#2. The Only Album Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham Recorded as a Duo
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When it comes to music duos, few are as recognizable or respected as Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, which, considering there are five people in the band, is probably a standout among the litany of reasons why everyone in Fleetwood Mac hates everyone in Fleetwood Mac.
Most people probably can't even list any of the rest of the members, and the band is named after one of them.
The guy with the balls.
Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks are fairly well-known as a duo, is what I'm getting at, which makes it all the more strange that, for almost four decades now, the only album they ever recorded as a pair has been out of print. It's called Buckingham Nicks, appropriately enough, and holy shit, check out Stevie Nicks on the cover.
Lindsey Buckingham looks pretty great too.
So, what gives? Is this a terrible album? Is this just another case of musicians not wanting their embarrassing early recordings to see the light of day? Not at all. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham have both included songs from the album in their subsequent releases and live shows, and one of them ("Crystal") was re-recorded and released on the 1975 self-titled Fleetwood Mac album where the two made their first appearance with the band. The music is just fine.
As far as I can tell, the reason it's never been re-released is ... because it just hasn't. There were rumours that it would happen last year, seeing as how it was the 40th anniversary of the release and Fleetwood Mac was back in the studio and planning to tour anyway. There was even talk that a previously unreleased song from the Buckingham Nicks sessions would be included in the release. Instead, that song ("Without You") ended up on an iTunes-only EP, the cleverly titled Extended Play, and 2013 came and went without any more talk of releasing the album.
So, for the better part of four decades now, a perfectly listenable album by one of the most well-known music duos in history has been locked away, just waiting to be sold to Fleetwood Mac's Catholic church-like following, and it's probably going to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Ahoy, mateys!
#1. The Beatles' Only Live Album
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It always surprises me that in the timeless "Beatles vs. Stones" debate, fans of The Rolling Stones almost never pull the most obvious card you can play in that argument: Who's the better live band?
That's not even sort of a contest. There has never been a time in history when The Rolling Stones would not have completely annihilated the The Beatles in a live setting. Granted, a lot of that has to do with the fact that The Beatles stopped touring altogether about halfway through their career because the screams from adoring fans made playing music in their presence a completely pointless effort, but still, they stopped and the Stones didn't. Facts are facts.
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Feel free to stop whenever you want, though.
Even with that being the case, isn't it still sort of weird that a Beatles live album doesn't exist? Yes, there are technically a few releases of varying degrees of legitimacy that consist of live recordings you can purchase, but there is no official recording of The Beatles playing music in front of the sea of screaming girls that halted their growth as live performers. At least, it doesn't exist anymore.
In the years following the band's demise, fans demanded a live album of some sort, and they finally got one in 1975 when Sir George Martin (the band's producer, often referred to as "the fifth Beatle") was handed tapes from a few different live performances at the Hollywood Bowl. The resulting album sounded like shit, but they released it anyway. When it came time to re-release everything on CD, though, The Beatles' only live album wasn't invited to the party.
There's probably not a market for Beatles stuff anymore anyway.
On the one hand, it's understandable. If you've heard Live at the Hollywood Bowl then you know it's not exactly a pleasant listen.
The crowd sounds like a million rape whistles being blown at once, and because it's compiled from a few different performances it even contains a Hollywood movie-style continuity error that involves the band referring to both A Hard Day's Night and Help! as their "new album," when the two were actually released more than a year apart. Bringing the album to life was a process plagued with all sorts of mishaps and glitches, the most hilarious among them being that part of it involved using a vacuum cleaner to blow air into a piece of recording equipment to keep it cool enough to transfer the original recordings to a usable mixing board. Nevertheless, fans ate it up. The album debuted at No. 1 in the U.K. and at No. 2 in the U.S.
Again, I do understand the thinking behind not making this available today. It does sound terrible. On the other hand, though, that's exactly why it should still be in print. The Beatles were a phenomenon that will be discussed for a long time, and a huge part of the mystique surrounding them as a band has to do with those deafening screams from the crowd that basically ruined every attempt at putting on a decent concert.
The start of that video looks like a fucking soccer riot.
It's not like The Beatles were the only band making music people liked at the time, but they were the only band that elicited that kind of reaction from the general public. What's happening in that video is not fandom, it's an illness. Beatlemania was a plague that infected the United States. It's all well and fine to explain that part of the legend to someone, but wouldn't it really drive the point home if you could throw on the band's lone attempt at an official live album for future generations to hear while we bore the shit out of them by talking about the Beatles?
I'm not saying we need this album for entertainment purposes, but as far as documents of noteworthy moments in American history go, we could do a lot worse.
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