It seems as though the first ‘real’ solo album from Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham is not getting the love and attention that this album deserves, recently deleted from the UK iTunes store, no official release of the four music videos and limited appearances of live tracks in Lindsey’s recent solo live shows.
It’s about time that this fine collection of songs was re-visited and re-appreciated, but first, here’s some brief history…..
Out Of The Cradle was released in 1992, five years after Lindsey had departed Fleetwood Mac to concentrate fully on his solo career and can be considered as his one and only true solo album where he was not a member of Fleetwood Mac (all other solo albums were recorded and released whilst he was juggling being a member of the band and releasing solo albums at the same time).
The solo album sessions actually began in the mid-eighties and the early tracks that these sessions produced morphed into what would become the Fleetwood Mac comeback album ‘Tango In The Night’, that was released in 1987, tracks such as Big Love and Family Man were originally recorded for Lindsey’s next solo album with Lindsey and longterm co-producer ‘Richard Dashut’ co-producing again, but were turned over to the wider group effort, as the Tango sessions consumed Lindsey completely as vocalist, writer, guitarist, producer and arranger, the third solo album was put of the back burner whilst the Mac returned to it’s glory days with ‘Tango In The Night’.
After Tango was released and the obligatory promotional activities completed, the subject of an accompaning tour was on the table, as this point Lindsey baulked, feeling that he wanted to return to his solo work and forego the tour in support of Tango, after much discussion Lindsey decided to quit Fleetwood Mac and pursue his solo work full time. Fleetwood Mac recruited two replacement guitarists and took the band out on the road to promote Tango In The Night throughout 1987 and 1988, leaving Lindsey free to resume his solo career that would continue with sessions for the album ‘Out Of The Cradle’.
Fast forward five years to 1992 and ‘Out Of The Cradle’ was finally completed and ready to be released, the album was a near as dammit complete solo effort, still co-produced with Richard Dashut, but the bulk of the playing was carried out completely by Lindsey alone. The album comprised of sixteen tracks that spanned brand new recordings and a few old standards re-imagined by Lindsey. The album would include four singles ‘Countdown’, ‘Wrong, ‘Soul Drifter’ and ‘Don’t Look Down’, as well as signature guitar masterpieces such as ‘This Is The Time’ and ‘Turn It On’.
The album was released on Reprise (a subsidiary label of the Fleetwood Mac’s label Warner Brothers) and a considerable promotional budget was assigned to promote the new album resulting in four promo music videos being shot and many prime time TV appearances in North America, even some European media promo stops that included radio shows with BBC in the UK and radio shows in The Netherlands where completed. However even with all this promotional activity, the current trends and musical landscape were not quite ready for Lindsey’s new album, this was the time of grunge and Lindsey’s type of melodic pop craft was not selling and it’s a fair to say that ‘Out Of The Cradle’ performed poorly on the charts, only making #128 on the US Billboard charts and #51 on the UK album charts.
The four single releases also did not get much radio airtime or chart placings either, however it was not all failure, Lindsey believed in the album and in early 1993 he took a new live band out on the road for the first Lindsey Buckingham solo tour to promote the album, playing across North America as a headliner and then as an opener for Tina Tuner, Lindsey and the band (that included six guitarists) delivered a blistering set and performed the album hits, as well as classic tracks from Fleetwood Mac.
In between the album release and the live tour, Lindsey became immersed back into the Fleetwood Mac fold, first providing an outtake song from the Out Of The Cradle sessions ‘Make Me A Mask’ for the 1992 four CD retrospective boxset ‘The Chain: 25 Years’, this release also included his participation with Stevie Nicks on another unreleased song ‘Paper Doll’ and then the re-convening with the band at the request of the new President of the United States Bill Clinton who had used the Christine McVie track ‘Don’t Stop’ as his campaign song and dearly requested that the classic ‘rumours’ era Fleetwood Mac would play the track at his inauguration ball, of course the band agreed and Lindsey and Fleetwood Mac performed ‘Don’t Stop’ on primetime TV in front of the new President of the United States.
After this brief reconvening with Fleetwood Mac, this did not mean that Lindsey was rejoining the band, Lindsey has set himself on a path to promote ‘Out Of The Cradle’ and continued the live dates throughout 1993 with his new solo band. The power of the new band was captured on a live VH-1 performance ‘Centre Stage’ that was broadcast on North American TV but remains unavailble commercially, however the set is available unofficially via bootleg CD and DVDs within the online community.
As 1993 draw to a close so did the promotional tour for ‘Out Of The Cradle’, rumours abound that Lindsey took the live band into the studio to record new tracks for his next solo album tentatively titled ‘Smile’ according to online reports, however none of these tracks or the album heve ever been released or this aborted album officially mentioned. Lindsey was then drawn back to the Fleetwood Mac machine again for the full band reunion for 1997’s ‘The Dance’ MTV special that resulted in a hugely successful North American tour and a #1 album for the Lindsey-fronted Fleetwood Mac on the US Billboard charts.
The next step for Lindsey Buckingham’s solo career was delayed till his next album release ‘Under The Skin’ in 2006, what may have happened if ‘Out Of The Cradle’ had met with commercial success as it had with critical success remains a what if….. but we as fans still have the body of work to enjoy, however I wonder why the latest generation of Fleetwood Mac and Lindsey Buckingham fans are being denied the chance to purchase the album via iTunes in the UK and why the album has not had any remaster re-release treatment via Warner Brothers or Rhino, this album remains criminally ignored and deserves a chance to be added to Lindsey’s wider legacy as his definitive solo recording.
To read more on Out Of The Cradle and this subsequent period of Lindsey’s history, please see the links below on the Still Going Insane website….