BUCKINGHAM NICKS "Nicks & Buckingham" Polydor 5058

Unheralded and almost entirely unknown, the unlikely duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks suddenly found themselves in the rock spotlight when they provided the catalyst for Fleetwood Mac's meteoric rise to superstardom last year. Stevie had been a cocktail waitress while Lindsey's guitar churned out sessions just prior to joining the ranks of this durable group, which shows how the pair's fortunes had fared since they began their musical efforts with the release of the BUCKINGHAM NICKS album in 1973.

That this LP was ignored at the time is sad, because a few listenings to BUCKINGHAM NICKS reveal the pleasant pop sound that their addition has injected into Fleetwood Mac. Stevie's breathy, sensual delivery, which launched "Rhiannon" into the top Ten is found in abundance; and the original version of "Crystal" adorns side one. Buckingham proves himself capable of handling a multitude of guitar styles and includes a short tribute to Django Rheinhardt, a discipleship he shares with many axemen (including Peter Frampton.)

Though the compositions are at times a bit rough, it is the bright aura of vitality which Stevie and Lindsey exude that make BUCKINGHAM NICKS so immediately appealing. Those who missed this album the first time around shouldn't make the same mistake twice. Unheralded no longer, these folks are here to stay.

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