I’ve come to the realization that Stevie Nicks just plain sucks. I have a very high appreciation and respect for the ’70s gold sounds of Fleetwood Mac – authors of so many great pop songs, and I always lumped Nicks in there with them. Thinking about it in golf terms, though, she got a total mulligan in all facets of the game. In the 1970s, she got by on a distinctive (note I didn’t say “good”) voice and the fact that she was all spinning, scarfy, witchy and mysterious, not to mention good looking. All of her strongest songs featured Lindsay Buckingham singing at equal volume with her: “The Chain,” “Never Going Back Again” and “Second Hand News,” among others. Now think about the ones she sings on her own: “Rhiannon,” “Landslide,” “Gypsy,” and one of her worst ever, “Dreams.” Dreams is the utterly painful one where you can’t figure out one single phrase she’s singing other than “thunder only happens when it’s raining.”
See what I mean here? She sucks and I cannot even understand half her lyrics because when she sings it sounds like she’s had 47 vodkas. It sounds so slurred. Her solo career only adds fuel to my argument. “Edge of Seventeen” might be one of the single worst songs ever made – “Just like the wide winged dove?” Come on. Give me a break. However, look at her collaborations: singing with Tom Petty on “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” – now that was a good song; I never made a final decision on “Leather and Lace,” the one Nicks sang with Don Henley, but I don’t think it’s as horrendous as Rhiannon or anything. There is one song, however, where Nicks shines, and that song is “Silver Springs.” For some reason, she pulls this one off without reminding me of sitting in the passenger seat in the 1970s in the musty smell of my family’s old Mercury Cougar or Ford Mustang, dried out, cracked dashboards and all. The smell was a combination of the intense humidity of the northeast and stale cigarette smoke. My parents were big smokers, a habit they’ve long since abandoned, thankfully. By the way, what was up with those vinyl seats in the ’70s? The heat and humidity back then caused the vinyl seats to loosly resemble the feeling like you were sitting on the sun.
Anyway, I acknowledge that it’s a unique theory – a person who sucks singing solo in a song, but sounds mostly great in duets. I suppose it’s better than Linda McCartney, right?
Warren Zevon – “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” (how weird is that???)