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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Rock > Pop > Lindsey Buckingham: Songs From The Small Machine – Live In L.A. (2011/Eagle Blu-ray)

Lindsey Buckingham: Songs From The Small Machine – Live In L.A. (2011/Eagle Blu-ray)

 

Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Concert: B-

 

 

Lindsey Buckingham may be the most underrated of all the groundbreaking and innovate singer/songwriter/musicians ever to come out of the California Rock movement.  The late 1960s boom that followed Brian Wilson helming The Beach Boys included may of the acts at Woodstock and has been a key part of other genres (including Folk, Pop and protest music) since, but Buckingham became the next step and possibly the peak of all those artists involved.

 

After his album as a duo with Stevie Nicks in the early 1970s, both became members of the newest configuration of a band that was a very hardcore blues band, Fleetwood Mac and though they had success, nothing could have prepared anyone for what followed.  The 1975 Fleetwood Mac album became #1 over a year after its release, Rumours (1977) set sales records that are as impressive as ever, then the band released the huge Tusk set (1979) that sold well and was still considered disappointing.  Increasingly, Buckingham became the strongest creative force of a band with very talented, savvy, distinct voices.

 

As the underrated Mirage arrived in 1982, so did his solo debut, the highly underrated Law & Order, followed a few years later by Go Insane, two years later and showed just how diverse and bold he could be.  With Tusk he absorbed Punk Rock ideas before most of his peers understood what it was, Mirage showed his commercial efficiency, Law & Order has him playing 99% of the instruments and being highly experimental (and successfully so) and Go Insane saw a jump in the use of electronic music and New Wave tendencies were effectively apparent.

 

Since then, he has done more solo albums and Mac albums, but the trend has been back to basics and in his new concert Lindsey Buckingham: Songs From The Small Machine – Live In L.A. (2011), he has gone very acoustic and delivers 14 tracks including Shut Me Down, Go Insane, Trouble, Never Going Back Again, Big Love, Under The Skin, All My Sorrows, Illumination, Second Hand News, Tusk, Stars Are Crazy, End Of Time, That’s The Way Love Goes, I’m So Afraid, Go Your Own Way, Turn It On, Treason and Seeds To Sow.  That is not even all of his great songs but does offer a fine cross-section of his underrated career.

 

I do not think all the songs work best in this laidback fashion, but he can still sing and play as well as compete with most Rock musicians who are of newer generations no matter their talent.  Buckingham is certainly showing another side of himself here and this approach also shows how strong his material really is and always was.  Too bad he did not perform Holiday Road from National Lampoon’s Vacation, but maybe next time.

 

 

The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer has some softness issues, along with some minor staircasing, but is pretty much what I expected from a recent HD shoot, while we get three audio options: a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is towards the front speakers, odd Dolby Digital 4.0 mix and PCM 2.0 Stereo.  I liked the DTS the most, but thought it odd that there was a 4.0 mix of anything.  The DTS sounds slightly limited, but still not bad.  My digital audio high watermark for Buckingham remains the long-discontinued 5.1 lossless mix on the DVD-Audio edition of Rumours.  This should have sounded at least that good, but did not.  The only extra is a Buckingham interview and a nicely illustrated booklet inside the Blu-ray case.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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