning” became one of three previously written songs the two would bring to the group as it transitioned from its bluesy style to pop-rock.
#6 – Blue Letter
“Blue Letter” was a song written by the brother songwriting team, Michael and Richard Curtis. It was recorded and released by Fleetwood Mac for their self-titled album in 1975. Lindsey Buckingham was the lead vocalist who performed it as a tune that owed part of its inspiration to Peter Green’s “World Turning.” Green was one of the founding members of Fleetwood Mac before he made his departure.
The song was written by the Curtis brothers after meeting Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. This occurred before the couple joined Mick Fleetwood and his band. “Blue Letter” was a song that seemed to describe the rocky relationship that existed between Buckingham and Nicks while they were still a couple.
#5 – The Chain
Released in 1977 from the album Rumours, “The Chain” was a song that was performed by Lindsey Buckingham as Fleetwood Mac’s lead vocalist. The popularity of this song became a staple whenever the group performed in concert. It’s also been used as the theme music for the U.K.’s BBC channel featuring Formula One. On the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart, the live version of this song peaked at number seven in 1997, twenty years after its studio recording. As a single, it became three-time platinum with the British Phonographic Industry. In Denmark, it was certified gold.
Both Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks technically performed “The Chain” as lead vocalists. The song itself was first written by Stevie Nicks and it was about Lindsey Buckingham as the two realized their relationship had reached the breaking point. By the time the development of “The Chain” was over, the entire roster of Fleetwood Mac each had their own contribution to the song before it was recorded as one of the many songs that contributed to the multi-platinum success Rumours achieved upon its release. The guitar featured in the end came from Buckingham, which added a bit more drama to a song that was once upon a time called “Butter Cookie” by Christine McVie.
#4 – Second Hand News
From the album, Rumours, “Second Hand News” was a somewhat dark song that was sung by Lindsey Buckingham. Originally, this was meant to be an acoustic number before Lindsey Buckingham was inspired by the Bee Gees’ “Jive Talkin’.” He wound up rearranging the music in order to develop a more rhythmic feel that featured hints of Celtic culture in it. At the time of the song’s development, there were split-ups going on among the band members of Fleetwood Mac. The relationship Buckingham had with Stevie Nicks deteriorated while John and Christine McVie were divorcing from each other.
The emotional rollercoaster ride members of Fleetwood Mac experienced at the time wasn’t easy to deal with as each had to set their personal feelings aside in order to complete Rumours as a recording. From there, it was the busy concert tour that followed. As tense as the situation was, this worked in the group’s favor as Rumours became the most successful album in their recording career.
#3 – Tusk
As a single, “Tusk” was a 1979 release from the double album featuring the same name. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it became a number eight hit. On the UK Singles Chart, it climbed as high as number six. It was also certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry, as well as gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association. The song was also a top ten hit among the nations of Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.
Much like “Go Your Own Way,” “Tusk” was a song that made good use of the drumming beats used to orchestrate its tribal-style layout. Both Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood took it upon themselves to experiment with different sounds by using the most unusual instruments they could find. Those include applying a spatula to a lamb chop, as well as hitting a tissue box.
#2 – Big Love
Released in 1987 from the album Tango in the Night, “Big Love” was a single that featured Lindsey Buckingham taking the lead as Fleetwood Mac’s vocalist. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it became a number five hit and it peaked as high as number two on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. Globally, it was at least a top twenty hit in the nations of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, and the U.K. The inspirational appeal behind “Big Love” became a standard in dance music. On the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, it peaked as high as number seven.
As lead vocalist and guitarist, Lindsey Buckingham’s approach to “Big Love” was a lustful style tempo that featured grunting sounds that became increasingly aggressive towards the end. of the song. Not only was this a big hit for Fleetwood Mac but was one of Buckingham’s signature tunes as a solo artist. Some of the fans assumed when hearing the female-style grunts in the song came from Stevie Nicks but this wasn’t the case. Lindsey Buckingham did it all. Although he and Stevie Nicks agreed to work together for Tango in the Night after Christine McVie recruited them for another Fleetwood Mac studio album, it wasn’t an easy task for these two.
#1 – Go Your Own Way
Sung by Lindsey Buckingham, “Go Your Own Way” was the first single released by Fleetwood Mac from the 1977 album, Rumours. It became the group’s first top-ten hit in the U.S. and remains ranked as one of the greatest songs of all time. The recording process of this single took place in three different studios. The song was about Buckingham’s breakup with Stevie Nicks. When Lindsey Buckingham was approached to join Fleetwood Mac, he and Nicks were a strong couple. For Lindsey Buckingham, he wouldn’t join the band without her. That was in 1974. In 1976, things changed and the two were no longer involved with each other at a romantic level.
The inspiration behind “Go Your Own Way” came from “Street Fighting Man,” a single The Rolling Stones released in 1968 from their album, Beggars Banquet. According to Mick Fleetwood, the songwriting took place in a house he believed was haunted. As for the development of the song itself, it was a four-month process that used the drumming beats from “Street Fighting Man” as a source while experimenting with acoustic and electric guitars. After the mixing process, “Go Your Own Way,” as a final product, was recorded and released as a song that became one of the greatest hits of all time.
In Belgium and the Netherlands, “Go Your Own Way” topped their respective music charts. It was a number ten hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as on the US Cash Box Top 100. In Canada, it peaked as high as number eleven. Among the nations of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK, it was at least a top forty hit. In 2020, “Go Your Own Way” made a chart appearance again, this time on the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart at number nineteen. With the British Phonographic Industry, this single sold enough copies to become certified platinum three times.
Top 10 Lindsey Buckingham Fleetwood Mac Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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