[The Nicks Fix]

Enchanted Review

A Fan's early review of the boxed set, Enchanted

No self-respecting fan base of any performer could truly be satisfied with a box set of fewer than 10 discs. We all have our own private favorite songs, some of which are probably embarrassments to the artist. (I personally am a big fan of "Street Angel," which Stevie wrote during a time she said she was "uninspired" about music.) I really missed several songs on this disc, including "Julia," "Forest of Black Roses" and "Ladybug and the Goldfish." And I'm sure we'll hear a chorus of "where are interview clips?" and "how could they put 'Two Kinds of Love' and not 'Juliet' in the package?"

So with that perennial complaint handily dispatched, let's move on to what's actually there. Stevie writes in the introduction that "it is hard picking songs off albums; it is like picking your favorite children...but I did my best. My choices seemed to have a flow, so I hope I am right and that these are the songs that make you feel good...This is my heart. This is my work; it has been enchanting. I wouldn't change a thing."

For this listener, "Enchanted" is all about disk 3, which includes most of her soundtrack work, collaborations from other artists' albums, and b-sides. (Any CD that includes "Battle of the Dragon" and "Sleeping Angel" will never leave my 5-disc changer.)

At the risk of having my Stevie card revoked, I have to admit I didn't know what song "Gold" was until I heard it here: A major 1979 hit I instantly recognized, and a collaboration with John Stewart. (The same is true about "Whenever I Call You Friend": I remember hearing that song on the radio in 1986 and thinking, "Damn, that sounds like Stevie!" Then the DJ said the song was by Kenny Loggins and Melissa Manchester. Turns out, I learn in "Enchanted"'s liner notes, Miss Manchester only cowrote the song with Loggins; a DJ mistake I've carried with me for 12 years!) Both songs add punch to a mostly mellow sequence.

Disc 3 begins with a songwriting demo of "Twisted." Stevie writes: "I really hand-crafted this song for the movie [Twister]. It was about people who had extreme jobs...like chasing tornadoes, or being in a rock band. Unfortunately, if you saw the movie, you missed the song...and you certainly missed my message." Well, she is vindicated with this demo. Never a fan of the duet with Lindsey, it immediately became a favorite as a solo song. Less country-twang than the studio track--and more heartfelt--her voice, and message, rings clearly out of the stripped-down instrumentation like a bell through the night. A real highlight of the disc, except for the recorded-in-a-bathroom hissing underneath.

On the other hand, "Long Distance Winner," from the Buckingham/Nicks LP, DOESN'T have the static we're used to from old vinyl and bootleg CDs. "It's Late" is a rousing, bluesy ditty written by Dorsey Burnette (any relation to Billy?) that Stevie recorded April 20, 1995. "It's a song I've been singing since 4th grade...one of my grandfather's favorites," she writes. You can tell. She tears up the floor with this one; I can practically see her dressed like she is in the "Little Lies" video, lifting her hem and stomping around a sawdust-covered floor.

Stevie also includes the songwriting demo for "Sweet Girl"--I can't decide which version I like better. Again, it's a little less country-fied than the album track; a phalanx of guitars tear through the chorus like Jon Bon Jovi and Tom Petty are trying to prove whose is bigger. The other most notable difference is that instead of growling "come down here for a minute" repeatedly as she does on "The Dance," she repeats "The ocean is your blanket" four times in a soft, sweet way at the end. It leaves the listener with an entirely different feeling.

"Reconsider Me" is the weakest cut on the disc, but, being Stevie and Don Henley together for only the second time, is still very good. A Warren Zevon-penned tune originally recorded during the "Rock a Little" sessions and brought to her by Jimmy Iovine, Stevie writes that she wasn't in a very "reconsider me" state of mind, so didn't include the track. "I don't think Jimmy ever forgave me for not trusting his judgment...So, Jimmy, here it is. Better late than never." Stevie, you've got great judgment, too--don't forget it. The song begins a little thin, but builds to a fantastic ending. New instrumentation was added by Andrew Slater, who produced Fiona Apple and the Wallflowers. The song is infectious--"Let's let bygones be forgotten"--so I reconsider my initial review and give it a thumbs up. It will be the first single from "Enchanted."

The "Rhiannon" piano demo, recorded just this February with Stevie playing, is a real masterwork, and like many masterworks, it was an acquired taste. At first, it seemed so inferior to "The Dance" version--particularly the ballad intro--that I figured I'd be stopping the CD after "Sleeping Angel" from then on. But I listened a couple of more times, and it's absolutely beautiful. "With all of the bootlegged piano versions of 'Rhiannon' that are out there," she writes, "I decided to just go into a studio with a great grand piano, sit down, and play 'Rhiannon' to you now, as she is today. I feel her wisdom is much evolved...and you will hear that in the piano, and in my voice. People say, 'Do you really want to go through that again?' And all I can say is...'It is my pleasure...'" Well, thanks for sharing, Stevie. It is our pleasure as well. Even though I would have killed for 5-second sound bites scattered throughout the discs, I have to say you've made an incredible box set that fans and non-fans alike will love. Thank you. dlt718@aol.com

A Young Fan's Review

Hello , My name is Marty and I am 12 years old. I recieved the Stevie Nicks Enchanted Boxed Set for my birthday and I love it. I also got tickets to the Chicago show on May 30. I really enjoy Enchanted. It is perfect. I think she did a great job choosing and selecting what songs she wanted. The booklet inside is so cool. It is like all color. I think the versions of the songs she picked were pretty cool , too. I love the "Edge of 17" live version. My sister has the "Buckingham Nicks" record and I like the song "Long Distance Winner." I'm glad she put it on the set. "Stand Back" sounds better than ever remastered on a compact disk , cause I have the record. I think a live version of "Rhiannon" would have been nice cause I don't really like the piano version. But it sounds okay any way. Ya know, I thought that was pretty neat to have put "Free Fallin" on the album. I like the "Sweet Girl" track , but I liked it better on "The Dance." The song "Enchanted' sounds different to me somehow. All of us have that 1 or so Stevie Nicks song that we can't get enough of. So in my opinion, buy the set.

I had no idea that Stevie wrote some of her songs in her bathroom. Over all the sound quality is great. The music sounds better than ever. Even if you don't have a CD player , buy "The Enchanted Workds of Stevie Nicks" it is definetly worth while.


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