Posts Tagged ‘Gold Dust Woman’


A few months ago I wrote about how bad radio in Houston has gotten since rock 101 KLOL went off the air in 2004. Even worse, it seems like Clear Channel has taken over everything. The playlists from station-to-station are virtually indistinguishable.

I wanna know this: when it comes to playing an artist, especially a female one, radio programmers seem to stick to only a few hits – not all their hits. For example: when Stevie Nicks came to Houston in August, 93.7 the Arrow celebrated by playing one of her cds for their “Classic CD at Midnight.” However, did they pick one of her classics such as Bella Donna or The Wild Heart. No. They chose to play Crystal Visions: The Best of Stevie Nicks. There’s nothing wrong with that per se except for the fact that it furthers the fact that, whenever they play a popular artist, they will play the same 4-5 songs by that artist that are on their playlist and nothing more. Why not play Bella Donna when she comes to town?

The Gold Dust Woman isn’t the only one they do this to. They have also done this to Pat Benatar. They seem to play either Heartbreaker, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Love Is A Battlefield, Shadows of the Night, etc. No You Better Run or I Need A Lover or the like.

Here’s a thought: how about playing some different songs from various artists back catalogue? Take for example anytime Cocaine is played by Eric Clapton. How about playing Forever Man or Tears In Heaven. Would it hurt to do that? People are tired of listening to the same old song and dance.

 

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Very few albums, or artists for that matter, have served as a soundtrack to a generation. Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours does exactly that. It’s still is a relevant album because it explores in a voyeuristic way, the personal turmoil amongst the band members during the recording of the album. The mix of personal turmoil amongst the band, though it nearly cost them their sanity and was fueled by lots and lots of drugs, make this a beautiful masterpiece.

Best of all, it is easy to relate to lyrically due to its content –  which includes jabs at other band members, all of whom were experiencing romantic turmoil: bassist John McVie and his wife Christine’s marriage was in shambles as was the romantic relationship between singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Additionally, Nicks and drummer Mick Fleetwood (who was married at the time) were having an affair.

Songs like Don’t Stop and Songbird which are nothing short of an offer of hope both personally and for the band itself. Perhaps they were thinking in they lyric from The Chain: “I can still hear you saying you would never break the chain.” It is one of the few songs that is written by the ENTIRE band and it is a gem.

Also, one of the other great things is the actual skill of the musicians. One of the best sounding tracks on the album is You Make Lovin’ Fun. Lead vocalist [for this track] and keyboard player Christine McVie is remarkable on all accounts. However, all of the lyrical greatness and great sound come together on Gold Dust Woman – which is both a metaphor for drugs and quite possibly the ending of the relationship of the songs author, Stevie Nicks, and then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham.

For those of you that saw last week’s episode of Glee, this is an album worth buying due to the fact that it is great musicianship under fire, something that happens to us all. It is very relatable if you have ever endured a never-ending breakup. That is what makes this album one of the greatest albums.

Also be sure to check out the special Classic Albums that VH1 Classic and the BBC documentary they did on Rumours, where they go into both the technicality of making the album as well as what the songs are about – including stories and interviews with band members and album personnel.


Ahhhh Fleetwood Mac. A band where you know who dated who and who broke up with who. However, when they make music together, it’s completely sheer magic. On Tango In the Night, this magic once again doesn’t fail them.

On this album, the band members take a more stylized production approach – a slick pop approach that still stays true to the style and music of Fleetwood Mac. Mirage and Rumours were more organic in both their sound and lyrics. Tango In the Night is, but with more production overdubs and a more pop approach. It sounds like they took more production cues from their most popular band member, Stevie Nicks, whose latest solo release at the time was Rock A Little (1985)

The greatest thing about this album is that there is no weak track. Each is a great standalone track. But perhaps one of the greatest tracks is Big Love due to the creative guitar-playing and “love grunting” of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.

One thing to notice about the album is that the presence of Stevie Nicks is a little less. While she sings backup on many of the songs such as Little Lies, she has less songs where she is the lead vocalist, or even the main songwriter. The reason is due to the fact that she was in rehab for a cocaine addiction. On the other hand, Seven Wonders, though it’s not Gypsy or Gold Dust Woman, is still a viable (and underrated) classic. One surprise great track is Welcome to the Room…..Sara. It almost is a foreshadow of her later work including her latest single Secret Love from her latest album In Your Dreams.

Overall this is one of the most under appreciated albums of Fleetwood Mac. It is definitely a good listen, even though it is a deviation from the normal bluesy-pop/rock that has become beloved among Fleetwood Mac fans.


Rock music’s Gold Dust Woman is perhaps one of the most visually descriptive artists. Listening to her lyrics is like listening to the likes of great writers such as James Joyce, C.S. Lewis, John Keats, and John Steinbeck. Couple that with the overall sound of Stevie Nicks and you have the American answer to the British Kate Bush – albeit with a lower vocal range and an edgier sound.

Stevie Nicks’ 1989 release The Other Side of the Mirror is a return to the sound that made her a great solo artist. Gone are the cheesy 80’s synthesizers, producer Jimmy Iovine (with whom she had a relationship with sometime during the making of Bella Donna and The Wild Heart) and cocaine that defined her 1985 release Rock A Little. Here, Nicks returns to her roots, but this time takes a bit more of an adult approach. She proves this on Rooms On Fire, which is a more grown-up version of The Wild Heart. Nicks has stated that the song “is about a girl who goes through a life like I have gone through, where she finally accepts the idea that there never will be those other things in her life. She will never be married, she will never have children, she will never do those [that] part of life.”

Many of the tracks are nothing short of beautiful. One prime example of this is her duet with Bruce Hornsby of Bruce Hornsby and the Range on Two Kinds of Love. One of the greatest aspects is the harmonies with both Hornsby, Nicks, and her ever-present backup singers Lori Perry-Nicks and Sharon Celani. However, Nicks returns to the rock sound that we know and love hearing her sing with the down and dirty rocker Whole Lotta Trouble.

Nicks also seems to take slight cues from her peers on Alice – a song about Alice from Alice In Wonderland. (which is the theme of the overall album) However, the overall sound seems a bit inspired by the later works of fellow rocker Pat Benatar. However, there is interesting little surprise on this track: Kenny G on tenor sax.

However, one part does get a little spooky. On Doing The Best I Can (Escape From Berlin) speaks of life after an abusive relationship. But it works well for the album.

This album is probably one of the more underrated gems of Nicks’ career. However it is still worth investing into because this is alot like reading a book at times.


Jon Anderson in concerto al Maxlive di Costabi...

Image via Wikipedia

In honor of the latest announcement from Fleetwood Mac, we thought it would be nice to tell the whole wide world of what artists would be possibly a well-sold tour if they teamed up. As they say, sometimes two heads are better than one.

  1. No Doubt with the Cure: Punk and emo-heads UNITE! You know this would draw those emo kids, hipsters, and punkheads alike.
  2. Stevie Nicks with Pat Benatar: Two of the greatest women in rock & roll. Though they are getting older, songs such as Dreams, Gold Dust Woman, You Better Run, and Heartbreaker are timeless classics.
  3. Linda Eder and Lea Michele (tv’s Glee): Lea Michele is a great singer in her own right and was in Spring Awakening. I think it would be a great career boost for Michele to have an audience with a Broadway legend.
  4. Yes and Rush: Though I am a fan of Yes’s 90125 and I love Jon Anderson’s voice, this would be a total testosterone fest. Mostly men like Rush from what I can tell. Bring it on!
  5. Talking Heads, Muse, and Radiohead: Now there’s one way to bring all the hipsters and nerds outta the woodwork. However, one thing that would have to be brought down is none other than the ego of Talking Heads lead singer David Byrne.

It was a night with the sisterhood of the traveling guitars, a Gold Dust Woman, and a lady hailing from Port Arthur, TX Friday night at the Flamingo Room in Houston, TX with Spare Heart – a Tribute to Heart, Nightbird: Stevie NicksTribute, & Kozmic Pearl – a tribute to Janis Joplin.

Kozmic Pearl helped everyone step back in time with their interpretation of the best of late legend Janis Joplin.

Kozmic Pearl helped everyone step back in time with their interpretation of the best of late legend Janis Joplin., and opener Black Roze.

BlackRozeHouston kicked off the evening with a nice rendition of Your Love by the Outfield. However, that was nothing compared to the sultry vocals of the excellent Pat Benatar classic Invincible by Claudia Valenzuela. Their set was like a nice iPod playlist. They were a pretty good warmup for what was to come.

Spare Heart kicked off their set with a nice rendition of the 1978 hit Straight On from the Dog & Butterfly album. They even added a few bars to the song in a sort of jam-like session virtue, which gave the song a strong, welcome-to-the-show-like quality. However, the definitive showstopper was none other than Heart’s 1985 single Never in which bass player Sean Harrold brought the house down with his mad bass-playing skills.

In the style of the original Heart, Spare Heart changed the pace of the show with a slow, yet beautiful rendition of Love Alive. However, lead singer Linda Lambert kicks it back into high gear with Crazy On You and the ever-enchanting Magic Man. One of the more interesting things about their performance of Magic Man is that guitarist Staci Butler stays true to the Dreamboat Annie Live version rather than the actual recording of Dreamboat Annie.

However, what performance of a Heart tribute band would not be complete with a rousing performance of Heart’s most recognizable hit, Barracuda, which is the [literal] high note that Spare Heart used to close their set.

Kozmic Pearl was essentially like a little glimpse into what it may have been like to see the late legendary Janis Joplin with the Kozmic Blues Band in 1969 at Woodstock in . However, the highlight was when lead singer Myrna Sanders launched into a sultry rendition of Summertime and Cry Baby. According to one event attendee, Sanders was pretty close in her interpretation of Janis Joplin in both voice and even her bohemian-like style.

The main headliner was Nightbird – a Stevie Nicks tribute band. Lead vocalist Brooke Alyson portrays “Stevie Nicks” with much finesse as she launched into the ever-popular Stand Back – complete with twirls and sashays much like the real Stevie Nicks. One of the interesting things is that Alyson consistently takes cues from Nicks’ live shows – such as Nicks recent live show at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion.

One of the best things about Nightbird is that, like Stevie herself, Alyson adds quite extensively to the performance version of the songs – much like she did on the classic 1985 single Talk To Me. Alyson’s version sounds more like the Live At Red Rocks version rather than the actual recording. One of the best moments is when she semi-quietly sings the line though we lay face to face and cheek to cheek/ Our voices stray from the common ground where they could meet/ The walls run high, to veil a swelling tear” and then bursts into the rest of this beautiful song, giving it a majestic bang.

Nightbird pleases both new and dire-hard fans of Stevie Nicks

However one of the major surprises is that Alyson performed some of the deeper tracks of Nicks’ career such as songs from her latest album In Your Dreams where she did an a capella version of Moonlight (A Vampires Delight) as a lead-in to Sorcerer. Sorcerer is a Buckingham Nicks song  that was meant for (but didn’t make the final cut) of the album of the same title that was released prior to Nicks and then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham’s union with Fleetwood Mac.

Another major albeit nice surprise was the fact that keyboard player Kelli Thompson sang the Fleetwood Mac hit You Make Lovin’ Fun from 1977’s Rumours album as well as guitarist Adam Walton’s interpretation of I’m So Afraid.

It was a great night that celebrated the three most influential women in rock and roll.


It was a full moon with blazing humid Texas heat but that didn’t stop thousands of enthusiastic Stevie Nicks fans from singing along to some of her greatest hits at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in the Woodlands – a suburb of Houston, TX on August 13.

Nicks opened the show with a searing rendition of her 1983 classic Stand Back as she slowly twirled around with her red shawl adorning her back and arms. She even did her signature high-kick near the song’s end.

“Well hello hello Houston welcome,” Nicks said in a mysterious tone. “They said it was gonna be hot but this is fantastic.”

Nicks then launched into a very enchanting rendition of Secret Love, the first single off her latest album In Your Dreams.

During the concert, the Gold Dust Woman proved that she is the master of suspense. For a moment she left the stage as it faded to black and changed into a golden shawl as the band chimed in with her signature Fleetwood Mac hit Gold Dust Woman. After the song Nicks lamented about the death of Amy Winehouse and how Nicks, while singing the lyric “you don’t see me now/you don’t feel me now” was thinking of the singer and her untimely death as she was singing the song. Nicks repeated this suspenseful vibe later in the show while performing a bang-up rendition of her 1976 hit Rhiannon.

One of the most touching moments of the evening was when Nicks talked about her trip to Walter Reed Medical Center, which made her cry. It served as the inspiration for Soldier’s Angel. The audience gave her a semi-standing ovation. Nicks then encouraged everyone to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project and the USO.

Nicks shines when she kicks up her heels and rocks – which is exactly what she did on Ghosts Are Gone. However that paled in comparison to the extremely popular showstopper Edge of Seventeen – which had a very long intro as Nicks emerged dressed in a white blouse and black dress. Shortly after she came back onstage for the encore she said “we want to leave you with a kiss” and launched into a beautiful rendition of Love Is.

The Gold Dust Woman, though she was losing her voice, still sounded amazing. She proves that at the ripe age of 63 that she can still rock it like she did in the 1980’s. After all these years, Stevie Nicks still looks and sounds amazing.