Friday, June 07, 2024

Stevie Nicks "Street Angel" 30th Anniversary

- Music Voice, July 1994 -

I've never really been an ardent Stevie Nicks Fan. Her voice has never quite done "it" for me, her lyrics seem somehow vain and her reality different than mine. Don't get upset, it's just my opinion- I'm used to pissing people off with my opinion. When "Buckingham Nicks" (the album was released 3 billion years ago, I associated with some of Ms. Nicks' relatives- they thought Nicks was God-head. A few short months later Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, barely out of the cradle, were drafted into the supper group Fleetwood Mac. Coincidentally, their solo album never "went" anywhere. I never really thought Mr. Buckingham to be a great guitar player either- especially in the shoes of his Fleetwood Mac predecessors, but, so. what!

I don't have to tell you what was in their future, for it is now history, and a tumultuous one at that.

Presently, Stevie Nicks returns with her fifth solo album (not including her best of, "Timespace") "Street Angel". It contains, in my humble opinion, much of what we have grown to expect from her by way of songs. A bit corny, a bit dated-but she likes it and many of you, whom I mean no disrespect for with my opinion, will too.

"I'm totally excited about this new record," says Nicks. "I can't wait for people to hear it. I sit in my living room and crank up the old surround-sound, and it instantly gets me on my feet."

I'm not sure how much objectivity an artist can claim when listening to their most recent work of art. Most I have known may have believed, but have not really been. 

*I feel excited every time I do a new project," she continues, "I look forward to doing something different, meeting new people, making new music." 

Nicks has always been very lucky, possibly to the extent of not really being completely aware how "the other side lives," or how other musicians must survive and what they have to do for success. Though she has undoubtedly experienced hard times, both personal (as seemed obvious with her 1989 release " The Other Side Of The Mirror,") and professional- as with the very well publicized "goings on" during the late Fleetwood Mac years. 

In an interview I did with Mick Fleetwood last year he confessed to how himself and "the band" (not necessarily naming any names) partied very hard with both booze and drugs and whatever may have been available. Fleet-wood admitted never having done one gig sober until with his last band, The Zoo. 

This time around Nicks surrounds herself with some of the finest session rock musicians money can buy. The elite group in question consists of keyboardist Benmont Tench, and guitarist Mike Campbell - both of which have done hundreds of sessions with their own band Tom Petty & The Hearlbreak-ers, Andy Fairweather Low, Bearnie Leadon (former Eagles), Waddy Watchtel, and special guests appearances on the album by Bob Dylan and David Crosby.

Many of these names have appeared on a majority of L.A. recorded and produced albums by a list of "who's who" in the Hollywood rock world. From Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, The Eagles, Linda Rondstadt to Keith Richards, Barefoot Servants and literally dozens of lesser known names. I guess you could call it the L.A. Band or the Click.

This group, of course does not include Bob Dylan - though he too has been known to make a guest appearance here and there. Nicks insisted on having the man himself for her rendition of "Just Like A Woman."

"He didn't want to do anything on it... until I begged him. I told him; There's got to be some sort of spiritual connection. A lot of people will have never heard this song, and it's got to have you on it."

The only people more devoted than Stevie are her fans. Ever since it was announced that she would be doing a new album, Modem Records ( a division of Atlantic) has been getting calls regularly inquiring about its arrival. The same goes for many record retailers. It's finally here, but according to Nicks it's been in the makings for a long time. Even when Fleetwood Mac played at President Clinton's inauguration last year.

"I already had the title song in mind, for instance, I wanted it to be about people whose dreams have gone bad. I had an idea of a Charles Dickens-style character, a homeless women who doesn't want to leave the streets, and the rich man who loves her."

Fantasy? I'll say. But many songs start as just that. They metamorphosize into what we end up hearing after many processes, some mechanical, some emotional, some indescribable.

"It started with 40 songs, * she informs us. "We cut it down to about 17, all of which were actually recorded before going through the inevitable, painful process of eliminating the ones we thought didn't fit."

"We spent a lot of time on arrangements. We spent a good six or seven weeks sitting together in a room in my house before we even went into the studio."

Stevie Nicks has approached music as an art, as an affair and finally as a profession- love her or not. She is currently working on a book to be entitled "Dreams, Stories and Poems." Isn't it just like a woman to have a title for a book which is merely a concept.

That certainly is one department where Stevie Nicks has never been challenged. She always remained very representative of feminism. She has always been quite a woman. Nicks plans to include some drawings and photographs in her book.

Just like her music, I'm sure her loving fans will "eat" up her book. To some, Stevie Nicks can do no wrong - which, l guess, is what the world is all about. Isn't it. 

'That's exactly what makes it all worth it, " she comments. "What I get back from those who listen to my music can not ever be measured. It's all about love and trust and acceptance, and it's completely priceless."

Street Angel was released in North America, June 7, 1994. 
2024 marks the 30th Anniversary of it's release. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wish her book would come to fruition! It would be fascinating.

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