Lindsey Buckingham – You Do or You Don’t

“Living in exile ain’t the way to go…”

By 1975, Fleetwood Mac had lost blues legend Peter Green and recruited San Franciscans Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks to round out their Brit-based lineup.  It proved a commercial and critical success, giving way to one of the biggest selling albums of all time, “Rumours”.  Lindsey Buckingham is mainly lauded as the architect of their sound from a production standpoint, but is often overlooked as the dynamic singer/songwriter/guitar virtuoso that he is. 

His solo albums were mainly a quirky outlet for his less commercial material, until his untimely departure from the group in 1987.  1992 saw the release of the long-awaited “Out of the Cradle” album.  It was a critical triumph, and has been hailed as a masterpiece by most reviewers.  But reviewers don’t buy millions of albums and it was a very mild commercial hit…had it been a Fleetwood Mac album, it would have been a multi platinum smash. 

“You say you will but you won’t…

You either do or you don’t”

The song ‘You Do or You Don’t’ was not a single release, but is a beautiful pop rock confection.  Some other songs on the album (‘Countdown’, ‘Don’t Look Down’) were more suited to single release, but this is a great combination of Lindsey Buckingam’s strengths as a lyricist, musician and producer.   The song examines the choices we all have before us and how we must persevere even against the harshest opponents.  The song is very appropriate in reference to his decision to abandon the Fleetwood Mac ship, but is also universal in its appeal to the ‘everyman’ in all of us. 

(Warner Bros is pretty on top of youtube, so this is a live clip from Lindsey’s 1st solo tour to promote ‘…Cradle’ in 1993.  While this is an interesting version, I also suggest seeking out the studio cut.)

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