Lindsey Buckingham Deconstructs His 10 Best Guitar Riffs
via TheLeapTV / Youtube
When Fleetwood Mac faced uncertainty in the early 1970s, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks emerged as the stabilizing force that would transform the band’s trajectory. Beyond their roles as lead vocalists, Buckingham’s guitar skills played a pivotal role in shaping Fleetwood Mac’s sound.
Buckingham delves into the stories and inspirations behind ten of his best guitar riffs, spanning Fleetwood Mac’s discography and his solo work.
“The thing about ‘The Chain’ is, yes, it’s a signature piece of ours, but it’s also the spirit of the song and the content lyrically is very much in keeping with the legacy we built over a long period of time of always being to rise above the difficulties in order to fulfill a greater destiny, so there was always a chain.”
Buckingham describes “The Chain” as a signature piece that captures Fleetwood Mac’s spirit of rising above difficulties to fulfill a greater destiny. The song’s enduring legacy reflects the band’s ability to overcome challenges and persevere together.
With its finger-picking style, “Never Going Back Again” showcases Buckingham’s folk influences. Written during a period when he and Nicks were making music as a duo, the song speaks of moving forward after personal struggles and finding life beyond the past.
“Lyrically, it was a bit naive, because it was obviously about Stevie. By the time I wrote that, we’d had a few ups and downs, and she’d moved away from me more than once and come back. It was about Stevie, and it was also about meeting somebody else. It seemed to reaffirm that there was life after that, and yet, you create this illusion of ‘I was down once or twice, but I’m never going back to that again.’ Which is not really the way it works.”
Originating as a rehearsal riff, “Tusk” from the eponymous 1979 album demonstrates Buckingham’s innovative approach. The track’s unique sound and rhythmic complexity showcase his ability to push boundaries within the rock genre.
Initially featuring input from all band members, “Big Love” from Tango in the Night underwent a transformation. Buckingham’s distinctive finger-picking style remains at the core of the song, but the focus shifted to create a more focused and singular composition.
Buckingham’s Solo Endeavors
While discussing his solo work, Buckingham sheds light on his struggles with record labels who struggled to understand his solo material. However, he emphasizes the importance of his solo output, sharing stories behind four solo tracks and a duet with Christine McVie.
“They never really knew what to do with my solo stuff. Fleetwood Mac was the priority.”
Lindsey Buckingham’s creative process thrives on embracing the gradual unfolding of a song. He highlights the importance of having a general idea and allowing the music to reveal itself incrementally. This method has propelled him to become a driving force behind one of the most influential rock bands of all time and solidified his status as one of the music industry’s finest guitarists.
Buckingham’s remarkable contributions to Fleetwood Mac’s success and his own solo ventures have left an indelible mark on the landscape of rock music.