The Legends of Laurel Canyon
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best
Transfiguration of Vincent
Christmas in the Heart
Glitter and Doom Live
Let It Roll: The Best of George Harrison
Secret, Profane & Sugarcane
Playing for Change
Sometimes it’s a bit too easy for me to laugh at Stevie Nicks’ ‘good witch’ image, with the silken capes and all the twirling about, but the last laugh has always been on me, because her music always manages to leave a mark. I might chuckle now at some of the dated imagery and her huge hair, and cringe a bit at the dated production values, but her songwriting and songcraft is no laughing matter. Her contribution to Fleetwood Mac has been monumental, and as evidenced by this collection, she has also fared quite well as a solo artist.
“Crystal Visions” focuses exclusively on the solo output of Stevie Nicks, so fans of “Rumours” or “Fleetwood Mac” may be disappointed to learn that only one song here features her uber-famous bandmates (“Silver Springs”). The balance consists mostly of huge solo hits such as “Edge of Seventeen,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (a duet with Tom Petty), “Stand Back” and “Leather and Lace” (another duet, this time featuring Don Henley). “Dreams” and “Rhiannon” are also here, but in alternate or live versions that are mostly disappointing because they suffer from comparisons to the familiar versions that have become a part of America’s collective unconscious. “Rhiannon” kicks off as a lugubrious piano ballad that soon morphs into a reasonable facsimile of the hit version. Comparably, “Dreams” fares much worse, because the synthesized dance-floor production is too trendy and has aged poorly.
If any song should have been revisited, my vote would have been for a complete reinvention of “I Can’t Wait.” My ability to fully appreciate this collection is occasionally hampered by the 1980s production values, and “I Can’t Wait” serves as a perfect metaphor for everything bad about that era. If you can listen through the haze of tacky synthesizers and processed drumbeats, there is a good song underneath it all, but it takes effort to see the beauty underneath the excessive makeup. “Talk to Me” suffers similarly, with booming percussion and echo effects that render it into something Scandal might have recorded (not a good thing in my book). Surprisingly, though, Nicks avoids this trap on most tracks here, and the result is ultimately quite pleasant, if not perfect. A second DVD disk features a generous offering of videos, all of which are accompanied by an optional commentary track. Throughout, Nicks is focused and informative, and the insights of her commentary provide another excellent reason to obtain this collection, especially if you’ve been a longtime fan. Additionally, the booklet’s liner notes are also very generous and a fun read.
Buy it now! -