Monday, July 31, 2023

Review Stevie Nicks Complete Studio Albums & Rarities



Stevie Nicks
Complete Studio Albums & Rarities

When too much of the credit for the success of Fleetwood Mac’s White Album, Rumours, and Tusk went to nasal-pop-meister Lindsey Buckingham, his ex and fellow singing songwriter Stevie Nicks did the logical thing and started a solo career. That her own output (seven albums between Bella Donna of 1981 and In Your Dreams 30 years later) out-witchy-womaned everything that the Mac did (or that Buckingham recorded alone, for that matter) after her band’s 1970s hat trick proved who truly wore the gaucho pants and the long, gauzy black dresses in Fleetwood Mac.

The spidery songwriting style she created for herself apart from Mac (yet usually Mac-affiliated) was guided by a gutsier guitar sound than Buckingham ever provided (hello, Waddy Wachtel) as well as denser arrangements (more often than not from a mix of Heartbreakers and E-Streeters), all while pushing and prodding the limits of her scratchy, plumed contralto and her youthfully sensualized lyrics. Thinking of the raspy vocal totality of her solo work as an often-sexualized, but not-too-merry mix of leather and lace scented by patchouli and speckled by emeralds, this first-ever all-oeuvre study of Nicks’ music—including 2014’s 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault, a newly recorded old-song comp, and this box’s centerpiece, Rarities—is mystical (of course), fragrant, and funky in a flashy boho fashion.

While hints of a new-wave Janis Joplin top the earliest and most wearily and ruminatively romantic of Nicks’ solo albums (Bella Donna, 1983’s The Wild Heart) and songs such as “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” the older Nicks gets, the more she yearns to swing (1985’s Rock a Little, ’89’s The Other Side of the Mirror) and find greater weightlessness in her lyrics. Although the oddly glossy, synth-tech Rock a Little is much better than I remember it, with the dusky, even daring likes of “The Nightmare” and “No Spoken Word” competing with a sprightly dance vibe (“I Can’t Wait”), follow-ups such as Mirror (a great soap opera title, but not a great-sounding album) and 1994’s Street Angel were heavy-handed, dull, and filled with floral refrigerator-magnet poetry. 

Luckily, Nicks’ welcome to the 21st century, 2001’s Trouble in Shangri-La, finds her spacey spiritualism and raw, silken rasp in full fettle, and her melodies at their mod-pop best as she touches on hippie-ish outlaw country with The Chicks’ Natalie Maine (“Too Far From Texas”), intense tenderness (“Love Changes”), and meaningful mysticism (“Bombay Sapphires” and “Sorcerer”). And yes, this album also comes across as way better than I remember it. Nicks’ work—no matter whether it’s 40 years old or from 2011’s Mac-sounding In Your Dreams—ages like fine wine no matter what the vintage.

While the overlooked new-old music of her David A. Stewart–produced 24 Karat Gold collection gets a shimmering revisionist look-see here (it’s shockingly great hearing Nicks finish thoughts she only barely started), the Rarities collection pulls off its own surprises: from the swaying R&B of “Love’s a Hard Game to Play,” to the lost 1985 B-side cruncher “One More Big Time Rock and Roll Star,” to her most recently recorded track, the immensely soulful 2022 cover of Buffalo Springfield’s classic “For What It’s Worth.” For what it’s worth (and the price isn’t cheap for the 16-LP vinyl box), Stevie Nicks’ back pages are most desirable at twice the price.

Friday, July 21, 2023

FLEETWOOD MAC RUMOURS LIVE AVAILABLE SEPT 8

FLEETWOOD MAC RUMOURS LIVE

(2-CD OR 2-LP)

RELEASE DATE SEPTEMBER 8, 2023

Order CD or VINYL at Rhino.com

Rumours Live Vinyl | Rumours Live CD

REVIEWS

Fleetwood Mac was at the top of its game in August 1977 when the band returned to its adopted home in Southern California to play three shows at The Forum in Los Angeles. Rumours had only been out a few weeks when the band left in February to tour the world, returning six months later to play three shows at The Forum for nearly 50,000 fans.

Rumours was the #1 album in America and well on its way to becoming one of the most successful ever released. Rumours eventually sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and has just been certified 21x platinum in the U.S. The record has also been certified 14x Platinum in the U.K., and 13x Platinum in Australia and New Zealand, all countries where the album reached #1.

RUMOURS LIVE captures the energy and excitement of the band’s opening night at The Forum on August 29, 1977. The nearly 90-minute performance includes live versions of most of the songs from Rumours and Fleetwood Mac, the group’s first multi-platinum #1 album, which came out in 1975.

The concert remained unreleased for decades until 2021, when “Gold Dust Woman” from the show was included as a bonus track on Live: Deluxe Edition, Rhino’s expanded version of Fleetwood Mac’s 1980 concert album. The other 17 songs on the collection have never been released before.

RUMOURS LIVE will be available on September 8 as 2-CD and 2-LP sets. The black-vinyl version has two 180-gram records in a gatefold jacket with lacquers cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering. Pre-order HERE. Also, a crystal clear-vinyl version of RUMOURS LIVE will be released the same day exclusively at Walmart.




The music will be available from digital and streaming platforms. Unreleased live version of “DREAMS” from RUMOURS LIVE is available now on all digitally platforms.

The concert’s setlist draws almost exclusively from Fleetwood Mac and Rumours, the first two albums recorded by the band’s latest incarnation: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Christine McVie, and the newest members, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham. The lone nod to Fleetwood Mac’s other nine studio albums is a performance of “Oh Well,” a rock-guitar masterpiece originally released in 1969 and written by the band’s founder, guitarist Peter Green.

Engineer Ken Caillat, who helped record Rumours, also recorded the concert at The Forum using the Record Plant’s mobile recording truck. He captured the band’s impassioned performance at a moment of peak Rumours frenzy, including powerful versions of “Landslide,” “Never Going Back Again,” “Songbird,” and “The Chain.”



In the liner notes from RUMOURS LIVE, Sam Graham observes: “The songs are familiar: ‘Dreams,’ ‘Go Your Own Way,’ ‘Say You Love Me,’ ‘Over My Head,’ and on and on. But most of these live versions are more muscular, more ferocious, than the album recordings, driven by the powerhouse Fleetwood-John McVie rhythm section and Buckingham’s febrile guitar playing; and instead of a rote recital of the hits, the group stretches out in concert, as songs like ‘Rhiannon,’ ‘World Turning,’ and ‘I’m So Afraid’ blossom into exuberant tours de force onstage.


RUMOURS LIVE 2-LP Track Listing


LP One
Side One
1.    “Say You Love Me”
2.    “Monday Morning”
3.    “Dreams”
4.    “Oh Well”
5.    “Rhiannon”

Side Two
1.    “Oh Daddy”
2.    “Never Going Back Again”
3.    “Landslide”
4.    “Over My Head”
5.    “Gold Dust Woman”

LP Two
Side One
1.    “You Make Loving Fun”
2.    “I’m So Afraid”
3.    “Go Your Own Way”
4.    “World Turning”

Side Two
1.    “Blue Letter”
2.    “The Chain”
3.    “Second Hand News”
4.    “Songbird”

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Mick Fleetwood and ‘Ukulele Virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro honor Christine McVie

Mick Fleetwood and ‘Ukulele Virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro honor Christine McVie on the late Fleetwood Mac Singer’s Birthday with a touching instrumental version of “Songbird”

The release of “Songbird” was years in the making. Fleetwood and Shimabukuro, who both live in Hawaii, have been eager to collaborate for over a decade. When the opportunity finally arose this spring to record some music at Fleetwood’s studio in Maui, it was Shimabukuro who suggested they record “Songbird.” Fleetwood recalls, “We cut it in April, and it turned out beautifully, but there was no plan yet to release it. But when I heard about Christine’s upcoming birthday, it felt like the right time to share this as a tribute to all the lovely music she created, both on her own and with Fleetwood Mac.”

“Songbird” holds a special place in the hearts of Fleetwood Mac fans around the world, and McVie’s impassioned vocals have made it an enduring classic since its debut on Rumours in 1977. That’s why Fleetwood says he was initially cautious about reinterpreting such a cherished song. “When something is that well known, it becomes hallowed ground to a certain extent. But when we did it, I remember there was a hush when we listened back, and we felt that we had touched on something.” At that moment, Fleetwood says, he felt McVie’s presence in a powerful way.

In his heartfelt dedication at the end of the instrumental, Fleetwood adapts a lyric from McVie’s original. He says, “As the songbird sings, now from the heavens, to you Christine, I wish you all the love in the world. But, most of all, I wish it from myself.”

Surprisingly, “Songbird” wasn’t the only Fleetwood Mac song inspiring them in the studio. The drummer reveals that the track’s soft, insistent rhythm was influenced by another instrumental piece, “Albatross.” Written by the band’s founder and guitarist Peter Green, the song topped the U.K. charts in 1969. Fleetwood describes the songs as musical siblings. “They’re as simple as can be, but Peter Green always used to say, less is more.”

Listen here: cmv.lnk.to/SongbirdMJ



Remastered Christine McVie Albums Set For November, 2023 Release

 


Rhino is celebrating Christine McVie today (Wed, July 12th) on what would have been the beloved singer-songwriter’s 80th birthday. While she has been deeply missed since her death last November, the music she made, both with Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist, continues to resonate with fans worldwide. In honor of McVie’s enduring legacy, Rhino is introducing new music and announcing plans to release remastered versions of her final two solo albums this fall.

Two new releases are available now with the first being a new Dolby Atmos and stereo mix of In The Meantime created by McVie’s nephew Dan Perfect, who helped write and produce the original in 2004. The collection also includes “Little Darlin’,” a previously unreleased gem unearthed from those recording sessions. The other release is by Mick Fleetwood, the legendary drummer and co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, who pays tribute to his bandmate with a touching new instrumental version of “Songbird” featuring ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro.

Later this year, McVie’s work as a solo artist will get its due when Rhino reissues two of her albums on November 3rd. Christine McVie will be released on CD and LP. Also, a cola-bottle clear vinyl version will be available exclusively from Barnes & Noble. On the same day, In The Meantime will be released on CD and as a 2 LP set featuring a “songbird” etching on the final side.

IN THE MEAN TIME (Newly Remastered)


CHRISTINE MCVIE (Newly Remastered)

A cola-bottle clear vinyl version will be available exclusively at Barnes and Noble or other brick and mortar stores


Unavailable on vinyl since its original release nearly 40 years ago

McVie’s solo journey began in 1970 with her debut, Christine Perfect, her maiden name. Soon after its release, she put her solo career on hold when she joined Fleetwood Mac as a full-time member. For the next 14 years, she wrote some of the band’s biggest hits (“Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun”) before releasing her second solo album Christine McVie in 1984. The album peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard 200, spending 23 weeks on the chart. The record produced two Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, “Got A Hold On Me” at No. 10 and “Love Will Show Us How” at No. 30. Notably, the album has been unavailable on vinyl since its original release nearly 40 years ago.

Although McVie semi-retired from Fleetwood Mac and public life in 1998, she continued to write music. In 2004, she returned with her third and final solo album, In The Meantime. McVie produced the album with her nephew, Dan Perfect. The album was remastered and remixed for the upcoming release, including the previously unreleased outtake, “Little Darlin’.” In The Meantime has never been available on vinyl until now.

McVie was involved in the creation of the new Atmos mixes for In The Meantime before she passed away last year. In the liner notes, Dan Perfect writes: “When my aunt Christine McVie died unexpectedly last year, plans were already afoot for the re-release of this solo album, which is perhaps her most personal and intimate project. Chris and I had been working for some time on remixing the original tracks in Dolby Atmos, and Chris was excited and intrigued by this process, which was bringing fresh life and contemporaneity to the songs… I dearly wish that she could have lived to see this re-release as she would have been delighted.”

The digital remastered version of "In The Meantime" is available now on streaming platforms.

The Tracklist for "In The Meantime" contains one extra track titled "Little Darlin'" which was titled "Come Out To Play" back in 2004 when it was released in Australia and on iTunes as a bonus. 

In The Meantime Tracklist

1 Friend (2023 Remaster)

2 You Are (2023 Remaster)

3 Northern Star (2023 Remaster)

4 Bad Journey (2023 Remaster)

5 Anything is Possible (2023 Remaster)

6 Calumny (2023 Remaster)

7 So Sincere (2023 Remaster)

8 Easy Come, Easy Go (2023 Remaster)

9 Liar (2023 Remaster)

10 Sweet Revenge (2023 Remaster)

11 Forgiveness (2023 Remaster)

12 Givin' It Back (2023 Remaster)

13 Little Darlin' (2023 Remaster)