Trouble (Lindsey Buckingham song)

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Single by Lindsey Buckingham
from the album Law and Order
B-side "That's How We Do It in L.A."
Released November 1981
Format 7" single[1]
Recorded 1981
Genre Rock, New wave
Length 3:56
Label Asylum
Songwriter(s) Lindsey Buckingham
Producer(s) Lindsey Buckingham, Richard Dashut
Lindsey Buckingham singles chronology
"It Was I"
"It Was I"

"Trouble" is a song written, composed and performed by Lindsey Buckingham and released as the lead single from his 1981 debut solo album Law and Order.

The single was Buckingham's first hit as a solo artist, peaking at #9 in the US[2] and #31 in the UK, where it remained charted for seven weeks.[3] It was most successful in Australia, where it topped the chart for 3 weeks and became the 8th biggest selling single of 1982.[4]


Buckingham approached "Trouble" differently from his other songs, wanting the song to have more of a "live feel". He recruited his Fleetwood Mac bandmate, Mick Fleetwood, to play drums. However, Buckingham believed none of the takes were solid from start to finish, so a taped loop of the drum track (about four-seconds long) was used throughout the song: "The irony of that was that the original reason for having Mick play on the song was to approach the track completely live, as opposed to my usual technique." Buckingham would later overdub some additional drum fills and cymbal crashes, in addition to other percussion instruments, creating the illusion of live drums.

George Hawkins was brought in to play bass guitar. Hawkins had worked with Fleetwood on his first solo album earlier that year. "Trouble" was the only track on "Law and Order" on which Buckingham played neither bass or drums. Buckingham was also particularly proud of the Spanish guitar solo.[5] Some of Buckingham's vocals for the song are sung in falsetto.


The music video to accompany the song was fairly simple. On a white, undressed set, a group of six guitarists, dressed in white tee shirts and slacks, are lined up to the camera's right, while a group of six drummers (Fleetwood is first in line), dressed in black shirts and pants, are lined up on the camera's left. Buckingham moves about in the middle, playing his guitar and singing, with the other musicians are assembled in a "V" playing their instruments. In some shots, they can be seen singing harmonies and back up vocals. In the song's opening, the musicians have some fun, each getting a close up and mockingly singing the opening countdown, "Two, a-three, a-four... Two, a-three, a-four," before we see Buckingham.

Track listings[edit]

7": Asylum Records / E-47223 (US)[edit]

  • A "Trouble" – 3:45
  • B "Mary Lee Jones" – 3:12[6]

7": Mercury / 6000 743 (Australia)[edit]

  • A "Trouble" – 3:56
  • B "That's How We Do It In L.A." – 2:52[7]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1981–82) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[8] 1
Austrian Singles Chart[9] 16
Belgian Singles Chart[10] 40
Dutch Top 40[11] 41
German Singles Chart[12] 39
New Zealand Singles Chart[13] 3
UK Singles Chart[3] 31
US Billboard Hot 100[2] 9

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1982) Position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[4] 8

Music video[edit]

The distinctive music video for "Trouble" features a multi-instrumental "big band" consisting of male musicians—four as guitarists and two bassists, besides Buckingham, and six as drummers, including Mick Fleetwood. Walter Egan also appears in the music video as the second guitarist from the front. The video also features ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarists Bob Welch and Bob Weston,[14] as well as Dwight Twilley and Andy Ward (the drummer from Camel).

In other media[edit]


  • Lindsey Buckingham -vocal, chorus, Spanish guitar
  • George Hawkins - bass guitar, chorus
  • Mick Fleetwood - drums


  1. ^ " - Lindsey Buckingham "Trouble"". Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Lindsey Buckingham - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "ChartArchive - The Chart Archive". Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  5. ^ Madness Fades - Lindsey Buckingham, In His Words
  6. ^ " - Lindsey Buckingham "Trouble" 7"". Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  7. ^ " - Lindsey Buckingham "Trouble" 7"". Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  9. ^ Steffen Hung. "Austrian charts portal". Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  10. ^ Steffen Hung. "Belgian charts portal". Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  11. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dutch charts portal". Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  12. ^ Steffen Hung. "German charts portal". Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  13. ^ Steffen Hung. "New Zealand charts portal". Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  14. ^ Trouble Video - Spot the players
  15. ^ "One Way Static". One Way Static. Retrieved 2017-05-02. 
  16. ^ "Metavari - Metropolis (An Original Re-Score by Metavari) | Light In The Attic Records". Light In The Attic Records. Retrieved 2017-05-02. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Down Under" by Men at Work
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
February 1–15, 1982
Succeeded by
"Tainted Love" by Soft Cell