“Stevie Nicks: The Best ‘Product’ Ever”

* “Turn dial to raise product.” – The back of the deodorant bottle


And not to say that Stevie Nicks ALWAYS needs some artistic deodorant, maybe just a critic here and there.
But anyway, should great music always represent the rapacious power of SEX? Hell, I dunno. I’m the wrong guy to ask. It certainly sells though, per radio, per the American “machine,” against which Zach de la Rocha and company intermittently rage, provided there’s not TOO intimidating of a president in office. Jethro Tull never wrote a single song about sex, other than I guess “Bungle in the Jungle” which is far from being their biggest hit, and look at it, they’re not in the rock and roll hall of fame.
Ironically, though, I’m not arguing in favor of Britain here. In fact, and I didn’t know this ‘til recently, but Stevie Nicks probably could have skated by on a completely American roster the whole time — Lindsey and Stevie (a guy and a girl, respectively) composed “Buckingham Nicks” in the early ’70’s in southern California, when “Fleetwood Mac” was still all British, and put out what I thought were some pretty catchy tunes. I mean I wouldn’t say the songs themselves got THAT much better when Mick Fleetwood and company joined them, at least to my ears, and when do you ever remember a blistering Mick Fleetwood drum solo? Seven-beat ascending polyrhythms? Anyone? Hell, half the time he looked like he was just staring at Stevie.
Stevie Nicks throws around the word “soul” with reckless abandon. Of the material on 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault (‘cause you know, just titling her b-sides collection “Songs from the Vault” wouldn’t be descriptive enough), she says “Every song has a soul.” And boy, is she angry about the fact that she has a “soul.” What a ripoff, eh? I mean, we all get older, even she won’t have that body forever (a knowledge obviated by the cover shot of Buckingham Nicks), and someday all she’ll have anymore is this worthless “soul,” which she’s got to propagate and juice relentlessly in the form of four-minute songs which are all but outnumbered by the songwriting collaborators here. All this, and Stevie Nicks’ songs still remind me of those absurdly annoying radio hits you hear in honky-tonk bars in between country sessions, where things are done with detailed exactness along gender lines. And I don’t think Stevie Nicks is a bad person, by any stretch. I just think, proportional to her level of fame and “success,” she could have used a little more heartbreak, and a little less heart- “bronzing.”


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