May 7, 2001
After a solo, Nicks is back to Mac
By HOWARD COHEN
Despite the portentous title of Stevie Nicks' first solo CD in seven years, the Fleetwood Mac singer assures fans her "crystal visions" are clear again. The CD's release finds Nicks healthy and seemingly in vogue again.
Such wasn't the case when her last album, 1994's problematic "Street Angel," nearly capsized her career. Now today's pop stars such as Sheryl Crow, Courtney Love, Sarah McLachlan and Macy Gray are citing Nicks' influence on their music. Destiny's Child samples Nicks' "Edge of Seventeen" on its new CD.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Nicks' distinctive, witchy wardrobe found favor with such fashion designers as Oscar de la Renta, Jill Stuart and Bob Mackie, who all have created Nicks-inspired threads.
"Trouble in Shangri-La" also finds some of her famous fans joining her. Crow, Gray, McLachlan and Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines sing harmonies.
Even ex-lover and Fleetwood Mac band mate, Lindsey Buckingham, appears for the first time on one of her solo albums, playing guitar on "I Miss You."
And no, that particular song is not about him, Nicks says, stifling the likely assumption. After Nicks' summer tour ends, she and Buckingham will reteam with the other members of Fleetwood Mac (minus the retired Christine McVie) to record a new group CD.
"If you take Christine's synthesizers and organ out of the mix, then the whole thing will go back toward the guitar, so that's an exciting premise for all of us because we love to rock," Nicks says enthusiastically.
During the Fleetwood Mac reunion tour in 1997, Nicks and Buckingham became friends again, putting aside the bitter differences that inspired such impassioned songs as his "Go Your Own Way" and her "Dreams," "Silver Springs" and the new "Planets of the Universe," a number Nicks wrote when she was breaking up with Buckingham in 1976. She withheld it until finding a place for it on "Shangri-La."
"It's one of the heaviest songs I've ever written, and I wrote it in anger in all my drama - as dramatic as I was and probably still am. I went back and wrote the first part of the song a couple months ago because I wanted to soften it a little bit."
"Shangri-La" also includes two songs initially conceived prior to Nicks' joining Fleetwood Mac - "Candlebright," planned for the 1973 "Buckingham Nicks" duo LP, and "Sorcerer," nixed in favor of "Rhiannon" for 1975's "Fleetwood Mac" LP.
The chosen "Shangri-La" guests were custom-fit to each track. Crow has become "a very good friend" and has performed often with Nicks.
"To even be in the same room as Stevie was a dream come true for me. To work with her was beyond description. It was extraordinary," Crow said in a release.
Singing the country-rocker "Too Far From Texas" with Maines was a high point.
"Natalie is a trip," Nicks says. "She came in and knew her parts so perfectly, and we cut that song live. . . . When we got (the guests), we had to work quickly. But it was like Natalie and I were singing together for 100 years, like we were two little mountain singers. What a pleasure."