Released October 7, 2014 (North America)
2-LP Vinyl released September 29, 2014 (North America)

Order the 14 Track or 16 Track Deluxe Editions via Amazon or iTunes

Stevie Nicks: 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault (Reprise)
by Dave Dimartino
Rolling Stone

Peculiarly out first as a double-vinyl LP and as MP3s and then next week as a CD—you’ve got to love it—this new set by the famous Fleetwood Maccer is in fact her re-appraising and redoing older stuff, material she’d planned to unleash since those early ‘70s years of Buckingham Nicks but never did. It’s all of it quite good actually: the songs seem like genuine works of their time—heartfelt lyrics rather than effort-laden approximations of former glories—and Nicks still sings very well. The music is well-played and tastefully arranged, ironically evoking the “Americana” word among her excitable fan base, and the lyrical concerns—romance, relationships, mystical stuff, an actual “cathouse,” songs with titles like “She Loves Him Still”—are about as Nicksian as you’d ever expect, or want. Very solid stuff, and something to whet the appetites of those gearing up for the upcoming reunited Mac tour.


by Darryl Sterdan
Toronto Sun
★★★★ out of 5

Who wants Stevie’s leftovers? No? Your loss. Fleetwood Mac’s gypsy queen empties her freezer, enlisting an all-star band to record songs she penned between the ’60s and mid-’90s. But surprisingly, they’re far from half-baked ideas and failed experiments. In fact, at least half a dozen of these songs — including California rockers Starshine and Watch Chain, the cautionary tale Mabel Normand, the Tom Petty-inspired roots ballad Hard Advice and the bluesy I Don’t Care — are so good they’ll make you wonder what she was thinking by not recording them sooner. Ah well, better late than never, right? Rock on, gold dust woman.

"24 Karat Gold appeals because it's a new Stevie Nicks album that sounds just like an old Stevie Nicks album. The downside is that the modern-day Stevie faces some stiff competition from her younger self." - Q Magazine [November, 2014]

Stevie Nicks looks back on shimmering '24 Karat Gold'
LA Times
★★★ ½ stars out of 4

Now that young bands such as Haim and One Direction are reviving the polished pop-rock of Fleetwood Mac, it seems only right that the group’s iconic frontwoman, Stevie Nicks, would look back as well.

As its title suggests, “24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault” offers new recordings of tunes Nicks wrote as long ago as 1969; the most recent is from 1995. You can tell the material is old too. In the aching “Hard Advice” she sings about listening to the radio and hanging out in a record store. (Remember those?)

But Nicks has always found fresh drama in the past -- think of “Rhiannon,” loosely inspired by an ancient Welsh legend -- and here she sounds no less energized chewing over bygone resentments in the throbbing title track and pondering bad decisions in “The Dealer,” which rides a silky groove reminiscent of the one in the Mac’s indelible “Dreams.”

For “Mabel Normand” she reaches back further, sympathizing with a real-life silent film star thought to have struggled with cocaine.

Recorded mostly in Nashville with Nicks’ longtime guitarist Waddy Wachtel and Dave Stewart (who also produced Nicks' excellent “In Your Dreams” from 2011), “24 Karat Gold” makes room amid the retrospection for some new sounds. “Cathouse Blues” touches unexpectedly on ragtime, while “Blue Water,” with backing vocals by Lady Antebellum, shimmers with traces of country and soul.

There’s also a couple of crunching hard-rock numbers, including “I Don’t Care,” that feel powered by the same aggression Fleetwood Mac channeled on its 2013 arena tour. (Now reunited with Christine McVie, the group launched yet another road show last week and will hit the Forum in November.)

Whatever the arrangement, though, Nicks’ voice -- that signature drone that’s gotten only more appealingly imperious with age -- defines the music here. Her singing dominates as easily now as it ever did.

'24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault,' music review
New Stevie Nicks collection holds both riches and rejects from Fleetwood Mac star's past
by Jim Farber
New York Daily News
★★★ stars out of 5

Catchy music can obscure the meaning of a song just as surely as it can enhance it.

When a melody achieves perfection, it steals attention from the lyrical core.

That dynamic forms a key part of the puzzle of pop. But it has special relevance to the latest release from Stevie Nicks.

Unlike her beautifully pruned work with Fleetwood Mac, many songs on her latest solo work fray at the seams, or wander outside the confines of an ideal melody. The album does contains a few must-have highlights, but key parts feature lyrics that wobble awkwardly on their tunes. Yet those very flaws and indulgences wind up casting a clearer light on Nicks’ character, and concerns, than ever.

There’s good reason for the music’s wavering quality: The album is a collection of castoff songs from Nicks’ 45-year career. True, Nicks recorded all the music anew over the last year, but she wrote most of the material between 1969 and 1987. A few songs date from 1994-95.

Any Nicks-oholic will immediately notice her trademark lyrical tics. Words like “silver,” “dream” and “chains” keep turning up. She’s often left “alone in a room” or found standing “out in the rain.” There’s also her tendency to split her inner voice into a conversation between what “I said” and what “she said.” Nicks’ broader themes also hold — the tug between professional achievement and personal relationships, between the desire to connect and the need for free-range love.

The most finely formed songs use those themes to raise goosebumps. In the piquant “Hard Advice,” Nicks recounts the tough words from a friend who told her to quit pining for a famous musician who has already moved on. As with many Nicks songs, speculation on the boldfaced lover’s identity is very much encouraged.

“Lady” pushes further, with its grand melody and gripping lyrics that find Nicks wondering if her loneliness will one day devour her.

The sole cover — of Vanessa Carlton’s “Carousel” — both furthers the theme and breaks up the melodic familiarity.

Otherwise, the album meanders through songs of significant energy, but with middling tunes (the Tom Petty-esque “Starshine”), or with lyrics tha turn ­verbose (the mess “Mabel Normand”).

If Lindsey Buckingham had his way, this stuff would surely have been sharpened. But there’s a happy consequence to his absence. We get pure Stevie — needier than some might find comfortable, but also unexpectedly wise. It’s too much for the casual listener but catnip for the devoted.

Stevie Nicks digs up some 'Gold' and duds
by Jeffrey Lee Puckett
Courier Journal
★★ ½ stars

Stevie Nicks, '24 Karat Gold — Songs From the Vault'

Stevie Nicks has been writing songs for 45 years, so it's no surprise that her files have grown thick with worthwhile half-finished tunes. There must be an entire box of songs about Lindsey Buckingham alone, and another filled with references to silver, gold and, um, Lindsey Buckingham.

The songs on "24 Carat Gold — Songs From the Vault" are new recordings of demos made between 1969 and 1987, with a couple of tracks from the 1990s and a Vanessa Carlton cover, which hardly seems necessary. There are a lot of decent songs on "24 Carat Gold" — perfectly pleasant — but there are very few true keepers.

"Lady" is as soul-baring as Nicks gets, with just her bleeding/bleating voice and a piano; it's a powerful take on loneliness. "Blue Water," which has been floating around the Internet for years, is a beautiful example of a classic Nicks technique in the use of nature as metaphor for the intensity of Nicks' love — plus there's a gypsy (speaking of which, the title track sounds like a lesser version of "Gypsy," the 1982 Fleetwood Mac hit).

There's only one truly awful song, and it's painful. "Cathouse Blues" is the kind of generic garbage that would likely be a career peak for a third-rate weekend blues band, but here it's just embarrassing.

Stevie Nicks, ‘24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault’
Unearthing songs written from 1967 to the ’90s, Stevie Nicks fashions a new album of classic sounds and inimitable styles.
By James Reed
Boston Globe

The first question you’re likely to have about Stevie Nicks’s new album is, when was this recorded? It’s almost impossible to tell, because Nicks sounds so classic, as if surveying each decade of her long career on her own and with Fleetwood Mac. “24 Karat Gold” is Stevie at her Nicks-iest: a gold dust woman, caught mid-twirl.

Nicks notes in the press materials that most of these songs were written between 1969 and ’87, with a pair from the early ’90s, but the album was recorded this year in Nashville and Los Angeles.

To her credit, she and fellow producers Dave Stewart and Waddy Wachtel have a light touch here, letting Nicks’s silvery voice lead with grace and grit. So many of these songs evoke yesteryear Nicks, from the serpentine, “Rhiannon”-like groove of “Mabel Normand” to the starry prettiness of “If You Were My Love.” “Blue Water” has a dusky country vibe; it could have been a Fleetwood hit, right down to its line “And I wait for the sound of my gypsy.”

There are also new shades of her — all the color of midnight blue, of course — including a jazzy little number called “Cathouse Blues.” “I just care that you love me,” she growls on the heavy rocker “I Don’t Care.” And a piano ballad, “Lady,” is big and bare, a chance to savor Nicks in full splendor. 

ESSENTIAL “Blue Water”

'24 Karat Gold’ By Stevie Nicks: Album Review
by Jillian Morabito

Bust out your fringe kimonos and dust off your crystal balls—the original musical sorceress is back.

Since we don’t have Ryan Murphy to give us our daily dose of Stevie Nicks this year, we had to rely on the goddess herself to assist in our longings.

Just in time for Halloween, Nicks’ album “24 Karat Gold – Songs From the Vault” is composed of 14 previously unreleased tracks for fans, new and old, to enjoy. Recorded between 1969 and 1995, these songs are still timely, even in today’s musical world. If you don’t have time to see Fleetwood Mac on tour, this album will come in handy.

“24 Karat Gold” is filled with songs that are essentially Nicks. They are raw, featuring the singer’s irreplaceable voice. The beats are addictive, very similar to what she did on “The Other Side of the Mirror” and “Wild Heart.” Though the quality is not the best (hey, it was the 70s), the essence of the songs is still captured.

“The Dealer” is by far the most “Nicks” of the album. Even if you replaced the singer, the truthful lyrics and the 80s rock beat are essentially Nicks. The track apologizes for her wild heart saying, "If I'd really known you then/You'd've had to watch out." Ah, the struggles of love that Nicks knows all too well.

Perhaps her most sincere song is “Mabel Normand” because it parallels her own cocaine addiction. Her music has always been autobiographical and transparent. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the world has such great respect for Nicks.

“She Loves Him Still” is the highlight of the album. It’s as poignant as “Leather and Lace” and as truthful as “Stand Back.” To add an almost Irish-like flute to the song midway is daring, but it works. The added instrument tugs at the heartstrings while Nicks sings, “No one understands this man/No one ever will/Till his dying day not even he himself can change this/She loves him still.”

The album paints a picture of the icon Nicks is. You can see her now—standing tall, bearing a copious amount of jewelry, blonde hair flowing in the breeze, dark materials draped over her shoulders. A woman, though never settled down, ended up marrying herself to her music. “24 Karat Gold” simply adds to her collection, her “children” if you will.

Don’t get us wrong, this ain’t no “Edge of Seventeen.” Though certainly not Nicks’ best work, “24 Karat Gold” is still magical. It’s definitely rougher cuts. It will certainly appeal to the die hard fans, but “24 Karat Gold” may be a bit too “deep” for fans who only know Nicks as that girl that first sang that one Dixie Chicks song (these are probably the people that prefer Five Guys to In-N-Out).

It’s not as tender as “Bella Donna,” not as sassy as “Wild Heart” and not as worldly as “Trouble in Shangri-La.” However, because it is a compilation CD, “24 Karat Gold” has elements from all of these albums, as well as Fleetwood Mac records, which is why it’s a must listen.

The album’s title track, “24 Karat Gold” speaks of “Golden wings in the sunset/Take me back.” Indeed, Nicks is reflecting on moments that shaped her—loss of love, struggles of everyday life and the journey to make oneself.

It’s not just Stevie trying making her life one day worth “24 Karat Gold,” it’s all of us as well.

REVIEW: '24 Karat Gold - Songs From The Vault' by Stevie Nicks
by Gerald Ducote
The Daily Reveille
Grade: 70/100

With a career spanning nearly 50 years, Stevie Nicks has long been the go-to image for the empowerment of women in music. She fronted the popular rock band Fleetwood Mac for over three quarters of its 47-year existence, reaching critical and commercial success as a lead singer. In recent years, when she isn’t reviving tours with Fleetwood Mac, Nicks passes her time releasing solo material, appearing on the hit television shows “American Horror Story” and having impromptu jam sessions with HAIM.

Now, Nicks has returned with another solo endeavor. Her eighth release, “24 Karat Gold – Songs From The Vault” is a collection of previously unreleased demo tracks that have been redone and compiled into an album of “vault songs.”

Despite its name “24 Karat Gold” lacks luster. The problem lies not in Nicks’ performance of the songs, but in the songs themselves. It’s easy to believe these tracks were in the vault for a reason. The songs echo entirely too much of their original time: 1970s to late 1980s. Antiquated themes and poor lyricism make for an unfortunate combination where Nicks’ voice, though still quite distinguishable, comes off as tired and ageing.

The one true positive of this album would have to be Nicks’ cover of “Carousel,” which is originally a song by Vanessa Carlton. With a voice dubbing that softens Nicks’ harsher tone, “Carousel” comes as an easier relief to the multiple rockers that fill “24 Karat Gold.”

Though Nicks has cut a wide space in the history of rock music, “24 Karat Gold” is unable to match her legacy as one of the most talented singers in the last 50 years. Hopefully she can rally her abilities into another, better album or turn her attention toward music production for other on-the-rise artists whom she admires.

The one true fault with “24 Karat Gold” is not that it sounds unlike Stevie Nicks. On the contrary, it sounds like too much of Nicks. Her performance on the album comes off as overly produced with questionable mixing. As far as instrumentation, the guitar’s presence is forceful and old-fashioned, but not in a congenial fashion that soothes the listener.

by Tim Ferrar
Recording Connection
★★★★ ½ stars out of 5

Typically, when an artist digs into the “vault” for previously unreleased tracks, the result is a set of “B-sides” intended for only the most devoted of fans to enjoy. (After all, there’s a reason they were vaulted.) But when Stevie Nicks does it, apparently, it’s gold. More specifically, the aptly titled 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault, a brilliant late-career move that reminds us of the timeless impact the Fleetwood Mac singer has had, and continues to have, on the rock genre.

To be clear, the songs on 24 Karat Gold aren’t necessarily a set of rejects from earlier studio sessions; the “vault” is more along the lines of Stevie Nicks’ personal vault, songs from her personal files between 1969 and 1995, most written in the mid-70s during the peak of the Fleetwood Mac days, that for one reason or another never made it to record. Nicks describes the vibe in a statement on her website: “Each song is a love story…They represent my life, the secrets, the broken hearts. These songs are the memories – the 24 karat gold rings in the blue box.” In short, these are anything but B-sides: they’re great songs that have been aging like fine wine in the vault while other things were happening, waiting for their own time to be unveiled.

It would seem fate itself has a hand in determining when the right time is. It’s possible that if Nicks had had her way, most of these songs might never have seen the light of day. As it is, many fans will recognize them because they have been circulating on the Internet for some time. When Nicks discovered original bootlegs of the tracks on YouTube (“taken from my house or picked up or loaned out or whatever,” as she told Rolling Stone),she decided to release the tracks on her own terms.

In an added stroke of brilliance, Nicks opted not to use the original recorded demos of these songs, but instead decided to re-record them. Knowing she was pressed for time due to an upcoming Fleetwood Mac tour, she and producer Dave Stewart went to Nashville and recorded the tracks in three weeks, performing them live in the studio with session players. As an homage to the tracks themselves, Stewart kept the production simple, recording and producing them near to the style in which they would have been recorded back when they were written. Nicks’ unmistakable raspy voice is stellar over these tracks, her stream-of-consciousness lyricism and song structures just as fresh now as they were in the so-called heyday. The result is a high-quality, solid collection of rock songs that sound timeless rather than dated, reaffirming that Nicks is just as relevant to rock culture here in the twenty-teens as she was during the peak of Fleetwood Mac.

As to the tunes themselves, there’s a nice balance of diversity on the track list, ranging from all-out rock on “I Don’t Care” to the piano ballad “Lady” to the “Dreams”-like steady midtempo of “The Dealer.” Additional high moments include the blues-rocker “Hard Advice,” the cautionary tale of “Mabel Normand” (about a silent-film star whose cocaine addiction Nicks particularly relates to), and “Blue Water,” which tips its hat to Nashville with guest BGVs by Lady Antebellum. She even covers her own song “Carousel,” which Vanessa Carlton recorded in 2011.

And so, while other artists release their “B-side” records as “remember-whens” or time-fillers between albums, Stevie Nicks has mined her own vault for 24 Karat Gold and released an album that truly lives up to its name. As Nicks pointed out herself in a commentary on YouTube, “I don’t care if it’s a hit record—I want to make a great record.” In the process, she exceeded that goal: 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault is easily her best release in years.

Stevie Nicks – 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault
by John Murphy
Music OMH
★★★ stars

Fleetwood Mac‘s ‘classic’ line-up (ok, the classic line-up post-Peter Green) may be back together and touring, but the wait goes on for a new album. Despite the arena tours and the yearly rumours (pun intended) about the band headlining Glastonbury, Say You Will from 2003 remains the most recent Fleetwood Mac record.

Some may say that’s hardly important with such a back catalogue of riches to draw upon, but those who are really experiencing withdrawal symptons may well be sated with this, Mac stalwart Stevie Nicks‘ 10th solo album. And it’s no ordinary solo album – as the slightly self-aggrandising title, 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault, would suggest, this is a collection of old demo versions that Nicks has abandoned over the years, spruced up and re-recorded. So, there’s Fleetwood Mac songs that could have been, lost Buckingham/Nicks numbers – everything in fact, to make a hardcore Mac fan salivate.

It doesn’t sound like a hotch-potch of songs all thrown together either, as you may expect from that description. Indeed, most of the songs that Nicks has resurrected are strong enough to make you wonder why she scrapped them in the first place. And, considering that the timespan of these songs stretches from the late ’60s up to the mid ’90s, it sounds like a surprisingly cohesive album, even if the hour-plus running time means that a more judicious editor would have ensured that some tracks remained in demo form.

There is some gold unearthed though, albeit maybe not of the 24 Karat variety. Starshine kicks the album off to an energetic start, and the sad tale of silent film star Mabel Normand, who died at the age of 37 of tuberculosis, following years of cocaine abuse is a story that’s obviously close to Nicks’ heart. Long-term Nicks fans who scour the internet for bootlegs will be well aware of the gorgeous country workout Blue Water, which sounds – on this version at least – like it would have fitted in nicely onto the Mirage album, not least because the word ‘gypsy’ is referenced in the lyrics.

Talking of Gypsy, that famous Fleetwood Mac song is more than musically echoed in the title track, one of a few numbers that are inevitably reminiscent of Nicks’ band’s golden era. Yet this doesn’t sound like a ‘lost’ Fleetwood Mac album, mainly because Nicks’ backing band have the nouse not to copy Buckingham, Fleetwood and the McVies. Instead, it sounds like what it is – a collection of old songs, spring cleaned and brought up to date.

Obviously, Nicks’ voice has lost its wispy, breathy quality over time, but her more mature, throaty growl sounds perfect for these songs. Her performance on the powerful ballad Lady is genuinely affecting, the sound of a woman looking back on her life and contemplating regret and loneliness (as the song’s key line has it: “I’m tired of knocking on doors when there’s nobody there”. There’s also some familiar lyrical ground trodden over, such as Hard Advice’s intriguing tale of a doomed affair with a rock star and the inevitable ‘is this about Lindsey?’ song, She Loves Him Still.

With only the creaky, clunky Cathouse Blues and the rather pointless Vanessa Carlton cover Carousel counting as real duds, this is a surprisingly strong album considering it consists of songs initially rejected or abandoned by their creator. Nothing on 24 Karat Gold comes close to classic Fleetwood Mac songs, but long-term fans will delight in hearing decently recorded versions of tracks that they may otherwise only have heard as scratchy demos.

Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault
Slant Magazine
★★★ stars out of 5

24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault is a glorified act of copyright protection. Stevie Nicks reportedly decided to revisit old demos when she was informed that they'd been bootlegged and uploaded to the Internet. This was no doubt a shock to the technophobic Nicks, who doesn't own a cellphone and communicates with fans via handwritten letters that are uploaded to her website by members of her team.

The material, written from 1969 through the '90s and newly recorded here, is significantly sharper than what was found on Nicks's last studio album, 2011's In Your Dreams. The new recordings mostly dispense with the awkward electronic flourishes (vocal distortion, canned synths) that have marred other recent Nicks-related recordings. "Starshine" is given an uptempo, straight-ahead rock treatment that recalls Nicks's collaborations with Tom Petty, while on "The Dealer" she almost perfectly embodies her '70s glory days with Fleetwood Mac. The latter finds Nicks looking back at a failed relationship, though it cleverly doubles as a longer-term survey of loves lost and reconciled, particularly with bandmates Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood. "If I'd known a little more, I'd have run away," she laments, but of course she didn't, and now she's on a sold-out tour with both of those men.

Old flames occupy much of the subject matter throughout the album, and even when Nicks isn't explicitly singing about herself, it's hard not to read autobiographical meanings into the songs. The silent-era comedienne Mabel Normand, who gets a tribute song here, is a character with whom Nicks clearly identifies, singing about her "quietly crying" heart underneath all her beauty and talent. And Nicks even tips her hat to friend Vanessa Carlton with a cover of the latter's "Carousel," adding little to it beyond some fairy-tale harpsichord, though there's poignancy in seeing Nicks return the favor of paving the way for Carlton's career with a song about how everything comes back again.

Unfortunately, 24 Karat is stuffed with too many stately piano-and-guitar ballads that return to the same theme of bygone romance. The one wild turn from that format is "Cathouse Blues," a slinky ode to Nicks's high-heeled strut that sounds like something you'd hear wafting from a sweaty bar on the Mississippi River. While not Nicks's first time fetishizing the South (see "New Orleans"), it's unfortunately so ill-suited to the California mystical dream-girl aesthetic that she's carefully cultivated over the years that it comes off as an unintended joke.

There's a fundamental paradox to Nicks's brand, which she once referred to in a moment of rare self-awareness as "the Stevie Nicks thing." Though she plays the perpetually tender, romantic, emotionally available, spurned woman, Nicks has always had an air of cool detachment that puts her at a remove from listeners. On songs like "The Dealer," "She Loves Him Still," and "Hard Advice," she re-spins the same old image of a Nicks who's gripped by long-ago love affairs with fellow musicians—"dreams to be sold," as she puts it on the title track—while her current life is kept somewhere out of view. The most illuminating moment is on "Lady," which reveals the deep chasm between the naïve woman who wrote it after moving to L.A. to become a rock star and the 66-year-old she is now, looking uncertainly over her empire. "What is to become of me?" she pleads with appropriate dramatic irony. Nick has always given us just enough snatches of insight to keep us wondering the very same thing.

Album Review: Stevie Nicks – 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault
by Andrew Le
★★★ ½ stars out of 5

Legendary rock n’ roll gypsy queen Stevie Nicks’ resurgence in popular culture continues with her eighth studio full-length, which is (at least for diehard fans) actually more like a greatest hits that never was.

Despite a hectic schedule (including a song on Dave Grohl’s Sound City documentary, tours for herself and Fleetwood Mac, and an acting cameo on American Horror Story: Coven), infamously long, unproductive recording sessions for prior albums and long gaps between them, 24 Karat Gold only took three months to record and comes only three years since In Your Dreams.

In Your Dreams collaborator Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics), Stevie and loyal guitarist Waddy Watchel produced this album of fan-favourites whose demos have circulated as bootlegs that have since surfaced on YouTube. There is even a wondrous Vanessa Carlton cover of Carousel thrown in for good measure.

Opening tracks Starshine and The Dealer mark familiar territory, as they are mostly faithful to their original demos recorded for Stevie’s 1981 debut Bella Donna. The production is bright and the highly polished Nashville band is tight, with the sound of thumping drums, Hammond Organ, Watchel’s unmistakable guitar licks and the inimitable harmonies of faithful backing vocalists Sharon Celani and Lori Nicks. However, neither track has quite the sparkle of the demos as Stevie’s voice does not quite have the youthful glint it once had.

Meanwhile, the meandering demo recorded for 1985’s Rock a Little, Mabel Normand, finally sounds musically focused as a gritty country-rock slow-burner on 24 Karat Gold. Even with Stevie’s matured vocals, the condensed, stream-of-consciousness nature of the lyrics reflects her cocaine-addled state of mind at the time the song was written, as if she urgently had to get the words out. This album highlight, named after the tragic silent film star, is yet another impassioned warning about drug addiction after You Can’t Fix This off ‘Sound City’.

Blue Water marks a calming reprieve from the drama, sounding close to its original 1978 piano demo before adding a New Orleans-inspired twist with drums, organ and harmonies from Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley. Cathouse Blues (a very early composition from the late 1960s) is given a charming, carefree ragtime update with Stevie’s appropriately bluesy vocals.

The title track pulses steadily like Stevie’s original 1981 demo but is now sprinkled with magic dust thanks to chimes, glistening guitars and a hypnotic ‘chains, chains’ hook. Hard Advice (written about Tom Petty’s prep talk to get Stevie writing again after her mid-1990s, creativity-sapping Klonopin addiction) is propelled by a potent bridge about letting go of the past.

The cooking I Don’t Care (whose music was written by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell) is grimy hard rock that should make Led Zeppelin proud. Stevie’s ‘bitchy’ side seethes through the first few verses (written in the 1980s), before new verses (the only new compositions on this album) accelerate the song almost out of control as the band barely keeps up with Stevie’s defiant, forceful vocals.

The piano ballad Lady, demoed in the early 1970s, is a grower with a passionate vocal from Stevie that can be a bit overwhelming at times. Instead, Stevie is in her element at her softer, sultry best elsewhere. The dark, mysterious All the Beautiful Worlds is a particular revelation. Listeners would scratch their heads over why this simmering synth-pop midtempo was left off 1983’s The Wild Heart, and Stevie reaches high notes she has not touched in years. Cult favourite If You Were My Love is powerful yet quietly dignified with its sporadic echoing drumbeat, intricate guitar work from Davey Jonestone (Elton John) and heavenly three-way harmonies from the girls. The album closes with melancholy Irish flutes and music from Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler on the lovely, tender country ballad She Loves Him Still.

24 Karat Gold suffers from the same flaws as other Stevie Nicks solo albums. It runs a bit too long. Some fans have complained that other demos like Julia, Have No Heart and Space Needle are missing. Those looking for the next Landslide, Rhiannon or Dreams (or even the continuation of the Beauty and the Beast/Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You/Love Is piano trilogy) will be disappointed. However, there are genuine ’24 Karat Gold’ gems on this collection that are a revealing reflection of Stevie’s vivid memories at various points in her life. The only thing better will either be another studio album (with all-new material) or that long-awaited autobiography.

ALBUM: Stevie Nicks, ’24 Karat Gold – Songs From The Vault’
by Sharon Lacey

For a long time, Stevie Nicks seemed frustrated that many of the demos she recorded over the years were easily available on the Internet. Given that she used to frequently hand out tapes of her latest songs to her friends, it’s no surprise that quite a few eventually made their way into the hands of excited fans. Aside from the fact that it’s been a treat to hear many of these unreleased, unfinished gems, it turns out that it may not have been a bad thing for Nicks after all. Last year, a YouTube video of an old Buckingham Nicks demo led to Fleetwood Mac finally recording the song “Without You” for its Extended Play EP — and it also seems to have awakened her to many of these forgotten tracks apparently lost in her “vaults.”

Nicks’ new record, 24 Karat Gold – Songs From The Vault, is filled with songs that dedicated fans will be more than familiar with in demo form, but it turns out that many of them are even better as finished, fully fleshed-out recordings. So maybe Nicks was right after all.

The new album reunites Nicks with producer Dave Stewart: it was obvious the pair had huge chemistry on their last record together, In Your Dreams, as it was the first time that Stevie had clicked so completely with a collaborator since Jimmy Iovine, who produced her first two solo albums in the early 1980s. In Your Dreams took over a year to finish, but the real revelation with 24 Karat Gold is that it sounds even better than Dreams, despite the fact it was quickly recorded in just two weeks in Nashville before Nicks had to rush back to Fleetwood Mac tour rehearsals. There’s no doubt that Nicks has made some great solo records since her glory days as a pop superstar in the 1980s, but this new album is the one that comes closest to capturing the magic of her greatest releases, Bella Donna or The Wild Heart. Yes, it’s that good.

Firstly, it’s the most natural record she’s made in a long time. This may well be due to the speed it was recorded, meaning that the songs weren’t overthought or overproduced, but it’s no doubt also thanks to the talented musicians backing her this time, many of them old friends. Aside from some top Nashville session players this also includes her faithful guitarist and band leader Waddy Wachtel (who also worked for many years with Warren Zevon and Linda Ronstadt) and two of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers: Mike Campbell and inimitable Benmont Tench, who no Nicks record is truly complete without.

The songs themselves date back to 1969 (the jazzy old Buckingham Nicks track “Cathouse Blues”) and the most recent is from 1995 when Tom Petty gave Nicks his infamous talk telling her to get back to writing (“Hard Advice”). There’s also a surprisingly good cover of the Vanessa Carlton track “Carousel.” The best track, though, may well be its first single, “The Dealer,” which, thanks to Benmont Tench’s distinctive Hammond organ, sounds as good as anything on Bella Donna. “Lady,” originally called “Knockin’ On Doors,” is an early 1970s piano ballad about her and Lindsey Buckingham’s frustrations trying to make it in the music business pre-Fleetwood Mac. Stewart wisely chose to keep it as simple as possible and not over-embellish, as sometimes he tends to do, and the end result is starkly beautiful and shows off Nicks’ still powerful voice in the best possible way.

The most rocking song on the record is easily the punky-titled “I Don’t Care,” its hard rock guitar riffs written by Mike Campbell during the mid-’80s. It’s Nicks’ homage to her heroes Led Zeppelin but is probably one of the more slight tracks on the album despite the thrill of hearing her sound so defiant. More effective is “Mabel Normand,” her moving tribute to the tragic silent movie actress and director. It’s a huge leap from the demo circulating, upping the pace of the original to build the intensity and allowing her to deliver one of her best vocals on the album with some evocative stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Similarly, “If You Were My Love” originally had more of a bluesy feel but here almost becomes a gorgeous hymn, and the gentle country of “Blue Water” has some nice backing vocals courtesy of Lady Antebellum.

“Belle Fleur” seems to be a  nod to Joni Mitchell’s Ladies Of The Canyon (“Mountain Ladies, live in the Canyon”) and so fittingly has some nice Laurel Canyon-style folk rock touches, while the standout harmonies on “All The Beautiful Worlds” and the driving piano riff of the title track are sure to be impressive live.

What is most remarkable about 24 Karat Gold though is that is manages to stay true to the sound and feel of the era of each of its tracks, yet still sounds completely contemporary. It’s hard to believe some of these tracks never made it onto an album before, but one thing’s for sure, Stevie Nicks sounds more timeless than ever, and the end result is one of her best albums yet.

CD Review: STEVIE NICKS 24-Karat Gold Songs from the Vault
by Slim Jim Keller
Away Team
Music News, Reviews and Artist Interviews
★★★★★★★★★ out of 10 stars

Stevie Nicks had some down time between her last tour cycle and Fleetwood Mac’s new tour with the recently reunited Christine McVie, so she decided to go through her gigantic catalog of demos over the last 30 years and pull a collection together highlighting the best of those that didn’t quite make the cut over the years.

24-Karat Gold may just be the album every Stevie Nicks fan has been waiting 20 years for. I mean if we must get right down to it, it has been a very long time since the Great Laced One has released a solid album. The only exception to that is Trouble In Shangri-La. That album is outstanding and the production top notch. Sheryl Crow was able to bring out something in Stevie that had been missing for some time.

2011’s In Your Dreams was decent and is still in heavy rotation on my iPod, but it isn’t a Stevie Nicks album as much as it is a Stevie Nicks and Dave Stewart album. His influence is heavy on that album and since he played and co-wrote (lyrics aside) almost every song on the album it stands to reason that his influence would be felt and heard heavily throughout. That doesn’t make In Your Dreams a bad album, but it, to me, makes it a duo album more than a Stevie solo album since the sound and the feel of the album is less Stevie than it is Dave.

Which brings me back to 24 karat Gold. Again, this is the album all Stevie Nicks fans have been waiting years for. The sound…. The song writing… the vocals… the music. It is classic Stevie Nicks. Which makes sense considering some of these songs are 30 years old or more. That being said, this album doesn’t sound dated by any means. The songs still resonate today and are as powerful as they were the day they were written. Dave Stewart’s production can only be felt in just that, the production that is flawless. The broad scope of sound from the delicate acoustic guitar strummings in Twisted to the bottom heavy thumping bassline opening of the title track, and even in Stevie’s vocals themselves. They aren’t overly processed; they aren’t hidden in the tracks or too stark and naked. They are perfection. Simple, elegant, and pure Stevie.

The whole feel of the album could and should be a little disjointed since the songs were all written over such a long time span, but the reality is, the entire album feels as if it could sit somewhere between The Wild Heart and The Other Side of the Mirror. In fact considering how disjointed and ill sounding Rock a Little is, this probably should sit right between those two albums in sound, and texture. The album as a whole is surprisingly cohesive and flows well from song to song.

As a long time fan and ardent collector, I’ve had most of these songs in their original demo forms for many years. And I am happy to report that even though the songs were recorded in such a short span of time they’re true to the demos and time they represent. So if you’re concerned that say, Cathouse Blues (one of her first songs if I remember correctly) lost its swagger, or Lady loses the intimacy of Stevie and her piano.

Just rerecorded, updated a bit, and polished nicely.

Sure many of you have heard these songs over the years; sure you may have two or three versions of most of these lying around somewhere like I do. But to hear them in all their crystal clarity is nothing short of outstanding and magical.

Mabel Normand and Belle Fleur are the stand out cuts for me. From the basic autobiographical nature of Mabel Normand and the gritty tone and lost oasis magical landscape of Los Angeles in Belle Fleur they both smack of pure unadulterated Stevie Nicks and you wonder why they never made the cut the first time around? Then there’s cuts like All the Beautiful Worlds and I Don’t Care, and Blue Water, and If You Were My Love, and on and on and on… that just blows you away over and over again, song by song. And you can’t ever imagine these songs sitting on the cutting room floor somewhere.

And then you silently thank Ms. Nicks for going back, rescuing these gems, and giving them the treatments they deserve and sharing them all with us.

Stevie Nicks 24-Karat Gold Songs from the Vault is currently sitting now at #2 on my top albums of 2014. And that’s saying something considering what’s been released this year.

24-Karat Gold is out now. Go ahead, you know you want to go get it… go ahead; you’ll thank me later. And enjoy All the Beautiful Worlds.

Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold Warner Bros, out now
by Adam Woods
The Mail on Sunday
★★★ out of 5 Stars

Taking a break from Fleetwood Mac, Nicks shot down to Nashville with a stack of unrecorded old tunes for a solo fling. It would have been interesting to see what Lindsey Buckingham and co might have made of the strongest songs: the sultry title track, the rambling lost-love hangover Hard Advice or The Dealer, with its Mac-like harmonies.

Stevie Nicks - 24 Karat Gold Songs From The Vault
By Adrian Thrills
The Daily Mail

Back on the road with Fleetwood Mac to mark the 35th anniversary of Rumours, the charismatic Nicks has been busy in her Nashville studio.

This is a new record, but most of its songs were written in the Seventies and Eighties, giving them the mesmerising feel of past hits Rhiannon and Landslide.

Opening track Starshine is a full-pelt, Mac-style rocker, but the highlight is Hard Advice, a heartfelt song of lingering love that is almost certainly about Stevie’s ex-boyfriend and bandmate Lindsey Buckingham.

Stevie Nicks Delivers Emotional New Track 'The Dealer'
Fleetwood Mac singer unleashes the catharsis on the first taste of her new album, '24 Karat Gold'
By Jon Blistein

Stevie Nicks has handed out "The Dealer," the first track from her upcoming solo album, 24 Karat Gold — Songs From the Vault. The upcoming album stands as the Fleetwood Mac frontwoman's first LP since 2011's In Your Dreams.

The swinging, piano-driven cut comes complete with a lyric video and finds Nicks delivering an ode to misplaced love, owning mistakes and the catharsis that comes from reconciling the two. "I was the mistress of my fate, I was the card shark / If I'd've looked a little ahead, I would've run away," Nicks belts during chorus, her velveteen voice taking on a wizened-with-age quality that's perfectly belied by the line's winking conclusion: "If I'd really known you then / You'd've had to watch out."

Nicks initially wrote and recorded “The Dealer” with Fleetwood Mac in the late Seventies when the band was working on their 1979 album, Tusk. A leaked copy of the original demo has been floating around for some time, and as Nicks said in the press release announcing 24 Karat Gold, it was bootlegs like this that inspired her to reimagine tracks from her back catalog that never saw an official release.

Produced by Nicks, Dave Stewart and guitarist Waddy Wachtel, 24 Karat Gold will see release on October 7th via Warner Bros., though vinyl lovers will be able to pick up a limited edition double LP a week earlier starting September 29th

Stevie Nicks Channels the 1970s in Her New Single, “The Dealer” 
By Eliza Berman

I get a little nervous when an artist whose older work I favor comes out with a new album. But I take heart in the fact that most of the songs on Stevie Nicks’ forthcoming album, 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault, were written between 1969 and 1987, with a couple penned in the mid-’90s. And with “The Dealer” she delivers a track that would have been at home on 1983’s Wild Heart or even Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (1977).*

Musically speaking, “The Dealer” is something like a time capsule that Nicks could have planted decades ago—but the lyrics seem to come from a wiser woman taking stock and looking back: “It was my fault, my move, and my wine/ I see the sun now, and it still shines.” Her voice has a gravelly quality now that matches the sentiment.

Nicks has a busy fall lined up. In addition to promoting 24 Karat Gold, her first album since 2011’s In Your Dreams, she joins Fleetwood Mac for a reunion tour in September, and she has a gig as a mentor on The Voice. Don’t call it a comeback, though. As she told NPR, “You just can’t make a comeback. Comebacks are no good. You have to just keep singing. Or keep dancing.”

24 Karat Gold comes out on Oct. 7 and is available for pre-order now.

Stevie Nicks Releases 'The Dealer' From '24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault'
by Jessica Goodman

It's time to gather your shawls. Stevie Nicks released a new song, "The Dealer," from her upcoming album, "24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault." With lyrics like, "I was the mistress of my fate / I was a card shark / if I'd a looked a little ahead, I'd a run away," the song features classic Nicks themes of love and fate, fear and heartbreak. 

By Eric Sundermann and Kyle Kramer

America is a country constantly in flux, and American music is an ever-shifting behemoth, always looking for the next drop. But amid the change, there are certain things that remain timeless: liberty, love, a certain hustle, a sense of destiny, and, perhaps most of all, the golden voice and songwriting talents of Stevie Nicks, American hero.

Right now, it's Tuesday afternoon in 2014, but it might as well be a sun-glazed day in the late 70s, and we might as well be riding around in cars that take too much gas in a world that looks like a Valencia filter. Stevie Nicks just released a new song, "The Dealer," on which she quite literally escapes time. It's off her new album, 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault, which is out October 9 and of which Stevie Nicks, via her website, says: "Each song is a love story... They represent my life, the secrets, the broken hearts. These songs are the memories - the 24 karat gold rings in the blue box. These songs are for you."

Naturally, the song, like the polaroid in its accompanying lyric video, comes across like so many unearthed memories, and your tears might come spilling out like so many decades of pent-up sadness. "I was the mistress of my fate," Stevie croons sadly, knowingly, in the way that only Stevie Nicks can croon about heartbreak: "If I'd a looked a little ahead/I'd a run away." "I'll be the passion/You be the play," she adds later, poetically. "I'll just almost hold you/You'll just almost stay here." Yeah, it's beautiful. Yeah, we might as well be standing in front of a corner store that looks like a movie set listening to this float toward us as it plays out of our car's AM radio. Yeah, we love Stevie Nicks.

Stevie Nicks "The Dealer" 
by Tom Breihan

The Fleetwood Mac singer and general all-around classic-rock hall-of-famer Stevie Nicks will soon release 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault, a new collection of unreleased tracks, most of them written between 1969 and 1987. One of the album’s new songs is “The Dealer,” a sparkling piece of California studio-rock magic that seems like it could’ve come out at any point in the last 40 years. Check out a lyric video for the track below.

Stevie Nicks’ new song “The Dealer”
by Michelle Geslani

Our very first look at the new album comes courtesy of “The Dealer”. A charming and dusty little rocker, the song finds Nicks in true form, as though Rumours came out just yesterday.

Stevie Nicks streams unreleased track, ‘The Dealer’
by Alex Moore

Stevie Nicks is getting ready to release a new album of unreleased songs collected over the last few decades, called “24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault.” And while it might be obnoxious for anyone else to label their own stuff “24 Karat Gold” that was deemed not good enough for inclusion on any of her records, Stevie Nicks actually means it. She’s probably forgotten more A+ songs than most artists ever write in their lifetimes. Like this new single “The Dealer,” for instance—it wouldn’t have been out of place on any of your favorite Fleetwood Mac records. 

REVIEW: Stevie Nicks releases disappointing new track, "The Dealer"
by Deirdre Kaye

Stevie Nicks' new single isn't so hot: Was it better off a bootleg?

Legendary songbird Stevie Nicks released her new single, "The Dealer," today. The track is the lead single off her upcoming album, 24 Karat Gold, and with it comes a lyric video complete with a soft-focus old photo of the singer. The song was previously recorded in 1979, while Fleetwood Mac was working on their album, Tusk. "The Dealer" didn't make the cut for that album, but a leaked demo has occasionally popped up among fans. We'd love to say Stevie Nicks can do no wrong in our eyes, but in the case of "The Dealer," we think some things might have been better left in the '70s.

Nicks was about 34 when the song was originally recorded and it seems as if she still had a bit of maturing to do with her songwriting. The concept is simple enough: Nicks is coming to terms with past transgressions and unrequited love. Heavy stuff, sure. However, the lyricism is a little immature. We can appreciate that it was written when she was considerably younger, but by mid-30 and well into her career, we expect more. With lines like, "But, you'll just almost stay here, I'll just almost hold you," the lyrics, at some points, seem more like Nicks was grasping for syllables more than good song content.

Furthermore, there's not much musical growth. In a way, it makes sense that Nicks' music would still sound so strikingly similar to everything she's released in the past. Again, this song was written long ago, as are all the other songs on the album. However, she could have used this chance to reboot them with slightly more modern music. Instead, the song still sounds exactly like it came from 1979 — you know, when it was a demo that didn't make the cut for Tusk. This, of course, will appeal to the vast majority of her longtime fans. However, it leaves us underwhelmed.

Is it the worst song ever? No. In every other way, Nicks will continue to be our golden goddess of the music world. Hopefully, the rest of 24 Karat Gold will shine light on brighter, actual gems that have long been forgotten. Just don't expect us to spend any more time with "The Dealer."

Stevie Nicks' New '24 Karat' Piano Ballad 'Lady'
By Kory Grow | August 26, 2014
Rolling Stone
The song will appear on the singer's upcoming LP, '24 Karat Gold - Songs From the Vault,' due out in October.
The latest tune to surface from Stevie Nicks' upcoming solo record, 24 Karat Gold – Songs From the Vault, is a piano-driven power ballad about a woman accepting the uncertainty of the future, titled "Lady," which the Fleetwood Mac frontwoman has released as a lyric video. "The time keeps going on by, and I wonder what is to become of me," she sings. "And I'm unsure, I can't see my way/ And he says, 'Lady, you don't have to see.'"
Nicks wrote the tunes that will appear on 24 Karat Gold, due out October 7th, mostly between 1969 and 1987 (though a couple were written in the mid-Nineties), but she never recorded them properly. She rediscovered the songs while surfing YouTube bootlegs and decided to hunker down with co-producers Dave Stewart and Waddy Wachtel, recording in Nashville and Los Angeles. "We found all the songs that, somehow, were taken from my house or picked up or loaned out or whatever," she said in a statement in July. "I call them my '24 karat gold songs.'"
Earlier this month, the singer issued another 24 Karat Gold tune "The Dealer," which featured a more upbeat rock arrangement to accompany her lyrics about misplaced love and reconciliation. Nicks had written that song in the late Seventies around when Fleetwood Mac were working on their 1979, album Tusk. A demo of the song from that era is still streaming online. Nicks is offering the 24 Karat Gold version of "The Dealer" as an instant-gratification download for fans who preorder the record.

Stevie Nicks
24 Karat Gold - Songs From The Vault
Fleetwood Mac star heads to Nashville, chasing the songs that nearly got away.
(Rating 7/10)
by Piers Martin
Uncut Magazine (UK) - November, 2014

As if Stevie Nicks hasn't done enough soul-searching during her 40 years in one of the world's biggest bands... On her eighth solo album, Nicks immerses herself in her past, gathering 15 of her long-lost songs together like errant children and dressing them in traditional costume - the billowing robes and gypsy shawl - before sending them out, fully Nicksed, into the world.

24 Karat Gold - Songs From The Vault finds the 66-year old getting her memories in order with the help of longtime associates Waddy Wachtel (he first played with her on 1973's Buckingham Nicks) and Dave Stewart, producer of Nicks' last solo set, 2011's In Your Dreams, and a band of hired hands in Nashville who knocked out new versions of Nicks' old songs in 15 days last May.  In Your Dreams, somewhat tarnished by Dave Stewart's sweet tooth, took 14 months.  Fleetwood Mac records take far longer.

The songs in question stem from demos Nicks wrote at various stages in her career between 1969 and 1995, intended for her solo or Fleetwood Mac albums.  One ballad, the bonus track "Twisted", written in 1995 with Lindsey Buckingham for the film Twister, she felt deserved a wider audience. "When songs go into movies you might as well dump them out the window as you're driving by because they never get heard," she tells Uncut.

Many of these songs will be familiar to Mac devotees, having appeared online and on bootlegs or boxsets in one form or another.  Indeed, Nicks' main incentive for the project was to record definitive versions of those unauthorized tracks floating around online that her assistant had drawn to her attention.  Nicks hates computers and was once so worried about internet piracy that she didn't release a solo record between 2001 and 2011, so this principled stance represents some sort of progress; if you can't beat'em, join'em. "Just because I think computers are ruining the world, I can't expect everyone to be on my wavelength," she reasons. But to most, 24 Karat Gold is effectively a brand new album, albeit one that one occasion has the luxury of revelling in the twists and turns of a vintage Nicks number like "Lady", formerly a fragile piano demo from the mid-'70's called "Knocking On Doors" that's now a footstep away from "Landslide".

With these demos newly upholstered as mid-tempo soft-rock ballands by a solid Nashville outfit, it's tempting to view the collection as an alternative look at Nicks' life in music, each song offering a slightly different take on key moments in her colourful career.  Nicks, too, her live-in voice stained with experience, seems to relish the chance to reacquaint herself through her lyrics with the girl she once was. The earliest cut here, a corny speakeasy pastiche called "Cathouse Blue", was written by a 22-year old Nicks in 1969 before she and Buckingham, who played on the original, moved to Los Angeles. By "The Dealer", a mustky Tusk-era tumble, she's already worldweary: "I was the mistress of my fate, I was the card shark / If I'd've looked a little ahead, I would've run away", runs the chorus.

On Bella Donna cast-offs "Belle Fleur" and "If You Were My Love", Elton John guitarist Davey Johnstone reprises his original role and plays on these new versions. Her trusted foil, Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers, rolls up his sleeves for AOR james "Starshine" and "I Don't Care", trakcs he just about remembers writing with Nicks in the early 80's. "Mabel Normand", a moving parable based on the tragic life of the 1920s silent movie star, came to Nicks when she herself was dancing with the devil in 1985. Following the death of her godson from an accidental overdose in 2012, the song has a more profound resonance today.

As befits a compilation of songs that weren't up to scratch first time around, 24 Karat Gold contains a few tinpost tracks that even the Nashville boys couldn't fix. Most, too, spill over the five-minute mark. but as fresh testament from one of Rock's great survivors, it makes for a facinating listen.


How did you end up recording in Nashville?
The last album I did was with Dave Stewart in my house and we let it take a year because we were having so much fun. So I called him and said, "Dave, I know we spent a year doing In Your Dreams, but how can we do a record in two months?" And he said, "Go to Nashville. Those guys are on the clock." So you go to Nashville and hire six or seven of the best players in the workd and give them your 16 demos and they give you 15 days. You do two songs a day, which is unheard of in the way that we record, usually, but they are union people so they get there at nine in the morning.

How did "Hard Advice" come about?
Hard Advice" was a lecture Tom Petty gave me on his way through PHoenix one night. I was having a littel problematic moment in my life and he gave me one of his seriously hard advice lectures. He looked at me straight in the eyes with those big clear blue eyes and said, "This pain's gone on too long. Go home, light up your incense and your candles and go to your Bosendorer and write some real songs."

This could be an alternative greatest hits.
Or a greatest hits that never came out. Somebody said at one point, "If you took the last line out of this chorus it would be so much more of a hit record," and I just flat out said in front of the record company and everybody else: "I'm not trying to make a hit record here, I"m trying to make a great record." Hit records don't even sell anymore, anyway. Records don't sell anymore.


Rolling Stone Magazine September 25, 2014

Edge of Everything
The inevitable return of Stevie Nicks

Photography by Danny Clinch

Stevie Nicks and I are in her oceanfront L.A. condo, its earth tones and wraparound windows floating high above Santa Monica Beach and the Pacific Coast Highway. Appropriately enough for the poetic high priestess of rock, the horizon is all metaphor. The sunset refracts off the waves, then bounces off a tight line of cars that have just turned on their headlights, gold rolling into platinum.

“I call that the diamond snake, and that the ruby snake,” she says, gesturing toward opposing rows of headlights and brake lights. “We get to just watch the whole world up here. It’s a never-ending show. Go away, cute little helicopter.” She dismisses the vista-blocking interloper with a wave, and it obeys.

Nicks, 66, shot to fame with Fleetwood Mac, which dominated the charts starting in 1975 with their peerless brand of California rock: mellow romanticism with a tense spine. The group’s two couples famously split up during the recording of their 1977 blockbuster, Rumours, which has sold more than 40 million copies. Nicks’s mystical songwriting and swirly, shawl-based stage presence set the group apart and made her an icon. Acclaim and opportunities have poured in ever since, but never more so than in the past few years.

A Glee episode dedicated to Rumours put the album back on the charts and onto the Spotify playlists of millennials. Nicks appeared in the most recent season of the super-hot American Horror Story as a singing witch, which made the classic songs she sang, including “Seven Wonders,” trending topics on Twitter. She’s a mentor on the latest season of The Voice. Recently on The Tonight Show, she and new host Jimmy Fallon reenacted the 1981 video for her first non–Fleetwood Mac hit, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” Last month, Fleetwood Mac embarked on a world tour, the first in 16 years to feature fellow member Christine McVie. And the week before our interview, she sang at Adam Levine’s wedding. Somewhere in all of this, she went to Nashville to record a new solo album, 24 Karat Gold, in eight weeks (the album is due for release October 7).

“It is pretty crazy,” says Nicks, settling into her overstuffed leather recliner. “Pretty crazy.”

There was a time when things weren’t coming up roses for Nicks. The early ’80s brought her smash solo albums Bella Donna and The Wild Heart, adding songs like “Edge of Seventeen” and “Stand Back” to her repertoire, but more than a decade of cocaine use landed her in Betty Ford in 1986. An ensuing addiction to the tranquilizer Klonopin furloughed her muse and added 45 pounds to her 5-foot-1 frame, necessitating a harrowing detox in 1993. (More on that in a due course.)

But the universe shifted, and after her last acclaimed solo album and documentary, In Your Dreams, it’s looking like 1975 again for Nicks. She’s slim and smooth-skinned. (Her dermatological routine is underworldly: She avoids the sun and Botox, which she says makes its supplicants look “like Satan’s children”). Her famed platform boots are not in evidence today, replaced by fashiony Birkenstocks, to accommodate a toe that was broken when she tripped over a floorboard electrical socket.

After jumping up to lower the lighting — she is exacting about lighting, not for vanity but for atmosphere — Nicks eagerly unpacks 24 Karat Gold, a collection of songs she wrote between 1969 and 1987 and demoed on cassettes that she stored in shoeboxes. “These are not throwaways. I call these my ‘Silver Springs’ songs,” she says, citing the fan-favorite track detailing her 1976 breakup with longtime romantic and musical partner Lindsey Buckingham (the song was left off Rumours because it was too long). And Gold’s tracks will seduce even casual fans of Nicks’s work: “Lady” — whose plaintive refrain, “What will become of me?” was written when Nicks was working as a housecleaner — would have been a smash for Fleetwood Mac if it had been released in the ’70s. Ditto “She Loves Him Still,” a relentlessly ingratiating ballad. Every track details a kind of heartbreak; fans can speculate which of Nicks’s boyfriends (Joe Walsh of the Eagles, Jimmy Iovine, et al.) were the inspiration. “I had to release these songs, because I couldnot write those records today,” Nicks says. “I’d have to start having affairs tomorrow.”

But her favorite track has bigger concerns than romance. “Mabel Normand” was written in 1985 after Nicks watched a documentary about the eponymous 1920s silent performer, who was “the rock star of her time.” She was also a cocaine addict.

“In 1985, I was dancing at the edge of danger myself, just like she was,” Nicks says. “I was just doing so much coke. And it had already backfired on me completely. I saw this documentary, and I felt this union with her: Oh my God, the same thing that happened to this woman in the ’20s is happening to me in the ’80s — how can this be? Then she died, and that really scared me. She was rich, she was famous, she had everything. She had it all. And I very well could have died just as easily as she did.”

Soon after, Nicks went to a plastic surgeon, who found a hole in her nasal cartilage big enough to cause a brain hemorrhage with her next introduction of pharmaceuticals. “He said, ‘I know people who probably do more drugs than you who don’t have a hole in their nose like this, so what have you done differently?’ ” she says. “I would get terrible headaches, so I used to put aspirin in water, then take an eyedropper and put the aspirin in my nose. I thought I was being the best nurse ever. The plastic surgeon said, ‘Well, the aspirin ate your nose, not the coke.’ ”

Next stop, the Betty Ford Center. Her epiphany came with her realization that “if the first lady of the United States can get over this, so can I.” After she left, her handlers persuaded her to go to a psychiatrist to get on a tranquilizer to prevent a relapse. The doctor prescribed Klonopin, gradually increasing her dosage over eight years until she was left dazed, overweight, and unable to write. This time, her epiphany came in the form of Polaroid self-portraits (which she still takes every night). “I would look at them, and I would just be sick to my stomach,” she says. “I was feeling so awful. I thought, You are going to OD on something really stupid like NyQuil or Benadryl — over-the-counter stuff — on top of the Klonopin. I thought, I’m definitely not going to go out that way. If I go out, I’m going out in a blaze of glory. I’m not going out OD’ing on aspirin. So I said to myself, This is it, and it is over.” A 47-day detox ensued, during which her skin molted, her hair turned gray, and she couldn’t eat; she only turned the corner after receiving two days’ doses of the narcotic pain reliever Demerol.

Although Nicks has been clean ever since, drugs have intruded into her extended family recently. “My godson died at a fraternity party,” she says. “He had been doing heroin, but he didn’t die of heroin. He went to a frat party and he took a bunch of Xanax, and I think there was probably Red Bull and vodka being carried out on a tray, and God knows what else. He died at the frat house. He’d just turned 18, this beautiful child.”

Nicks wrote “Mabel Normand” as a kind of public service announcement. “I wanted it to be something that somebody having a problem with drugs can sit down and listen to 5,000 times,” she says. “Try to let it be an epiphany for you, 18-year-old person that is doing a lot of coke and smoking heroin and taking ecstasy and is on a dead-end road to hell. I want anybody who hears a doctor say, ‘Would you like me to write you a prescription of Klonopin?’ to get up and run out of the room screaming and take the air out of that doctor’s tires. I want them to hear the word ‘cocaine’ and think ‘brain hemorrhage, beauty gone, lines, aging, fat.’ ”

Talk turns to happier topics. Nicks first learned she occupied a special place in the heart of the gays when she found out about Night of 1,000 Stevies, the annual dress-up tribute that has become a New York nightlife institution. “I was so tickled because Halloween is my night!” she says of her very specific approach to fashion. “I read about it and told my dad, ‘It’s a huge party thrown by fabulous gay men and women. They love my clothes and my fashion and my songs, and they all go to it and play my music and lip synch!’ And my dad was very conservative, but he said, ‘That is really great, honey!’

“One day I’m going to show up, and they are not going to know it, because I’m going to be dressed as the best Stevie ever,” she says. “I will be unrecognizably fantastic until I go up on stage and take the mic and burst into ‘Edge of Seventeen’ and blow everyone away.”

Unprompted, she meditates on the current state of gayness. “I can’t say that I’m so glad that gay people like my music, because I have never looked at gay people as different from any other people,” she says. “We are all one consciousness. The fact that anybody loves my music makes me feel very good, because this is what I do. I didn’t get married; I don’t have kids. I have lots of godchildren, but it is just me and my dogs. And then I have my straight friends and I have my gay friends.”

She talks about a close companion who struggled with coming out years ago, even though she would have had Nicks’s unconditional support. “The idea of carrying that secret around would have killed me,” Nicks says. “So I wouldn’t have [been in the closet]. If I were gay, the second that I knew, I would have said, ‘OK, everybody, this is how it is, and either you still like me or I don’t care.’ I think that if you are gay, you just have to say ‘It’s great!’ And hopefully you will find a great relationship. And hopefully all the straight people will find a relationship. And hopefully all the people like me who don’t care about having a relationship will continue to not care and just have a great dog. I’m not putting relationships down — I’ve had amazing relationships. But that is how I look at life.”

Her latest spontaneous rendezvous was provided by American Horror Story creator-writer Ryan Murphy. She became acquainted with him during the Glee episode, and she reached out to him to volunteer her services. “I called him and said, ‘You know, I could do just a walk-through in a long black dress and just be like, ‘Hello witches, goodbye witches!’ Just something really dramatic and fun.” Murphy immediately summoned her to New Orleans, where production on American Horror Story: Coven was under way. She showed up on set and was handed a 20-page script, which induced “a panic attack,” as she puts it. “I’m not an actress, never wanted to be an actress. I can’t remember lines. I have to have a teleprompter.”

She ultimately played the show’s version of Glinda, a good witch with powers who chooses not to practice. She sang “Seven Wonders,”  “Rhiannon,” and “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You” as Jessica Lange looked on and wept. Twitter instantly went crazy. “My favorite thing of all time is those scenes with Jessica Lange,” she says. “That show took my music to a lot of people. Television is really the new movies. I love sitting right there on my big couch watching TV by myself. A couple of hours of Law and Order, and I’m good.”

A few months later, she mentored 12 contestants on The Voice. “I feel very invested in these kids,” she says. “I feel like I have sent 12 children into the world.” Would she and Lindsey Buckingham have competed on the show when they were starting out? “I would have dragged Lindsey kicking and screaming. However, yes, we would have,” Nicks says. “If that was the only way we could get our music across, then no doubt. He would have hated it, but he would have done it. I would have said, ‘There is no backing out of this — this is the way it is going to be.’ Because one time somebody might see you and say, ‘That girl should be in my movie’ or ‘That guy should be in the next Geico commercial,’ right?”

Nicks’s famously volatile relationship with Buckingham is stable, for the moment. “Lindsey and I just never change,” she says. “We are exactly who we were when we moved to Los Angeles. There’s always going to be that jealousy-resentment thing that we wish would go away but never does, so I think that we’ve both learned to live with each other.”

Buckingham, Nicks says, would be happiest if she didn’t do anything other than Fleetwood Mac. “He knows that’s never going to happen, so that is, I think, his biggest problem with me,” she says. “I wish that he could not care. Who said it? ‘Ever lovers, never friends.’ There’s something to it. I hope one day, when we’re too old to tour anymore, that we can sit down and just be friends. You know, when you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen, and that’s what I hope happens with Lindsey and me.”

Nicks says that all her recent opportunities have assuaged an occasional creeping insecurity. “Sometimes when you wake up in the morning and you go, Does anybody get it? If I died tomorrow, what would go on? Did I actually touch people? Did I make a wave here?” Nicks says, stroking the long rivulet of blonde hair falling along her shoulder. “In the last couple of years, I have actually started to say to myself, Yes, you did. You have actually made a wave, and it has swept over a lot of people. It’s opening doors for you to step up, into whatever you want that isn’t even rock ’n’ roll anymore.”

To wit, she has owned the rights to a collection of Welsh myths, which she hopes to turn into a miniseries. She’s also gearing up to present a gallery show of her career-documenting Polaroids — some of which form collages inside 24 Karat Gold — in New York City. Her manager and her favorite producer, Dave Stewart, are hounding her to do a one-woman show. She says she has enough demos stashed in those shoeboxes to record three more albums. The Fleetwood Mac tour will take her to 25 cities. She also continues to train her voice militaristically: 30 minutes a day.

It’s closing in on midnight, which means it’s time for an apartment tour, including her thoroughly rock-star bathroom, which has a cavernous tub and sparkly shower tile she points out proudly. A sign hanging above the tap reads, don’t piss off the fairies. Her dogs, a 16-year-old Chinese crested and a Yorkie puppy, clamber underfoot. The Yorkie has used the room for its intended purpose. “Untrainable!” Nicks says in mock exasperation.

As the evening winds down, she remembers what she told the contestants on The Voice. The season hasn’t aired yet, and she keeps thinking about the results. “They are so nervous that you are nervous for them,” she says. “The best thing I actually said to all of them was, ‘No matter what happens after this, just this day, never forget about it. It’s a dream come true. Take everything that happens today and tomorrow with you for the rest of your life and just totally dig on it, and tell everybody the story. Enjoy it, and think about it when you’re going to sleep, and never forget it. Because these kinds of times never come again.’ ”

5 Things We Learned From Stevie Nicks

The gay icon reveals thoughts on American Horror Story, coming out, addiction, and more. Stevie Nicks has never gone out of fashion, but in the past few years her star has been on the rise: with a Glee episode dedicated to Rumours, a showstopping cameo on American Horror Story: Coven, and a mentor spot on The Voice.

In advance of the October 7 release of 24 Karat Gold, a collection of songs she wrote between 1969 and 1987 and demoed on cassettes that she stored in shoeboxes, she spoke with Michael Martin at her Los Angeles home about her career, love affairs, and why she cherishes her gay fans. 

On American Horror Story: Coven:
“I called [Ryan Murphy] and said, ‘You know, I could do just a walk-through in a long black dress and just be like, ‘Hello witches, goodbye witches!’ Just something really dramatic and fun.” Murphy immediately summoned her to New Orleans, where production on AHS: Coven was under way. She showed up on set and was handed a 20-page script, which induced “a panic attack,” as she puts it. “I’m not an actress, never wanted to be an actress. I can’t remember lines. I have to have a teleprompter.” She ultimately played the show’s version of Glinda, a good witch with powers who chooses not to practice. She sang “Seven Wonders,” “Rhiannon,” and “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You” as Jessica Lange looked on and wept. Twitter instantly went crazy. “My favorite thing of all time is those scenes with Jessica Lange,” she says. “That show took my music to a lot of people. Television is really the new movies. I love sitting right there on my big couch watching TV by myself. A couple of hours of Law and Order, and I’m good.”

On aspirin vs. cocaine: 
Nicks went to a plastic surgeon in 1985, who found a hole in her nasal cartilage big enough to cause a brain hemorrhage with her next introduction of pharmaceuticals. “He said, ‘I know people who probably do more drugs than you who don’t have a hole in their nose like this, so what have you done differently?’ ” she says. “I would get terrible headaches, so I used to put aspirin in water, then take an eyedropper and put the aspirin in my nose. I thought I was being the best nurse ever. The plastic surgeon said, ‘Well, the aspirin ate your nose, not the coke.’ ”

On the current state of gayness & coming out:
“I can’t say that I’m so glad that gay people like my music, because I have never looked at gay people as different from any other people,” she says. “We are all one consciousness. The fact that anybody loves my music makes me feel very good, because this is what I do. I didn’t get married; I don’t have kids. I have lots of godchildren, but it is just me and my dogs. And then I have my straight friends and I have my gay friends.”

“The idea of carrying that secret around would have killed me. So I wouldn’t have [been in the closet]. If I were gay, the second that I knew, I would have said, ‘OK, everybody, this is how it is, and either you still like me or I don’t care.’ I think that if you are gay, you just have to say ‘It’s great!’ And hopefully you will find a great relationship. And hopefully all the straight people will find a relationship. And hopefully all the people like me who don’t care about having a relationship will continue to not care and just have a great dog. I’m not putting relationships down — I’ve had amazing relationships. But that is how I look at life.”

On Night of 1,000 Stevies:
“I was so tickled because Halloween is my night!” she says of her very specific approach to fashion. “I read about it and told my dad, ‘It’s a huge party thrown by fabulous gay men and women. They love my clothes and my fashion and my songs, and they all go to it and play my music and lip synch!’ And my dad was very conservative, but he said, ‘That is really great, honey!’ One day I’m going to show up, and they are not going to know it, because I’m going to be dressed as the best Stevie ever,” she says. “I will be unrecognizably fantastic until I go up on stage and take the mic and burst into ‘Edge of Seventeen’ and blow everyone away.”

On the advice she gives for living a full life:
“The best thing I actually said to all of [The Voice contestants] was, ‘No matter what happens after this, just this day, never forget about it. It’s a dream come true. Take everything that happens today and tomorrow with you for the rest of your life and just totally dig on it, and tell everybody the story. Enjoy it, and think about it when you’re going to sleep, and never forget it. Because these kinds of times never come again.’ ”

Rolling Stone Magazine - September 11, 2014

Stevie Nicks Unearths Her Hidden Gems For '24 Karat Gold – Songs From the Vault'
Fleetwood Mac singer heads to Nashville and cuts 45 years' worth of unreleased songs

By Rob Sheffield | August 28, 2014

These songs are little jewels," says Stevie Nicks of her new album. "Each one is the story of what was going on at the time – new relationships, new friends, new Fleetwood Mac albums." 24 Karat Gold – Songs From the Vault (out October 7th) is full of songs Nicks had written but never previously recorded, dating back to 1969. Some are so private, not even her Mac bandmates have heard them. "'Lady' was on a cassette I kept in a box, in a sacred trunk that my mother had," she says. "It just said 'Lady' on the front."

Nicks faced a severe time crunch in the studio – she had to finish before rehearsals for Fleetwood Mac's fall reunion tour with Christine McVie began. "I called [producer] Dave Stewart and said, 'I've got the songs, but how do we make a record in two months?'" she says. "He said, 'Nashville. That's what they do.' It's like checking yourself into music rehab."

The Nashville session cats helped Nicks crash 17 tracks in just three weeks. It was a new experience for her. "I'm usually up till four or five in the morning, but [for this album] I had to get up at nine, do a vocal lesson at 10, then watch Wendy Williams just to wake up. I'm in the bathtub at 12, then dressing as fast as I can, and driving across town to be in the vocal booth by two." It was exotic in other ways, too. "I'm used to bands where we argue over how to do the song. These Nashville guys just say, 'Yes, ma'am.'"

The album is decorated with Polaroid selfies taken by Nicks over the years. "People would ask to model for me, and I'd say, 'Be at my hotel room at 2:30 a.m., dressed in lipstick and gowns and hats and rhinestones and diamonds,' " Nicks says. "And they'd say, 'Uh, no, I'm good.' So I was the model, photographer and furniture mover."

Like the photos, the songs document Nicks' private life. "'Lady' captures the mood of me and Lindsey [Buckingham] being scared to death when we moved to L.A. in 1971," she says. "Our producer Keith Olsen gave us this white carved piano – I wrote 'Rhiannon' on it. But I didn't know how to play. 'Lady' was me figuring it out."

Nobody from Fleetwood Mac has heard the album yet, but she's confident her mates will like it. "Lindsey will love it," she says. "Half the songs are about him!"

From the beginning... 


Anonymous said...

I got my album today. So very disappointed with the mailing packaging, and now damaged item. Spent $40-50, don't remember, for the bonus songs with photo book (plus shipping) and it was mailed in a soft padded envelope! No box. So the postman squished it into my mailbox! Well, the softbound book is all bent :( No cardboard lining or anything.
At least Amazon uses a box for shipping. Oh well...I didn't know.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely LOVE this album... One of Stevie's best!!

Lewis J said...


The CD is out tomorrow in Japan November 5th 2014 but sadly it's the 14 track version.

Sadly WARNER MUSIC JAPAN didn't release the 16 Track version as everybody originally thought.

My copy is on it's way from Japan as we speak and it cost double the U.K issue I bought and i'm extremely disappointed as I was so excited it was going to be the 16 Track version.

My Deluxe Edition CD/Book arrived in half and they're all sold out now so won't be able to get a physical copy.

I just don't understand why they didn't release the 16 Track Version as Japan are fantastic with their CD releases, So I just don't get it :-(

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm....much of this material sounds dated. Not her best effort. The production seems sleepy. There's no mistake it's her, though. As her "sound" prevails on this release. I would have much rather had a new CD of new fresh sharply produced material, ala "Trouble In Shangri-La" with some crisper production. But it is what it is, and she probably just wanted a home for these stray songs. I think the photos are a bit in the neighborhood of "runaway ego", but rock needs its visuals, i suppose. Some of the songs are "very California", i.e. Belle Fleur, 24 Karat Gold, All The Beautiful Worlds....they have their place here.

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