Tuesday, November 20, 2012


YEAR:  1984
LABEL:  Reprise
TRACK LISTING:  I Want You,  Go Insane,  Slow Dancing,  I Must Go,  Play in the Rain,  Play in the Rain (Continued),  Loving Cup,  Bang the Drum,  D.W. Suite
IMPRESSIONS:  Ah, remember when 38 minutes made an album?  Nowadays, if you put out an album only 38 minutes long people would either call you a slacker or rename it an EP.  But back in the days of vinyl, this was a respectable album length (any more and you'd have a double LP) and nobody expected more.  This brings us to Lindsey Buckingham's second solo album right at the height of the mid-80's new wave MTV boom when Fleetwood Mac's guitar god was perhaps even a little too odd for music videos.  This was when Mr. Buckingham went around everywhere with his "high hair" do -- I mean everywhere -- even on the "We Are the World" video!  The album's first single "Go Insane" is a fantastic song and I loved it the minute I heard it:  driving drums, bizarre sound and even featuring a heavy guitar presence during the age of synthesizers.  The song was quite successful and got a lot of airplay.  Mr. Buckingham followed it up with another fantastic single which sadly didn't capture the public's attention as much:  "Slow Dancing"; the video for this song was exquisite -- think waltzing ghosts from "THE HAUNTED MANSION", folks.  There were a few other notable album tracks:  the two-part "Play in the Rain" (which ended side one with a "locked groove" which meant that the song would endlessly play until you physically lifted the needle) and album-ender "D.W. Suite" which was a tribute to the Beach Boys' Dennis Wilson who died during the making of this album. The experimental sound here looks forward in many ways to a little techno, a little bit of the synth-driven Depeche Mode sound as well as sounding strongly influential (in the song "D.W. Suite") to the sound of the Polyphonic Spree.  But while half of this album is great, the other half is mainly undistinguished 80's experimentation which fell kinda flat.  I've had the album since it came out in 1984 and I don't think I've ever listened to the other songs (I haven't mentioned) more than once.  And I certainly can't remember them.  For an album only 38 minutes long, this isn't a laudable track record.  More time focused on melodies and less on experimental sound tinkering would've netted a better album.  Lindsey's first album suffers from a similar complaint:  half a great album, half a forgettable album.  So, indeed perhaps the best thing to do is to take half the songs from his first album "LAW AND ORDER" and half the songs from "GO INSANE" and create the perfect Lindsey Buckingham 80's solo album; I dunno, you could rename it "INSANE ORDER".  That's kinda fitting, actually.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS:  Go Insane,  Slow Dancing,  Play in the Rain,  Play in the Rain (Continued),  D.W. Suite
FACT SHEET:  GO INSANE is Lindsey Buckingham's second solo album.  It was recorded during the time when Fleetwood Mac had supposedly broken-up for good with the release of what was supposed to be their final album "MIRAGE"; the break-up was short-lived when Fleetwood Mac suddenly re-formed in the mid-80's.  All the songs (except "D.W. Suite") are about Buckingham's break-up with girlfriend Carol Ann Harris and the album is dedicated to her.   

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