Features /// On Stevie Nicks’ 24 Karat Gold – Songs from the Vault

Stevie.PolaroidHands down, the best compliment I have ever received was being told I look like a young Stevie Nicks. Aside from sharing our short stature and love for platform shoes, I don’t know how accurate that sentiment can be. While I did allow my ego to temporarily inflate and bask in the glory of possibly possessing Stevie-esque features, the reality is that I, among thousands of other gypsy wannabes, am fascinated by the original sister of the moon. I remember long car rides with Fleetwood Mac as the signature soundtrack for family trips through the Allegheny Mountains, pleasantly surprised I liked the majestic melodies coming from the car speakers. And later in my young adult life inheriting the Rumours vinyl I played incessantly on my first turntable, reading wide-eyed into the romance between Nicks and bandmate Lindsey Buckingham.

Now, to every gypsy lover’s delight, Nicks released a treasure chest album of songs she refers to as “jewels” written over the last four decades of her career that have never before been recorded, released or even heard by her Mac bandmates. Once confirmed, there was no time to waste. Nicks was going to reunite with the members of Fleetwood for a reunion tour in the fall and needed to get the songs down fast. Where do you record a full-length album in just two months? Why Nashville, of course.

It seems our city pulled through for Nicks. With the help of session musicians, 17 tracks were laid out in just three weeks and the result was the long-time coming 24 Karat Gold–Songs from the Vault. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Nicks commented on her new experience of recording down south, “I’m used to bands where we argue over how to do the song. These Nashville guys just say, ‘Yes, ma’am.’”

Gold’s cover is a vintage polaroid selfie–yes, selfies existed long before the age of the iPhone–and the album chronicles much of the tumultuous relationship between Nicks and Buckingham throughout their careers. A photo album itself, with a glimpse into the golden age of rock-n-roll and the toll it takes on a relationship within the realm. The pair had been musically and romantically involved from the get-go, creating a trail of songs of love and hate obviously about the other throughout their respective careers as a band and as solo artists. For Nicks, many of these songs were hidden away for decades. “‘Lady’ was on a cassette I kept in a box, in a sacred trunk that my mother had. It just said ‘Lady’ on the front,” said Nicks. A truly delicate song of naivety and fear of stepping into the unknown when her and Buckingham moved to LA in 1971, “Lady” shows Nicks’ vulnerability as well as her first attempts at learning the keys. Although her bandmates haven’t yet heard the album, Nicks thinks Buckingham will approve. “Lindsey will love it–half the songs are about him!”

At 66, Nicks has more than ever on her plate. A photography exhibit of her Polaroids debuting at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York City, the fall Fleetwood tour with original member Christine McVie, and a much-anticipated autobiography still in the works. On top of all that, Nicks recently invited sister band Haim into her LA home for an intimate joint recording of hit “Rhiannon,” then presented the ladies with gold moon pendants naming them honorary sister of the moon members. My envy of such an honor cannot even be described. It’s this kind of charm and mystique Nicks’ possesses that keeps her adoring fans’ interest piqued, and the reassurance that her wild heart cannot be changed or tamed, like an unspoken pact between sisters.

Stevie Nicks‘ album 24 Karat Gold–Songs from the Vault is out now.

– Kimberly B.

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Kimberly Baugh is a writer from Chicago with an old rock-n-roll soul. She can usually be found in her favorite leather motorcycle jacket perusing Nashville’s many beloved music venues, record shops and coffee joints. When she’s not busy getting acclimated to her new digs or playing shopgirl at Third Man Records, she’s indulging in fashion blogs and magazines with her extremely photogenic cat, Wolfie.

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