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REVIEW: Solo Stevie shines up some oldies

Stevie Nicks reclaims her leaked demos in flamboyant fashion on 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault.

Handily timed to coincide with Fleetwood Mac’s return to the road, floaty chanteuse Stevie Nicks reclaims songs mostly written between 1969 and 1987 that apparently leaked onto YouTube as demos. The singer, in typically flamboyant fashion, declares they represent her life “behind the scenes, the secrets, the broken hearts, the brokenhearted and the survivors.” In keeping with its retro/spontaneous theme, the artwork is made from more never-before-Steseen Polaroids, while the package is also available in both limited-edition double vinyl and as a deluxe photobook CD with two bonus tracks.

And what of the music? Producers Dave Stewart and Waddy Wachtel gild the likes of “Starshine,” “Carousel” and “Cathouse Blues” with the necessary 70s/80s sheen. “Lady” is a refreshingly unadorned power ballad, while the intro to “Hard Advice” will sound familiar to fans of Lonestar’s “Amazed.” Which came first, one wonders?

Diehard Nicks-ites aren’t happy with the song choices, believing some of the brightest and best have been overlooked, but there are undoubted gems such as “The Dealer” (originally from Mac’s Tusk sessions, later recut for/ omitted from Nicks’ solo album Bella Donna) that will win universal approval. If you don’t like ’em, you can always revert to YouTube

24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault *** (out of 5 stars)
Warner Bros, cat no tbc (CD / 2LP)

Michael Heatley / Record Collector / November 2014,  p. 96

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