Welcome to the Fleetwood Mac Bonus Track! We’re going to blast through the extensive solo career of Stevie Nicks. Because of the sheer volume of awesome that is the Stevie Nicks Solo Career, I’m going to sum up each album in three sentences-ish each. Hold your hats!
1) Bella Donna, 1981
Released the same year as former lover Lindsay Buckingham’s first solo album, Bella Donna allowed Stevie a chance to finally put out all of the music she was writing that didn’t fit with the Fleetwood Mac line up. You might recognize her classic hit “Edge of Seventeen,” which I learned recently is about the heartbreak and rage caused by the death of a loved one. Other hits from this album include the duets “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and “Leather and Lace” with Don Henley.
2) The Wild Heart, 1983
Nick’s follow-up album to Bella Donna was released the year after Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage and yet again features Tom Petty on the track “I Will Run to You.” The highest-reaching track on this album was “Stand Back,” which featured Toto’s Steve Lukather on the guitar and reached #5 on the charts. I like The Wild Heart, but the best part of this album is the backstage recording of Stevie Nicks singing an acoustic version of the title track. Watch it:
3) Rock a Little, 1985
During the early production of Rock a Little, Nicks kicked her producer and love interest to the metaphorical curb and started something that rocked a little. Rock a Little rocked it was to #12 on the US charts and peaked in Australia at #5 (Australia got its own single from the album, “Imperial Hotel”).
4) The Other Side of the Mirror, 1989
The Other Side of the Mirror is predominantly a pop album, but a few of the tracks have a very distinctly southern rock feel to them, and there’s some brass scattered throughout. There’s a recurring angel motif through most of these songs, which would make for a great extended review/analysis, if you need a project ;). Apart from “Fire Burning” (3:16), every track on this album is over four minutes long, which is a longer average than most pop artists, but the songs are well worth it.
5) Street Angel, 1994
“Blue Denim” is my favorite track on this album. As a whole, the album is raw and beautiful, but I do kind of lose touch with active listening while it’s on. I’m much more likely to zone/have Street Angel as background music. It’s pleasing, but not very memorable like the bookend albums of Nicks’ thus-far solo career, kind of like almonds.
6) Trouble in Shangri-La, 2001
Trouble in Shangri-La is probably my favorite Stevie Nicks solo album because it’s just so freaking awesome (and poetical and dramatic and fun). This album landed at #5 on the charts because it’s awesome and amazing. Don’t take my word for it — well, do, but go listen to the opening/title track and then feel like you’re flying through a forest on the back of an eagle, swooping low over a clear river and running ripples upstream with your fingertips. This album is magic.
7) In Your Dreams, 2011
Mystical, magical In Your Dreams catapults Nicks further into the sound profile established ten years prior in Trouble in Shangri-La. It’s enjoyable, but it does expand her horizon of themes, which is usually limited to romantic entanglements of mythic proportions; the best example of this is “Soldier’s Angel.” I guess the best way to describe this album is that it straddles the border between a vivid hallucination and a vaguely nightmarish dream (this means it’s scary beautiful like Galadriel). She sings Edgar Allen Poe’s “Annabel Lee.”
I’ll have more Fleetwood Mac Attack for you soon!