Back in 1988, my mom brought home a coveted copy of the 1973 “Buckingham Nicks” self-titled album. She found the copy at a Detroit area record show and proudly brought it home to me.
As a budding Fleetwood Mac fan, I was awestruck. I had read about this commercially unsuccessful, but critically acclaimed album in Rolling Stone, Creem and other rock magazines as a kid.
For me, it was the crown jewel in my Fleetwood Mac vinyl album collection. I couldn’t wait to hear what Lindsey Buckingham’s and Stevie Nicks’ material sounded like before they joined my favorite band.
The album felt like a preview to Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 white album, especially because it features “Crystal.” I loved the folky, ethereal groove the album carried throughout its 10 tracks, but there was one track that stayed with me and still does today – “Frozen Love.”
The seven-minute track is an iconic part of Fleetwood Mac’s history. It was the exact song Mick Fleetwood heard at Sound City from Keith Olsen when he was visiting the studio.
At that moment, Buckingham’s exceptional guitar skills caught Fleetwood’s attention and laid the groundwork for one of the most famous musical partnerships in history. Several months later, Fleetwood came a-knockin’ for Buckingham and Nicks when the late (and great) Bob Welch left the band to form the short-lived Paris.
As a hardcore Fleetwood Mac fan, it was a quintessential moment for me when Fleetwood, Buckingham and Nicks retold the famous tale in Dave Grohl’s 2013 “Sound City” documentary. You could hear the joy in their voices as they relived a crucial moment in their musical history. That type of joy reminds me why I love music in the first place.
For me, I love this song because of the events that transpired around the time it was recorded. Fleetwood and the McVies found the missing element – Buckingham and Nicks – they needed to take their music to the next level.
If Fleetwood hadn’t visited Sound City that day, then my favorite band might not have ever joined forces to create some of the most memorable and commercially successful material of all time (at least in my opinion).
Despite the events that transpired, “Frozen Love” is one of the best tracks on the entire album. Its lush harmonies and brilliant guitar fingerpicking are a preview of the growing musical style Buckingham and Nicks would transfer to Fleetwood Mac’s most commercially successful albums – “Fleetwood Mac,” “Rumours” and many others.
The song also features one of my favorite Buckingham guitar solos ever. I love how he transitions from an acoustic to electric guitar solo in the middle of the song, and it’s backed by an orchestral-like feel. It’s as if the solo is meant to anchor the vocals on either side of it.
The vocals include classic harmonies by Buckingham and Nicks, and it’s not hard to sense the growing tension in their relationship:
“You may not be as strong as me/And I may not care to teach you/It may be hard to keep up with me/But I’ll always be able to reach you.”
More than 40 years later, this theme still carries out personally and professionally for Buckingham and Nicks. There’s something about their longstanding relationship that captures my attention. It’s as if their relationship and love for one another will always be frozen at that point in time.