Posts Tagged ‘Rock A Little’


For some reason, everytime I do Stevie Nicks my numbers go up! This is one I personally like myself.

the wildheart

Rock music’s gold dust woman makes a huge splash with her 1983 release, The Wild Heart.

Stevie Nicks is known for having a lush, deep, contra-alto voice. Nicks’ beautiful voice truly shines on such tracks as synthesizer-driven If Anyone Falls. The track only gets better on the chorus, when Nicks is joined by her two backup singers which include die-hard fan favorite band member Lori Perry- Nicks.

However, the best track on this album is the ever-popular Stand Back. Since the album’s release, it has become a staple at both Nicks’ solo shows and Fleetwood Mac concerts. It shows Nicks at her best – complete with vocal prowess.

Nicks also shows what a great songwriter she is on Nothing Ever Changes in which Nicks exclaims “Come back…little boy/ baby come back…yeah…little boy/ Ooh…it’s just me that lies waiting/ Well it could come from anywhere/ oooh it could…

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In the mid-80’s rocker Stevie Nicks was at the top of her game with her multiplatinum-selling albums (1981’s Bella Donna &  1983’s The Wild Heart). However, by 1986, her “game” was being threatened by a deadly cocaine habit which greatly affected her then-latest album, Rock A Little, and its subsequent tour. Her 1986 concert, Stevie Nicks: Live At Red Rocks chronicles her concert at the beautiful Red Rocks Ampitheater tucked away inside the Colorado Rocky Mountains in Denver.

While this dvd is far from Nicks’ worst performance, it’s not up to par with her post-drugs performances such as her 2009 dvd: Live in Chicago. Nevertheless, there are some redeemable parts of this concert. For example, she opens the show with the Bella Donna-era classic, Outside the Rain with a nice fade-into her Fleetwood Mac classic Dreams. 

However, one of the best parts of the concert is when she performs Talk To Me from 1985’s Rock A Little. Her vocals sound amazing just as they do on the album.

One of the cutest moments of the film is after Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You. Someone in the audience releases a white-winged dove. The dove is then handed to Nicks (who tries to get the bird to speak into the mic) and she tries to release it, but the bird doesn’t leave.

Unfortunately Nicks’s performance of No Spoken Word is an absolute disaster in both sound and film. The closeups of her face are obviously retouched due to her drug issues. She looks tired. Additionally, her vocals sound tired. It gets even worse with Beauty and the Beast. On the ever-popular Edge of Seventeen, she performs a completely unnecessary vocal solo. At times, she even looks like she’s, as the great George Costanza once said on Seinfeld, in “a full-fledged body heave set to music.”

Overall, it’s an okay dvd due to the fact that it contains rarer songs that Nicks nowadays doesn’t perform live. However, it shows her in the worst part of her drug-fueled days. Fortunately after this tour she checked into rehab and has been off cocaine ever since.

B-.


English: Stevie Nicks, Live with Fleetwood Mac...

Sometimes in the midst of madness and insanity, one can find a gem. This is so with Stevie Nicks‘ 1985 album track If I Were You from her album Rock A Little.

If I Were You is a plea to a lover to stay. However, what makes this track stand out the most is that, unlike some of the songs on Rock A Little (such as Imperial Hotel, Rock A Little, and The Nightmare) you can coherently hear what Ms. Nicks is saying. It is quite clear she was on alot of cocaine when she made this album, but somehow we got this little gem.

The other thing that makes this track stand out is that it seems to take a detour from all the synthesizers and 80’s cheesiness that made this album terrible. Rather it’s an updated homage to the overall sound that made her famous in the first place.

Bravo!


In the 1980’s, Fleetwood Mac member and successful solo artist Stevie Nicks was at the top of her game. However, she was hiding a rather heavy cocaine habit. By 1985, when her bestselling Rock A Little album came out, it was having an effect on her overall performances.

Nicks is usually known for being a mystical-womanlike figure when it comes to her image and overall sound. This is what keeps her fans coming back for more. However, this is not so with One More Big Time Rock & Roll Star, the b-side to Nicks’ hit single Talk To Me. 

One More Big Time Rock & Roll Star is void of any of the mystical greatness that made such ballads as Leather and LaceTwo Kinds of LoveOutside the Rain, and even 2011’s Secret Love great.

This song was meant for the Rock A Little album, but didn’t make the cut and for a good reason: it simply doesn’t measure up to Nick’s previous solo work.


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.


On July 27, 1981 Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks released her landmark solo album Bella Donna. That album with songs

30 years of entertainment and white-winged doves

like Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, Leather and Lace – both duets with Tom Petty and Don Henley respectively, and the ever-popular Edge of Seventeen launched her enduring solo career. Though its a belated birthday, I, would like to present you with the 10 facts that you probably didn’t know about Bella Donna.

  1. The most well-known single from this album is, of course, Edge of Seventeen. Nicks has said that this song is about the death of her uncle and the death of John Lennon. She explained in her Live In Concert video that “I was in Australia when John Lennon was shot. Everybody was devastated. I didn’t know John Lennon, but I knew Jimmy Iovine, who worked with John quite a bit in the ’70s, and heard all the loving stories that Jimmy told about him. When I came back to Phoenix I started to write this song. Right when I got to Phoenix, my uncle Bill got cancer, got very sick very fast, and died in a couple of weeks. My cousin John Nicks and I were in the room when he died. There was just John and I there. That was part of the song when I went running down the hallways looking for somebody – I thought where’s my mom? Where’s his wife and the rest of the family? At that point I went back to the piano and finished the song.”
  2. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around was one of the earliest videos to air on a new network that debuted on August 1, 1981 at midnight called Mtv. Mtv ended up being massively popular with teenagers and young adults and introduced both Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Nicks to a younger audience.
  3. Producer Jimmy Iovine (who has since worked with rap artist Eminem, Dr. Dre and R&B singer Mary J. Blige among others) produced the album. Iovine and Nicks ended up moving in together during the making of the album.
  4. Bella Donna is an italian expression for “beautiful woman.”
  5. Some tracks did not make the final cut of Bella Donna, but were included on other albums. Some of these tracks were “I Sing For Things (which was eventually re-recorded for her 1985 album Rock A Little), Gypsy (which was included later on Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage album in 1982), Sleeping Angel (which was included on the soundtrack to the hit film Fast Times at Ridgemont High), Blue Lamp (which was included on the Heavy Metal soundtrack) and Gold and Braid, which Nicks has performed live for the Bella Donna tour.
  6. The Bella Donna tour kicked off in Houston, TX at the the Summit, which was also where fellow rockers Journey recorded their 1981 Live In Houston – the Escape Tour video. Nicks herself would later return to The Summit in 1989 for her The Other Side of the Mirror tour and film the video for Whole Lotta Trouble at said concert. The Summit was the home of the Houston Rockets and later became known as the Compaq Center. It now currently houses bestselling Christian author Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church.
  7. There are many tracks that still remain officially unreleased but have become popular on sites like youtube and other peer-to-peer sites. Some of these tracks include “Castaway,” “Lady From the Mountains,””China Doll”, “Christian (Spinning Wheels)”, another duet with Tom Petty, and “Stay Away.”
  8. Bella Donna hit #1 on the US Billboard charts in September 1981 and was awarded platinum status 2 months later. It has since gone 4x platinum.
  9. This was the 1st recording to feature Nicks’ longtime backup vocalists Sharon Celani and Lori Perry Nicks.
  10. Nicks wrote Leather and Lace for a duet album for country singer Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter. However it wasn’t used by either singer so Nicks recorded it as a duet with Don Henley. The song itself hit #6 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in January 1982.

The Wild Heart’s existence is officially justified! I’m not going to name names of who thinks we should not exist, but now I have proof that vinyl is superior in sound to both cds, Zunes, and iPods.

As I am writing this, I am listening to one of my latest purchases from the record store, Pat Benatar’s 1984 release Tropico. I own about 2/5ths of the album in other formats: iTunes and her Greatest hits on CD. As I am listening to Painted Desert, one thing that I can clearly hear is her husband, guitarist Neil Giraldo’s beautiful guitar playing as well as some bongos in the background. This cannot be heard on the version that I have on iTunes.

Let’s face it, the days of the CD are numbered. It will become like the 8track: history. Vinyl will once again be king and mp3’s will be at where cassettes were in the 80’s and 90’s – mixtape madness. That is, if people are smart enough.

I say this because the current bestselling artist worldwide, Lady GaGa, has released her latest album Born This Way on vinyl. Other current artists such as Green Day, Adele, and even Nine Inch Nails. Furthermore, other great classic rock artists like Fleetwood Mac, who re-released their landmark Rumours album on vinyl last April, the Police, Guns & Roses, Stevie Nicks, and the late Michael Jackson – who saw a huge resurgence of record sales in 2009 after his death, are re-releasing some of their greatest albums on vinyl.

Now let’s compare some of the qualities of that vinyl has over cds or even iTunes using the current album I am playing: Tropico by Pat Benatar along with a few others from the immaculate collection of the Wild Heart.

Cost: Since we are in a recession we’re fighting high gas prices, cost is everything right now. For my latest purchase, Pat Benatar’s Tropico was $6 used at Black Dog Records in Houston, TX – a place specializing in near-mint condition vinyl. On iTunes, to download this entire album, its $10. Now since apparently this album as a stand-alone is out of print (they re-released it as a dual-CD with Seven The Hard Way) so if you want a stand-alone copy of this album you will end up paying a whopping $10.95 for a used copy of this Pat Benatar classic. However, new vinyl is rather costly – look to spend at least $25 or more.

Sound: Did you know that you hear in analogue? You do. CD’s are recorded in digital, which is why they have an artificial sound. The sounds on a CD or even an mp3 are digital sounds, meaning the sound is more processed and less organic. It doesn’t sound as rich as it should. Take for example Stevie Nicks’ song Sister Honey from her 1985 album Rock A Little. On this track, you can clearly hear the disco-style bass line as well as the high parts where Nicks nearly screams “and she’ll go fast like a jet plane and then fast like a star stream.” As one that likes to listen to this album at work on Grooveshark as well as owns the actual album, the LP version is superior not only due to the sound quality, but the song sequence is messed up on Grooveshark. (I don’t have time to put it in its rightful order) With any artist, there’s a reason the songs are in a certain order. This could be due to the fact the album maybe a live recording, a concept album, or the artist – such as is the case with Nicks – who’s known for being picky about the song sequence on her albums. Also one major downside to vinyl is the fact that it gets scratched after repeated usage – thus affecting the sound quality.

However, we should not knock mp3’s. They are great for sharing music (in the legal way!) and, if you have a smartphone like an iPhone or Android, you can play music for your friends wherever and whenever.


Nightbird’s performance at the Flamingo Room in Houston, TX on July 17th was one that was rather memorable. It was almost as if you were in the audience for Stevie Nicks‘ Soundstage DVD.

Lead singer Brooke Alyson gave a spot-on performance as the lead singer of the Stevie Nicks tribute band, Nightbird. Alyson opened the show with a rousing, loud, and excellent rendition of Stand Back. Surprisingly enough, she even does Nicks’ signature high-kick at the end, which made the performance more authentic. But one of the best things about this opening was that it did not sound like the 1983 Wild Heart recording but rather the mystical-ness of the 1986 Live at Red Rocks version as well as the technological skill of the Soundstage version. This made the performance feel a bit more authentic along with how the lead singer was dressed – which was very Stevie-esque including long shawls, long black dress and a tophat.

On Nicks’ 1985 hit Talk To Me, Alyson sings with much ease on this beautiful song. One of the greatest highlights was when Alyson hit the line “Though we lay face to face and cheek to cheek our voices stray from common ground where they could meet/ the walls run high to veil a swelling tear” with great ease.

Other songs such as Dreams and Gypsy, Alyson shows that she has a slightly higher vocal range than the contra-alto vocal range of Stevie Nicks. However, this works well for both songs. Gypsy is only made better by the guitar skills of Adam Walton, who plays the solo much better at times than Lindsey Buckingham.

One of the more mesmerizing moments was during Rhiannon, which was done with a stunningly beautiful piano opening from keyboard player Kelli Thompson. Also, Alyson stayed true to the performance version rather than the original recording.

However, the exquisite show-stopper was the show closer: Nicks’ signature smash Edge of Seventeen from her 1981 album Bella Donna, complete with its signature repetitive guitar as Alyson croons the familiar opening “just like the white-winged dove sings the songs sounds like she’s singing/oooh baby ooh.” It was an excellent closer to a band that is as good and at times even better than its original counterparts.


Stevie Nicks has proven herself to be the most powerful woman in rock & roll. However, even rocks Gold Dust Woman has her “what was she thinking” moments. Rock A Little perhaps is one of these.

Rock A Little is a little like her previous release, the 1983 classic The Wild Heart albeit with a more 80’s pop feel. It fits Nicks much like a fashion accessory – too many of them break the overall outfit. The title track, “Rock A Little (Go Ahead Lily),” is one of those tracks. The lyrics scream rock song or at least a power ballad, but instead it is a slower song. Either way, neither song nor lyric fit each other.

“The Nightmare” is a completely senseless song. Though it has a great beat, it’s like she was on quite a bit of drugs when she recorded it. The same goes for other songs such as “I Sing For Things” – which would be an enjoyable track had Nicks not been on drugs, thus slurring her words. She does this on many of the tracks. Shortly after the Rock A Little tour, she famously entered the Betty Ford Clinic for treatment for a cocaine addiction.

However, “I Can’t Wait” is almost like an updated version of the classic smash “Stand Back.” A surprise track that the Wild Heart loves is “If I Were You” – a ballad that is a plea to a significant other to stay in the relationship. It is a beautiful, yet uptempo, ballad. “Sister Honey” is a rare almost-dance track from Stevie Nicks. It is a great album cut. One of the best album tracks is “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You” – a song written for then-boyfriend and member of the Eagles Joe Walsh, who had suffered the loss of his young daughter due to injuries in an automobile accident en route to nursery school in 1974. Walsh took Nicks to the water fountain that she frequented when she was alive to show Nicks that her problems and pain were nothing compared to the hell he has put up with.

Overall the Wild Heart can only recommend this album if either a) you want to show your children what music on drugs sounds like or b) you are a die-heart Stevie Nicks fan. Otherwise, only download a few tracks and nothing more.