Recording Studios: Cherokee Studios and L.B.'s Garage
Mastered at Sterling Sound
Special Thanks: Robert Aguirre, RTB, Adrian Berwick, Mike Bone, MTB, Aart Dalhuisen, Entire Staff of Elektra Records, Bas Hartong, Michael Huber, Lisa Kelsey, Boh Krasnow, Ray Lindsey, Lou Maglia, Con Merten, Entire Staff of Phonogram Records, Irwin Rennert, Owen Sloane, Mathieru Vansweevelt, Jacque Wagnon
This alhum is for Carol Ann
The Compact Disc Digital Audio System offers the best possible sound reproduction on a small, convenient sound carrier unit. The Compact Disc's remarkable performance is the result of a unique combination of digital playback with laser optics. For the best results, you should apply the same care in storing and handling the Compact Disc as with conventional records. No further cleaning will be necessary if the Compact Disc is always held by the edges and is replaced in its case directly after playing. Should the Compact Disc become soiled by fingerprints, dust or dirt, it can be wiped (always in a straight line, from center to edge) with a clean and lint-free soft, dry cloth. No solvent or abrasive cleaner should ever be used on the disc. If you follow these suggestions, the Compact Disc will provide a lifetime of pure listening enjoyment.
The music on this Compact Disc was originally recorded on analog equipment. We have attempted to preserve, as closely as possible, the sound of the original recording. Because of it's high resolution, however, the Compact Disc can reveal limitations of the source tape.
© 1984 Warner Bros. Records Inc. for the U.S., a Warner Communications Company and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S.
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.
Mfg. by WEA Manufacturing
Printed/Made in U.S.A.
Compact Disc Digital Audio
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Review written by J Mucci, August 15th, 2008
This is one of the more underrated albums in history - at least the 1980s anyhow. It was only a modest seller at the time, with the title track a top 25 hit. These days it is probably mostly forgotten, which is very unfortunate. This album is probably Lindsey Buckingham’s best single effort and definitely needs to be heard again. Perhaps it was just too weird and arty for mainstream audiences back in 1984. Then again, probably not any more strange than some of the songs Prince was writing and having big hits with at the time, such as “When Doves Cry.” And like Prince, he is a complete auteur: writing, performing, producing and arranging. The studio is their ultimate playground. Unlike Prince though, Lindsey will work on an album for years at a time, whereas Prince could turn out a handful every year.
Buckingham was just coming off an intense six year relationship with then-live-in girlfriend Carol Ann Harris when he wrote and recorded Go Insane and this album reflects the heartbreak and conflicted feelings he was experiencing. Songs of disappointment, obsession, sadness, anger and loneliness. But for the most part, the lyrics are minimal. Buckingham has always had a knack for conveying an emotion in as few words as possible. But lyrics have never been his strong suit. It’s his music, melodies and sonic wizardry that are the reason he is sometimes referred to as the successor to Brian Wilson. Not that he sounds like Wilson per se – but he clearly inherited his sense of experimentation. He’s never been afraid to push the limits of what a “pop” song can be, just as Wilson was doing with “Good Vibrations” and Smile. Buckingham proved that to great effect on Fleetwood Mac’s most adventurous album Tusk and he continues that sense of exploring here.
This album in a lot of ways is almost like an art project. He performs almost all of the instruments and sings all the vocals. It does have a certain fussy, studio-based sound to it. But Lindsey is such a master of the studio, that he turns what could have been an insulated, self-indulgent mess into pure brilliance. He has a love for finding odd sounds and using strange production techniques (crashing sounds, sped-up vocals, falling water) and turning them into hooks. His most adventurous songs never go the way you expect them to. They may start off normally and then abruptly go off in some unexpected direction. Sometimes they may start off bizarrely and then quickly turn into the most commercial sounding melody you can imagine. You simply never know. And I think this album was the pinnacle of that experimental phase of his career.
Every song is great in its own way but this is clearly an album that should be heard in its entirety, like Dark Side of the Moon or Sgt. Pepper. These in some ways are not really individual “songs” but more like pieces in a bigger puzzle. If you take one of the pieces out, the picture loses something in the process. Still, certain songs stick out, such as the title track – one of his most underrated songs. He resurrected it many years later in concert, doing a slow acoustic version of it. This has the best arrangement though.
The relentlessly intense “I Must Go” is another clear winner – he sounds tortured and angry, yet the song still comes off catchy as hell. Album opener “I Want You,” starts off strangely, before shifting into a catchy, hard-rocking number with a slight Brian Wilson influence and some great guitar playing.
“Play in the Rain” is a two-part experimental piece with strange sound effects that starts off quietly with Lindsey intoning “Oh, I was lonely/Oh, can we play in the rain?” several times. Then before you know it, you are in the middle of some bazaar in Bombay with a sitar playing. Then it strangely fades away and fades back in, sounding like it did at the beginning. Then he lets loose some intense guitar playing and keeps asking “can we play in the rain?” Who knows what it all means? It shouldn’t work yet for some reason it does.
“D.W. Suite” is a tribute to Dennis Wilson, who had recently passed away. The song goes through many changes, starting off quietly with echoing backing vocals, briefly shifting into some spacier sections, then some 1950’s-styled gospel refrains and ending up as an Irish folk melody that speeds up until the whole thing comes to a sudden halt. The suite is not about Dennis Wilson but it does reflect some of his expansive approach to music-making as well as Brian Wilson’s of course.
The album is forever hard to pin down. It has many styles: 1960s pop music, 1980s New Wave, fractured funk, jagged art rock, not to mention his ever-present folk-rock melodic sense. It’s all in there. It’s what Buckingham does with it all that makes this his slightly-flawed but ultimately brilliant masterpiece.
The cutting edge of 80's pop
Review written by John Fitzgerald, August 15th, 2004
As we should expect from Mr. Buckingham, this is a much different solo outing than it's predecessor, which features a more aggressive keyboard approach. Although experimental in places (most notably both parts of "Play in the rain") it's amazing this release didn't spawn more hit singles than it actually did like the irresistible rockers "I want you" (my personal favorite) & "Loving cup" as well as the bouncy "Slow dancing". There's much emotion here too such as the case on the moving "Bang the drum" and not least of which the sprawling magnum opus that is "D. W. Suite". There's not much not to recommend here. When pop met rock in the 80's, it didn't get much better than this.
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Lindsey Buckingham's second album, like his first, Law and Order, was a triumph of studio wizardry over songwriting craft. Buckingham's work was ear-catching, but once he'd gotten your attention with some gimmicky sound effect or busy arrangement, he had very little to tell you. The exception was the album's most ambitious piece, the closing track, "D.W. Suite," on which Buckingham, always strongly influenced by the Beach Boys, took on what sounded like an elaborate tribute to Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, who died while the album was being made. The title track, which also had massed choral sounds (all made by Buckingham) reminiscent of a Fleetwood Mac track, became a Top 40 hit, but the album lacked the accessibility to make it more than a moderate seller, and at least at this point it appeared that Buckingham's solo albums were going to serve as laboratory experiments in which he tried out new musical ideas before bringing them to greater popular attention through Fleetwood Mac. (William Ruhlmann, All-Music Guide)
Charts Peak : US #45 (Sep 1984)
WXRT Radio, Chicago, August 1984
Lindsey Buckingham (1984)
It starts with "Go Insane" playing in the background. The interviewer, Tom Marker, talks about how great it is for a deejay to get to interview someone like Lindsey Buckingham: "..interesting, intelligent, well-mannered, well-spoken...We had a chance to catch up with him in August 1984, when he was in town to promote his new album 'Go Insane", as well as catch a little day baseball at Wrigley Field."
Lindsey talked about the album. "Go Insane was a very high-tech album" and about trying to balance the high-tech with the high-touch (human contact) "...one of the things I think we succeeded on with this album was in balancing the high-tech and the high-touch. A lot of the present, avant-garde pop doesn't manage to do that."
Lindsey said "working with a group on a record is a bit like making a movie - it's very political, it's very verbal and conscious, the way you have to get from Point A to B. On the other hand, working on your own, the way I've done with playing almost all the instruments and all that, is more like painting...taking a blank canvas, throwing paint around - the work starts to lead you around - instead of you imposing your will on it. It's very subconscious and intuitive. I consider myself a colorist - it's like working with colors."
Thanks to Justine for posting this to the Ledge and to Anusha for formatting and sending it to us.