Showing posts with label Bob Leftsetz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bob Leftsetz. Show all posts

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bob Lefsetz showing "Christine McVie" a little love

Lindsey Buckingham gets all the credit. Stevie Nicks gets all the attention. But Christine McVie was the glue. She bridged the gap from obscurity to fame. Nicks twirled, but it was Christine with her understated beauty that enraptured us. And it was Christine's track that broke the new Fleetwood Mac. Yes, "Over My Head" paved the way for "Rhiannon." And Bill Clinton's theme song, "Don't Stop," was not the work of an American, but a Brit, Christine McVie.

And for a while there, Christine was part of the Fleetwood Mac reunion, but then she dropped out. And too often band names are brand names and individuals are forgotten, but in Christine's case, this is unjust.

But all her Fleetwood Mac tunes stay in rotation. And if you loved those, maybe you missed her 1984 solo
album, produced by Russ Titelman, that had some traction but then disappeared, as if it were never made, but there are a few tracks that I'll never forget, that titillate me to the core.

Like "So Excited"...
"Well, I'm so excited
My baby is on his way"

It's the jangly guitar part and then the pure voice. The track exudes honesty, which is the heart of great music. You really feel like Christine has been waiting all day, cleaning the house, prepping her look, waiting for him to show up.

Who hasn't done this?

It's the essence of love. The anticipation!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Bob Lefsetz gets it! >> Stevie Nicks "Secret Love"

Loved what he had to say about Stevie's "Secret Love" and the album "In Your Dreams" as a whole... 

Bob Lefsetz: Welcome To My World - "Forgotten"
June 1, 2012

"Secret Love"
Stevie Nicks

I smile every time this comes on my iPod.

Once upon a time, radio was the filter, before it became completely corporatized, littered with twenty two minutes of commercials per hour and we all stopped listening.

I know, I know, that's not completely true, the little girls listen to Top Forty and the oldsters revere the obscurities on the NonComm stations, but what about someone positively mainstream, a rocker who once was...where is she supposed to be played?


So, Stevie Nicks's best album in decades, maybe her best ever...went unheard.

Used to be artists spent months and hundreds of thousands of dollars perfecting a sound, knowing listeners were waiting with eager anticipation. one cares.

And that positively sucks.

Which is why he (or she!) who invents the filter will own the future, will make all the money.

It can't be done with algorithms, otherwise Pandora wouldn't suck. It depends completely on humans, picking certified winners for the time-challenged.

If you ever liked Stevie Nicks, you can't hate this. You can't shake your head and say it's dreck. You may not love it, but you can't dismiss it. And what more can you ask for?

Ignore the naysayers, who hate Fleetwood Mac because they were too successful. The hipsters who can't like what everyone else does. That's the fringe. The middle, and I don't mean that disparagingly, the middle contains most people, would absolutely LOVE "Secret Love". But it came out and made barely a ripple and was forgotten.

It needs to be brought back.

First and foremost, there's the sound. Like a dark night in the middle of the summer, and suddenly a door opens and you go inside.

And what's up with that buzz saw guitar that keeps coming back, adding edge...I LOVE IT!

And the changes.

And the background vocals.

"I am not asking forever from you
I'm just asking to be held for a while
In a timeless search for love that might work"

You get older and you forsake your dreams. You're not looking for perfection, you're just looking for something, in a mental wilderness where there are people all around you, but very little connection.

This music is not made for the immature, it's made for you. With the rough edges, with the love handles, with the wisdom of years.

Madonna misfired with "MDNA", she wanted to be forever young.

Stevie Nicks aged. Not gracefully, none of us ever do. And she delivered something positively adult, and for that she's penalized?

The media only focuses on that with smooth skin, that which is brand new. But "Secret Love" is so in the pocket, so right, that it could become a cultural staple.

If people only heard it.

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Who is Bob Lefsetz:

"Bob Lefsetz is the author of "The Lefsetz Letter." Famous for being beholden to no one and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to EVERYBODY who’s in the music business.

Never boring, always entertaining, Bob’s insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music’s American division and consultancies to major labels."
Reprinted by permission

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Really great write up published today on the "Lefsetz Letter".  
[He's ultimately speaking about the stellar May 21, 1977 Live in Nashville Bootleg]

I saw Fleetwood Mac open a stadium show back in ‘75, before Anaheim had bleachers in the outfield, back when the Angels sucked and no band ever emerged from Orange County.

It was a summer of stadium shows. Today only Taylor Swift can sell 50,000 tickets, anybody else who says they can lies, or plays with a plethora of other acts. But back in the day, these giant clusterfucks were de rigueur. How many Days On The Green did Bill Graham have?

And I knew the act as a blues band. And there was that great latter day record, from "Kiln House", featuring Christine McVie on harmony vocals, "Station Man", which I heard intermittently on the radio and cranked back when you couldn’t hear your favorite music on demand unless you owned it, back when being a rock chick didn’t mean showing your tits but being so cool as to be a goddess, who was the last true rock chick, Chrissie Hynde? She’s STILL cool!

And that afternoon Christine sat at the keyboard and played my favorite new track, "Over My Head", and it sure sounded nice, but I did not buy the album, because I wasn’t buying anything, I was on the road, in L.A. for the summer, between winters in Salt Lake.

Continue to the full article

Sunday, March 28, 2010


"Leather and Lace" is my favorite track on Stevie Nicks’ solo debut.
Bob Lefsetz
The Lefsetz Letter
First in Music Analysis

But it’s not the best.

"Leather and Lace" has that vibe that’s fallen by the wayside, you know, the one where a woman in a long dress takes you into the dell and reveals her inner truth as you stare into her eyes and fall in love. Today’s female artists are in your face, competing with the men, kicking you to the curb, or so wimpy as to be disposable, completely irrelevant.

But as much as I love "Leather and Lace"’s intimate feel, its circular nature, what puts it over the top comes halfway through, when Don Henley starts to sing:

You in the moonlight
With your sleepy eyes
Could you ever love a man like me

This is who we wanted to be. A sweet man, with substance inside, a certain solid quality. And you could infer a sexual meaning to what I just said, and maybe that’s just the point. Sex today is portrayed as rough, you take your woman, or vice versa, but reality is more about those who are self-conscious, yet are finally honest with another human being and end up connecting, coming inside.

Take that either way you want to. Metaphorically or sexually. That’s just the point. When done right, sex is an opening up, a connection. But our society is too fearful to portray it that way. Movies are laden with special effects, but sometimes songs get it right. And "Leather and Lace" does.

The reason "Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around" triumphs is not because of Tom Petty’s vocal, however great it might be, but the riffs, the underlying song. It’s Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers backing Stevie Nicks, as she reveals her frustration with a certain intimacy, that doesn’t want for power.

Baby you’ll come knocking on my front door
Same old line you used to use before

Truth. She’s busting him.

But that’s not the complete story…

I had to go to the bathroom. Which is why I entered City Market solo. Felice, her brother and my two college buddies were ensconced in the store, deep into the belly of the beast, long after dark, when the food emporium was almost empty, except for the catatonic cashiers up front.

And I hear something in the background, over the sound system, a record playing.

It’s like the song scooped me up and took me for a ride.

Suddenly, there was a bounce in my step. I’d missed the explosive opening riff. But that groove was so wide, it swallowed me whole, carried me away.

"Leather and Lace" is a great song.

"Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around" is a classic.

Not something they sing on "American Idol", not something that can be sanitized and sung at pep or political rallies. It sits at the nexus of rock and roll and its audience. When the most important item you owned wasn’t your cell phone, but your stereo. You came home and CRANKED IT!

Yes, I turned up "Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around" so loud the neighbors freaked. But who could resist? You just wanted to get closer, you just wanted to be enveloped.

As necessary as Ms. Nicks is to this rendition, it’s Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers who shine. What mutation happened on stage, in rehearsal, that made them come up with this sound? Yes, it’s uniquely theirs… They listened to the same British Invasion tracks we did, but with these influences they created something unique. That nestled perfectly alongside the rest of the FM hit parade. Bands didn’t go to Timbaland to get the same sound as every other outfit, they crafted their own!

It’s hard to think about what you’ve wanted
It’s hard to think about what you’ve lost

You bet. That’s what I told Ron the night before. Life was about closing doors. Yup, as you’re watching TV, as you’re wasting time, doors are shutting behind you like crazy. There goes your chance to be a movie director, there goes your chance to be a famous author, there goes your chance to have kids. They tell you life goes by fast, but they don’t tell you how hard it is to accomplish a single thing. They don’t tell you how hard it is to be a rock and roll star, one with a career, who lasts.

I don’t want to think about what I wanted. It freaks me out to think about what I’ve lost. But when I heard "Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around" in the supermarket Friday night my life worked. By spending those endless hours listening to the radio, the stereo, digging ever deeper, I’d come across this great record, which I’d played so many times it was in my DNA, to the point when it came over the sound system the other night it was better than being greeted by an old friend, it was like being welcomed by God.

Yup, that’s what’s in those rock and roll records.

Don’t listen to the charlatans telling you to go to a house of worship, where you’ll be instructed what you can and cannot do.

Rock and roll is a big tent. It allows all comers. Any height, any skin color. Just put on the record and turn it up. You’ll see something that eludes every edition of the Bible. You’ll see life itself, in all its glory, the warts and the inspiration.

Fuck instant stardom. Tom Petty played more gigs in bars than most people in today’s hit parade have played in their entire lives. Malcolm Gladwell said the Beatles were so good because of all that woodshedding in Hamburg? Tom Petty and his band are so fucking great because of all those hours in Gainesville. Listening to the radio. Practicing. Gigging.

We baby boomers know the difference. Because when the Fab Four hit, we all picked up instruments, formed bands. But we gave up when it got tough, we went to college, but Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers PERSISTED!