Stevie Nicks to appear on new Sheryl Crow album

Stevie Nicks will be singing on Sheryl Crow’s next album, due out in early 2017. Crow was the keynote speaker at #Blogher16 and revealed that she recently finished recording the album, which will be mixed in October. Willie Nelson, Keith Richards, and Citizen Cope will also be special guests on the album.

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Keith Richards, Stevie Nicks to Guest Star on Sheryl Crow’s Next Album

Sheryl Crow’s next album will have some heavy hitters on it. The rocker, 54, appeared in downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 5 at the BlogHer16 conference, where she told the crowd that after being treated for breast cancer in 2006, she has been free of the disease for 10 years. Crow, who last released an album in 2013, also told Overheard that she is in the process of recording a new album at her home studio in Nashville that is “inspired by the people who have inspired me since I was a kid.” Among the guest stars: “Stevie Nicks, who is a dear friend,” and “Keith Richards, who is an inspired and amazing human being.” Crow expects the record to be out next spring. She also is about to begin work on another album with songwriter-producer Jeff Trott, who wrote some of her biggest hits, including “My Favorite Mistake.” “If It Makes You Happy,” “Soak Up The Sun” and “Every Day Is A Winding Road.”

Selma Fonseca / Billboard / Friday, August 12, 2016

Q&A: Stevie Nicks

Fleetwood Mac’s singer on their new tour, turning 60 and making mixtapes
By Austin Scaggs
Rolling Stone
Thursday, March 5, 2009

‘IT STILL GIVES ME GOOSE bumps, and it still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up,” says Stevie Nicks, who is eagerly anticipating the first Fleetwood Mac tour in five years, which kicks off on March 1st in Pittsburgh. And later in the month, Nicks is releasing a DVD, Live in Chicago, and a concert CD, The Soundstage Sessions. With her dog barking in the background, Nicks checks in from her home in Los Angeles: “We still feel like Fleetwood Mac have a lot to give to the world. In this time of trouble and turmoil, I think the world needs Fleetwood Mac.”

What’s the latest from the Mac rehearsals?

I don’t want to give the set list away, but it’s pretty exciting. The fact that we haven’t been on tour since 2004 makes every song sound fresh. It’s just bang, bang, bang — all fantastic songs. We always start with the staples: “Go Your Own Way,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Rhiannon” and “Dreams.” We will play one song we’ve never done at all. If I were going to see Fleetwood Mac, this is definitely the set I’d want to see. It’s like a big steam locomotive that doesn’t stop until we walk offstage.

How are you getting along with Lindsey Buckingham?

When Lindsey and I aren’t getting along, nobody’s getting along. We haven’t had one disagreement since we started rehearsing. And instead of treating me like his miserable old ex, he’s treating me like his difficult but beloved older daughter. He’s been very sweet.

How often do you speak with Christine McVie?

We check in with each other, but we can’t hang out, because she lives in England, and she won’t fly. The only time I’ve seen Chris since 1998 was when we did three nights in London in 2003. I miss her every day. But we’ve all finally started to accept that nothing could make Chris go back out on the road.

Last May you turned 60. How do you feel about that?

I don’t feel any different at 60 than I felt at 50. Age is a state of mind. You can either get old or not get old.

On the “Live in Chicago” DVD you’re joined by Vanessa Carlton on a couple of songs. What other artists of her generation do you mentor?

I love Vanessa — I feel like she’s an adopted child, in a way. And Michelle Branch and I had dinner the night before last. I have a lot of information for all of these women. I should do a “Dear Stevie” column in ROLLING STONE. When Mariah Carey was going through all her craziness a few years ago, I wrote her a long letter telling her how everybody else is crazy — not her. I saw her recently, and she told me she keeps the letter with her jewelry! I love that.

What’s wrong with the record business today?

The Internet has destroyed it. I miss buying an album and lying on the floor for three days and going over it with a magnifying glass. I still go to the record store and spend hours there and buy a bigbag of CDs. I don’t have a computer or a cellphone, because I don’t want to be that available to anybody. I’m all about mystery. Little girls think it’s necessary to put all their business on MySpace and Facebook, and I think it’s a shame.

You’ve always made mixtapes on cassette. Do you still do that?

That’s how I do it. Cassettes sound so much better. And I’m deaf as a doornail, so I like to crank my little boombox.

What songs are worthy of a Stevie Nicks mixtape?

I was just in Hawaii, and I made a mix called “Lahaina Twilight.” It’s got songs by the Goo Goo Dolls, Jackson Browne, Sting, Coldplay, Tom Petty, the Fray, Snow Patrol.

What albums do you lore in their entirety?

I don’t, usually. In the beginning, I was inspired by songwriters like Jackson Browne, David Crosby, the Eagles, Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield — those are the people I learned from. And I probably listened to Joni Mitchell’s For the Roses, Blue and Court and Spark a hundred million times. But now, I can’t listen to a whole album unless it’s a Fleetwood Mac record, where I made sure that every song is spectacular. Sequencing is my forte. I sequenced Rumours. Lindsey doesn’t like to admit it, but he will admit it.

Last year, Sheryl Crow claimed that she would be part of the 2009 Fleetwood Mac tour, but Buckingham later denied it. What really happened?

It was absolutely discussed and she was absolutely invited to join. The reason was because I missed Christine [McVie] so much, and I wanted another woman in the band — it’s hard to be in the boys’ club. I explained to Sheryl what it was like to be in the group — that it’s all-encompassing. Like, on 2003’s Say You Will tour, we went out expecting to do 40 shows, and it turned into 135 shows. So Sheryl called me and said, “I’ll have to pass.” As Stevie Nicks, I was disappointed. As her friend, I told her she made the right decision. Sheryl Crow passed on Fleetwood Mac — I want that out there.

What are the origins of your patented onstage twirl?

A lot of ballet and a lot of dance. I wanted to be a ballerina, but I realized I was not going to be Pavlova, so I became a rock singer instead.

PHOTO (COLOR) [removed from article]: UNBROKEN CHAIN Nicks and Fleetwood Mack kick off their first tour in five years on March 1st.

Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks

By James McNair
The Independent
(UK)
Sunday, July 21, 2002

Sheryl Crow, 40, was born in Missouri. Having sung backing vocals with Michael Jackson and Don Henley, she released her Grammy award-winning debut album, ‘Tuesday Night Music Club’ in 1993. Briefly engaged to Eric Clapton, she wrote ‘My favourite Mistake,’ allegedly about him, in 1998. Her new album, ‘C’mon C’mon’, features Gwyneth Paltrow, Emmylou Harris and Stevie Nicks.

Stevie Nicks, 53, was born in Arizona. She found fame with Fleetwood Mac and co-wrote ‘Rumours’, one of the bestselling albums ever. Currently single, she had long-term relationships with fellow band-mate Lindsey Buckingham and The Eagles’s Don Henley. Last years she released her sixth solo album, ‘Trouble In Shangri La’, on which Sheryl guested.

Stevie Nicks: I first became aware of Sheryl in 1994 when I heard her singing “All I Wanna Do” on the radio. A year or two after that, I did a song of hers for a movie soundtrack, Boys On The Side. I didn’t know that she was a fan of mine until we met at the launch party for that album in LA. And it wasn’t until we both did a charity benefit for Don Henley that we sat down and talked properly about recording together. I thought, “If it doesn’t work out at least we’ll each have a new friend.” I love that Sheryl does what I do. I’ve never really had a female friend like that before. I’m a rock star and I always wanted to be one. Sheryl is a rock star too, and under that umbrella, each of us listens to what the other says. If Sheryl says, “I don’t think you should do that,” I’m probably not going to do it. Only a few people in my life have that authority. Sheryl’s life, like mine, is very busy. And when I was her age, I didn’t want to have a day off, either. Now, if I can work for three days and rest for two, I’m happy. But Sheryl just wants to keep going. In one of my more maternal moments, I did convince her to take a holiday. We went to Hawaii: me, my assistant, Sheryl, her assistant, and Sheryl’s best friend. We took a catamaran and sailed to Molokai for 10 days. It was great, because nobody was going to mess with Sheryl and me together. We were like Thelma and Louise. My friends have begun to become Sheryl’s friends, but she’s kind of a loner. She’s not from here; her family is back East. She has a house in Florida and she’s thinking of buying one in Nashville. She’s not really settled, and she knows that being a famous woman in rock makes it hard to find relationships. I love living in LA but my real foundation is a house in Phoenix that I’ve owned since 1980. I think Sheryl’s looking for somewhere like that; a place where her heart wants to stay. We expect a lot from each other. Are we possessive of each other? I would say, “Yes.” I’m possessive in a way where I want what she does to be great. If she plays me something and I don’t like it, I’m going to tell her. And she’s not going to save my feelings either. We both know that you can’t pussy-foot around saying bad songs are great. How else do we differ? Well, Sheryl likes to go to parties and stuff. But then she’s 40 and I’m 53. I don’t like to party so much any more, and even when I was her age I was a little more private. We’re actually more similar than different. I’ve never found anything important enough to give up my music for, and Sheryl’s the same. If you want to get married and have a child, you have to stop. The world is fickle. If you give up the gauntlet — and that’s Sheryl’s phrase — you may not be able to come back. Our friendship will continue forever. Sheryl did a benefit for my father and the Heart Association, so my family loves her as much as I do. She committed first and then we got everyone else in and we raised enough to build a hospital. Now that’s girl power.

Sheryl Crow: I first met Stevie at a Grammy’s party about 6 years ago. She’d just recorded “Somebody Stand By Me,” a song of mine. I liked her, and she said, “We should get together and work some time.” I thought, “Great!” But then I didn’t hear from her for two years. My first impression was that I’d known her forever, that she was really open. I think the kindred spirit thing is also partly to do with us having similar backgrounds and both becoming well known around 28. Musically we both have a similar dictionary of references, too. She’s totally like a sister: one of the few people who takes care of me. If I’m sick, Stevie will come over with a cashmere blanket; that’s how she is. She’s a big rock star, and she doesn’t need to drop everything, but she cares about people. When I was first Grammy nominated she was very supportive at the awards ceremony. Other female artists in the room seemed to ignore me but Stevie didn’t have any of that. She doesn’t have an ego about music. Clothing wise, I have more masculine tastes. I like cowboy stuff, she’s more into frills. Neither of us is into furs or expensive cars but we do like to go to extravagant getaways. We went to Hawaii together and Stevie rented a house on the ocean. She knows how to live. Stevie can never know how much of an inspiration she’s been to me. Even when I was at school, I had my hair cut like hers and I was wearing shawls and stuff and my friends thought I was a freak. Also her singing style. Somewhere in there, she came out of blues and country, and when I first heard it, it validated what I liked. To me she was the greatest female songwriter of her generation, and I don’t know of anybody today who gets so lost in the mystery and power of their music. And she’s still like that. When we last played together here in LA, it was like a church revival, you could feel it in the air. It was right after 11 September and Stevie had people in the palm of her hand. She’s become quite matriarchal in recent years and she gave people a lot of strength and comfort that night. We disagree about personal things. When we were on the road together, I got on to her about not looking after herself. She drinks too much coffee and no water — ever. When she lost her voice, I said, “Well, you have to cut out the caffeine.” I’m the bossy little sister. We both know how hard it is to meet a partner when you’re a successful woman in music. In some ways I think we sacrificed our romantic and social lives for our work because we derive so much satisfaction and self worth from it. Stevie says that her songs are her children; that they go out and work on her behalf. And they do, because they are very healing for people. I’ve yet to make that peace with my work because it doesn’t have that depth. But if I ever wrote something as good as “Landslide,” say, I’d just get in my car, drive to Tennessee and have kids. I’d feel completely sated. Stevie should tell herself the wonderful things that she tells me — she’s way too tough on herself. It’s hard to be in the public eye, and getting older isn’t easier for any of us gals. Stevie’s still gorgeous, though, and I get frustrated with her because she doesn’t realise it.

Stevie Nicks, Don Henley, Lenny Kravitz on new Sheryl Crow LP

By Corey Moss
MTV News
Thursday, January 10, 2002

All of Sheryl Crow’s collaborating over the last couple of years apparently gave the singer some ideas for her fourth studio album.

The as-yet-untitled follow-up to 1998’s The Globe Sessions, due in late March, will include contributions from several big-name artists, including Stevie Nicks, Don Henley, Lenny Kravitz and the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines, according to Crow’s Interscope Records spokesperson. “Soak up the Sun,” the album’s first single, is due in February and features additional vocals by fellow female rocker (and could-be twin sister) Liz Phair.

Nicks, who appeared on Crow’s 1999 live album, Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live From Central Park , sings on “You’re Not the One.” Crow and Nicks recently collaborated on Nicks’ Trouble in Shangri-La (2001), sharing vocals on “It’s Only Love.” Crow also produced several tracks on Nicks’ record.

Eagles singer Henley, who’s among the artists Crow sang backup for early on in her career, appears on the track “It’s So Easy.” Kravitz sings on “You’re an Original,” and Maines adds her signature twang to “Abilene.” Crow and Maines performed several songs together at a breast cancer benefit in Los Angeles last fall, including Crow’s “It Don’t Hurt”. Maines’ Dixie Chicks also appear on Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live From Central Park.

Other guests on the upcoming album are folk and country veteran Emmylou Harris (“Weather Channel”) and blues guitarist Doyle Bramhall II (“Steve McQueen,” “Over You”).

Since the release of The Globe Sessions, which featured the single “My Favorite Mistake,” Crow has recorded with an array of artists, from Tony Bennett to Kid Rock .

While recording in New York last summer, Crow played several high-profile club shows that included many of the guests on her album along with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards .

In other Crow news, she was just added to the list of presenters for the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. The show will be broadcast live on ABC.

Tentative track list for Sheryl Crow’s upcoming album, according to her spokesperson:

* “Steve McQueen”
* “Soak up the Sun”
* “You’re an Original”
* “It’s So Easy”
* “Over You”
* “It’s Only Love”
* “Weather Channel”
* “You’re Not the One”
* “Missing”
* “Abilene”
* “Slave”
* “Safe and Sound”

Nicks gets by with a lotta help from her friends

By Cathalena E. Burch
Arizona Daily Star
Friday, December 7, 2001

PHOENIX — Stevie Nicks’ waited until taking her final bow before choking back a tear that was welling for the better part of her 2 1/2-hour show Thursday night.

“Take care of each other and be good to each other. Life is so fragile,” she said, referring to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York.

The 9,000 people loosely filling Nicks’ hometown arena cheered in support and allowed their favorite daughter a moment of emotional indulgence.

They owed her that much for helping them to forgot about the attacks, the war on terrorism and much else to do about the world outside of America West Arena.

Nicks and a few of her friends took the audience back to the cold war 1980s, before anyone had really heard of a madman named Osama bin Laden.

Thursday night’s show was a fund-raiser for the Arizona Heart Institute Foundation. But with the exception of State Attorney General Janet Napolitano and a suit-clad foundation official saying a few words, you never would have known that the evening was dedicated to such warm-and-fuzzy pursuits.

The audience came to see the legendary Nicks and her enviable cast of friends — Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham, Don Henley, Sheryl Crow and Natalie Maines.

From the opening chords of “Stop Dragging My Heart Around,” Nicks turned back the clock 20 years, to the days when her ethereal, mystical voice ruled the radio.

Not daunted by age or the ever changing pop music landscape, she sounded and looked just as she had back then, sans the after-effects of heavy partying. She swirled, she twirled, she bent down in that swoop and turn that made everyone want to be a gypsy like her.

Granted, she didn’t bend as low as she did in her youth, but the magic was just as tangible.

And infectious.

Nicks barely uttered the first words of “Stand Back” when the crowd took over, their chorus overflowing the arena. They boldly and loudly sang along to every song she performed: “Edge of Seventeen,” “Rhiannon,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Enchanted.”

One by one she invited each of her special friends to share the mike on a song that forever ties them to Nicks: Henley on “Leather and Lace,” Maines on “Too Far From Texas,” Crow on “Sorcerer” and Buckingham on the classic “Landslide,” a song the pair dedicated to Nicks’ father, Jess.

As Buckingham picked the intricate notes on his guitar, Nicks let the words slip out like lines of poetry, softly and packed with the emotional weight they’ve carried since she penned the song 30 years ago.

The pair share a musical bond that can’t be broken, which could explain why they and their Fleetwood Mac bandmates, sans Christy McVie, are in the studio now recording a new album.

Nicks is forging new but seemingly just as solid bonds with her newest friends, Crow and Maines. She gushed over both women, crediting Crow with the very existence of her latest album, “Trouble in Shangri-La.” She said that after two days in the studio with Maines, she felt as if they pair had been performing together a lifetime.

Nicks also let her friends hog the spotlight individually, which gave Henley a chance to resurrect two of his classics: “End of the Innocence” and “Boys of Summer.” Buckingham jammed on the guitar and then invited Fleetwood to bang on the drums for a number.

But the applause was most deafening when Nicks was solo, spinning a tale of a “Gold Dust Woman” or asking the question “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You,” not anticipating an answer.

The crowd answered back by singing along.

For a little while, Sept. 11 and all that has come after it didn’t exist, and the tears that Stevie Nicks was holding back could just as easily have been tears of joy.

From the heart

By Leigh Flayton
City AZ
Friday, November 30, 2001

Local hero Stevie Nicks’ national tour culminates in a hometown show that’s dear to her family’s heart — it’s also the hottest ticket of the year.

She’s back. Phoenix’s favorite songbird returns home this December 6 to play her annual benefit concert for the Arizona Heart Institute at America West Arena. And, what can fans expect this year, whether they score the premium $1,000 tickets–which include access to the private post-concert party — or the more affordable, yet still intimate, seats throughout the venue?

We’ll have many of the same guests this year: Sheryl Crow, Don Henley, Lindsey Buckingham,” Nicks said recently via telephone. “They’re all my friends; they’re my circle.”

Also in attendance will be any of us who were smart enough to purchase tickets, for we will not only see a one-of-a-kind show, we’ll be supporting a terrific cause. The benefit concert is the passion of Stevie’s father, Jess Nicks — whose brother and mother died of heart disease — and who has suffered from the disease himself, along with Stevie’s mother, Barbara.

“My dad is almost 77 years old, and when you get to be 77 you get to thinking, ‘I better start doing all this,'” Nicks says. “He is determined to build heart hospitals, and these benefits keep him going because he really goes to work on this. It makes him young again.”

Last year’s show was a magical musical moment. Nicks sang unforgettable versions of her greatest works, including acoustic renderings of “Landslide” and “Gypsy”, with longtime friend, collaborator, and former lover Lindsey Buckingham. Also, many of the Nicks’ friends were onhand singing duets with her in addition to their own songs. Yet the best part was that every cent derived from the performance — titled “Stevie Nicks and Friends” — went to the Arizona Heart Institute Foundation’s efforts to eradicate heart disease, and to provide for advanced research into the treatments.

“It’s not like collecting funds that spray into the wind and you have no idea where they go,” Nicks says. “The second my father gets that money in his hand, he takes it to where it’s gotta go.”

Nicks has been benefiting millions with her music during the last three decades, beginning with her days with Fleetwood Mac. Since 1981, when her solo career took off upon the release of her first album, Bella Donna, she has been one of America’s premier artists — a fact that she takes very seriously.

Her dedication to what she does was almost usurped, like most Americans’, last fall. Nicks was on tour in New York on September 11, the 21st-century’s very own date of infamy. Four days later, her first performance since the attacks was scheduled for Atlantic City.

“It’s been very hard for me to be out on the road [since the attacks],” Nicks admits. “I thought about going home, because I just didn’t know that I could stand up there and smile. There were some days when I was calling home every day, really hysterical.” But Nicks got through that difficult first show. “It was hard to go back onstage. I have been very afraid, but we all have to get back on the plane. If we don’t, this country isn’t going to make it.”

That concern inspired Nicks to write a poem “We Get Back on the Plane” which she composed aboard the nerve-racking flight out of Atlantic City, which was accompanied by an F-16 fighter plane. When we spoke a week later, she admitted she had been “song creeping” around the piano, knowing she would soon set the words she wrote to music.

“My Mom and Dad keep going back to World War II,” Nicks says. “They keep saying, ‘You’re part of the USO right now; you must do this.’ I know that if we don’t get back to work, we’re in huge trouble.”

So Stevie Nicks — the artist — took her own advice and got back to work. “I told the audience in Atlantic City to ‘let us let the music just take us away,'” she says. And, she admits, it did.

Nicks says she knows that music does make a difference, and now, during the height of the greatest American crisis in a generation, she still believes music can help change the world.

“During Desert Storm I received a flag from one of the first tanks that went in,” she recalls. “They were listening to my music and they made a very big deal to me about how important it was, to listen to my records. Entertainment — per se — is really uplifting. And now, of course, all my songs take on a different meaning.”

Nicks has said she’s made sacrifices in her pursuit of the artist’s life, but her returns have meant so much to her listeners as well as for herself. She says she “knows” when she’s written something particularly meaningful; usually because it happens so quickly.

I knew at the end of “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You”, I knew at the end of “Landslide”, and I knew at the end of “Love Is” from the new album,” she admits about realizing the brilliance of her songwriting. “I do have a feeling of it because what happens with songs is, sometimes you get halfway through and stop. Something isn’t right.”

But sometimes, according to Nicks, it’s a flawless process.

“There are ones that just flow out with no problem,” she admits. “I really did write a poem called “We Get Back On the Plane”, and I don’t know when I’m going to write it [as a song]. I might write it; I could write it. Those songs all have a really great story; they all have a real reason to be written. The ones that are really memorable are the ones that give that feeling of I have to do this. And, it’s going to be forever.”

Like the heart hospitals Jess Nicks is determined to build, this year’s teaming of Nicks & Nicks will be yet another gift to the Valley. Jess will take his annual seat in the front row and beam — no doubt — as our desert angel takes the stage.

For tickets call 602.266.2200 ext. 4619 or go to http://www.azheart.com.

The latest Fleetwood Mac ‘Rumours’: Crow is joining

New York Daily News
Thursday, October 25, 2001

Fleetwood Mac has not stopped thinking about tomorrow.

Word has it that Sheryl Crow will join the ’70s rock band and fill the slot originally occupied by Christine McVie, who retired a few years ago to the English countryside.

Remaining Mac members Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks are said to be working on new material, and Crow’s participation is seen as a positive step. She already has a close working relationship with Nicks, and is an accomplished keyboard player (she once taught piano). This makes her a perfect replacement for Christine, ex-wife of John and the band’s original keyboardist.

Reached last night in Manhattan, a rep for the band said: “The only discussion I know about Crow and Fleetwood Mac is for Crow to open for the band when they tour again. A rep for Crow was unaware of the news but promised to look into it.

Sheryl Crow not a new member of Fleetwood Mac

By Sue Falco and Bruce Simon
Yahoo! Entertainment News
Thursday October 25, 2001

Fleetwood Mac is working on a new album, engaged in its first recording sessions since singer-keyboardist Christine McVie left after the band’s last tour. While there are published rumors that Sheryl Crow might replace McVie in the group’s lineup, representative for Crow has denied that she would be joining the group. Drummer and founding member Mick Fleetwood says that while there are no hard feelings, Fleetwood Mac is more than willing to go on without McVie.

“Just the four of us are going to continue and we’ll augment the band for live performance,” he says. “We’re blessed that we have a lot of material that Stevie (Nicks) and Lindsey (Buckingham) are way capable of demonstrating, and it will be a different band to some extent. As of the moment, no, there’s been no thought of adding anyone. Stevie’s had a lot of fun working and touring a lot with Sheryl Crow…and…I don’t anticipate anything like that happening. We’re certainly not planning to do that, and that’s where we’re at.”

The new Fleetwood Mac album isn’t expected until well into next year.

Album of the Week: Trouble in Shangri-La, Stevie Nicks (Reprise)

By Steve Dougherty, Picks & Pans
People
May 7, 2001

When Sheryl Crow helped induct Stevie Nicks and her Fleetwood Mac mates into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, Crow called the siren “the woman all young girls wanted to be and all men wanted to be with.” After years of drug abuse and health problems in the 80’s, Nicks has not only cleaned up her act, she has polished it. On her first solo album since 1994, she reins in her loopy side with an assist from Crow, who coproduces, plays guitar and sings backup on a few tracks. And though Nicks dresses like Rhiannon heading for Wicca practice on the cover photo, she keeps things real lyrically — ”Sorcerer” is apparently about a deal dealer, not a mystic. Enlisting the gravelly soul of Macy Gray on “Bombay Sapphires” and the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines on “Too Far from Texas,” she also keeps it real vocally. Best of all is “Fall from Grace,” a rocker about sin and redemption from one who has been there and back.

Bottom line: Another side of pop paradise

Stevie Nicks: Biography

WEA Records International
March 5, 2001

“My music often unfolds like the book of my life,” declares legendary rock poet Stevie Nicks. And that’s precisely the way she wants it to be. “I believe in telling the truth…actually, it’s only way that I can exist as a writer.”

It’s to that end that Nicks created the sterling, often confessional Trouble in Shangri-La, her first solo collection since 1994’s Street Angel. She says the project has been slowly evolving for several years, “taking different shapes and forms. But it never seemed quite right until recently. I needed to live my life. I need to replenish my well of life experiences.”

And she certainly has. Easily one of her most powerful recordings to date, Trouble in Shangri-La is brimming with the rich prose and vibrant imagery that has inspired a veritable army of disciples. “Every step along the path of my life, I’ve been writing it all down, taking incredibly detailed notes,” Stevie explains. “Instead of partying, I run back to my room, open my journal, and pour out my heart onto paper. It can take minutes, or it can take all night. But it’s always deep. And it’s always real.”

For Stevie, getting back in touch with the part of her self that was confident about her song writing skills was a crucial element in the creation of Trouble in Shangri-La.

“I’d been hearing about how I should write with this person, or record that person’s material, and it started to wear me down,” the artist reveals, adding that it took longtime pal Tom Petty to remind her that she’s a top-flight songwriter in her own right. “I remember asking [him] to work with me on some songs. I wasn’t feeling my best; I was unsure about a lot of things. And he said, ‘No…you don’t need anyone to help you with your songs. Do it yourself.’“

At first, Stevie was crushed. “But it was the jolt I needed,” she shares, adding that the album gem “That Made Me Stronger” was borne out of their fateful conversation. “It was a pivotal moment for me. The clouds cleared, and things started to naturally flow again.”

‘Naturally flow’ is an understatement. The songs started to come on like a tidal wave. And while Stevie notes that her songs rae “sometimes a continuation of one another,” with common lyrical threads and theme, the songs that comprise Trouble in Shangri-La also show the artist at her most experimental and varied. Classic Stevie tunes like the acoustic-based “Candlebright” and the gentle “I Miss You” are tempered by refreshingly inventive compositions like “Bombay Sapphires,” with it’s delicate undertow of Caribbean rhythms and its atmospheric keyboards, and “Love Changes,” which is seasoned with a splash of funk percussion.

“To not grow is to die,” Stevie asserts. “Of course, you want to work within a framework that best suits your talent and style. But you also want to continually shake things up.”

For Stevie, shaking things up included inviting an array of new friends and musicians to participate in Trouble of Shangri-La. Macy Gray vamps with seductive soul on “Bombay Sapphires,” while Sarah McLachlan harmonizes on the stately, piano-driven ballad “Love Is.” Also, Dixie Chick Natalie Maines is a complementary presence on the country-spiced rocker “Too Far From Texas.” Stevie recalls that every collaborator came to the project at times when “the songs seemed to be calling out their names. These are strong, wonderful women with incredible musical talent. To have them on this album is a such a special gift.”

Stevie recalls her first meeting with Gray as being particularly memorable. “Her vibe is so wild, so intense. She walks into the room and it’s like everything starts to move.” She’s like a walking tornado. She’s a total blast. We had a great time working on the song. Our voices blended so well together.”

Ultimately, the greatest gift to Trouble in Shangri-La is the kinetic creative union forged by Stevie with Sheryl Crow. “We’d been circling the idea of working on this album for quite a while,” Stevie says. “But we could never quite make it happen because of scheduling conflicts. So, we just went forward with our respective business, but we stayed in close touch. Suddenly, things cleared up and we wound up in the studio together.”

Nicks and Crow eventually worked on five of the set’s thirteen tunes. As Stevie explains “Our connection is deep…deeper than I can even put into mere words.”

Crow, who has long cited Nicks as a primary musical influence, wholeheartedly returns Stevie’s ardor. “To even be in the same room as Stevie was a dream come true for me. To work with her was beyond description. It was extraordinary.”

Both agree that the key to their successful collaboration was mutual trust and respect. “From the moment in the studio, it was clearly a safe environment,” Stevie says. “And that opened up the lines of communication and allowed us to try new ideas out.”

Among the more satisfying results of their experimentation is “Sorcerer,” on which Nicks scales to a rich falsetto during the song’s verses. “She was completely open and in-the-moment while we were working,” Crow notes. “She never stops working or striving to be a better artist.”

Stevie also never stops fighting for the lyrical integrity of her songs. She recalls being the studio with co-producer John Shanks (The Corrs, BB Mak), who helmed a number of songs on Trouble in Shangri-La, and playfully tangling with him while cutting the anthemic “Fall from Grace.”

“The original version of the song had all of these verses…too many, in John’s opinion,” Stevie recalls. “So, we set out to edit the song to fit a workable structure, and it was just breaking my heart to let some of the words slip away.”

Nicks remembers one particular session when pals Laura Dern and Rosanna Arquette were hanging out in the studio, and they caught a glimpse of the original draft of the song. “And they were like, you can’t cut all these words,” she remembers. “Poor, John, they were yelling at him and giving him a hard time. It was all done in fun and good spirit, but it convinced me that I had to fight for my words. Before the night was done, we got every syllable in. And it’s become one of my favorite songs on the album.”

In fact, “Fall from Grace” is among the songs that Stevie plans to add to her concert set when she hits the road for a tour this summer. “It’s the perfect balance to ‘Edge of Seventeen,’” in terms of energy. It’s great a song to rock out to. I love just cutting loose to that one.”

Actually, Stevie says there isn’t a song on Trouble in Shangri-La that she wouldn’t love performing onstage. “I’m so incredibly proud of this album,” she adds. “These songs have been such a big part of my life. I’m so pleased and excited to get them out there for the world to hear. There’s usually a period when an artist is nervous about how people will react to their new material. I’ve been there. But there’s something about this set of songs. I have such a great, positive feeling about it. I’m more itchy for people to finally hear them than anything else. That’s a pretty good sign, isn’t it?”