Saturday, November 21, 2009

I wear boots all summer long

I was thinking today about how much Stevie Nicks' The Wild Heart needs a remaster. The version that I have is so soft and muted. While turning up the volume of the individual tracks inside iTunes has helped some, it just doesn't sound as crisp as her later recordings. Even Bella Donna sounds better!

I've always maintained that The Wild Heart is the bridge between the acoustic/classic rock of Bella Donna and the full-on synthesized sound of Rock A Little, blending both elements with great success. I appreciate both of these aspects of Stevie's solo career and so, as you might imagine, have a great deal of fondness for The Wild Heart. I have purchased it three times - twice in high school (once to replace my lost first copy) and then eventually on CD when I was in college. I also, many years later, managed to acquire a copy of the vinyl, so I suppose I've actually purchased it four times.

I always loved "Nightbird" which rounded out side one. A loving tribute to her friend Robin who died from leukemia, it is classic Stevie in that it is part poetry and part head-scratcher. It was one of the first places where I noticed a recycled lyric ("just like the white-winged dove") and while many could interpret that as lazy, I prefer to look at it as hooking the songs together.

Anyway, here's "Nightbird" from the early 80s. I love the comment on the YouTube site that says that Stevie manages to mix the serenity of an angel with the challenging expression of a porn star - a comment that could apply to so much of her career and not just this isolated video.

1 comment:

xolondon said...

I LOVE this song and remember playing it over and over on a cassette tape I'd made the summer it came out. The next songs on the mix were Wanna Be Starting Something and Our House (Madness).

I remember reading the great book about Edie Sedgwick that summer too - I recommend that one (by G Plimpton)