An alarm clock rings starting from the right speaker, crossing over to the left, then back and forth. A chorus of Lindseys intones “I want you” in a robotic monotone while high pitched squeals dance in the background, as if someone is trying to tune in a radio station that isn’t quite there. This continues for about forty seconds, until a happy synth riff begins, signaling a shift in tone for the song and Lindsey Buckingham’s career.

The song is “I Want You” and the album is 1984’s “Go Insane,” Buckingham’s second solo album and his first to fully embrace the drum machines, synthesizers and vocal effects that made up New Wave.

Oh, and he plays some guitar on it, too.


Big Love = Big Hair

Recorded during one of Buckingham’s periodic dissastifactions with Fleetwood Mac, “Go Insane” scored a Top 40 hit with its title track. The album works as a sort of loose concept detailing the disintegration of Lindsey’s relationship with his girlfriend at the time, with “I Must Go” breaking down the reasons why:

I’ve been trying just to get to you
Hey little girl, leave the little drug alone
I just can’t seem to get thru
Hey little girl, leave the little drug alone…

…and this is why I must go

“Side one” of the album is brilliant, with four killer potential singles in a row, including second single “Slow Dancing”, a strange little funk number that got some MTV video play, but failed to chart in the Hot 100. I guess we weren’t ready for gothic funk yet.

While “Go Insane” did well sales-wise, Buckingham eventually retreated back to the Mac for another go ’round with 1987’s “Tango In The Night”, whose first single, “Big Love” sounded suspiciously like a “Go Insane” outtake (it was pure Lindsey, who played every instrument and did every vocal, including the sped-up “uh ah” grunts and moans at the end). By the time Buckingham got around to another solo album, 1992’s “Out Of The Cradle”, the New Wave-isms were gone, but not the great songcraft.

Score: Lindsay, 1, New Wave, 0.

“Slow Dancing” peaked at #108 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Singles Chart in 1984.
“I Want You” and “I Must Go” were not released as singles.

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