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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A break, to compare and contrast: 'Queen of Rock'

 (Updated 2012)

Even the 'retro-fascinated' need a break from generally wholesome pop supergroup ABBA.

'80s "Queen of Rock" Stevie Nicks is a worthy change of pace, while keeping the focus on women stars.

It's an odd YT video to choose as the audio isn't real good. (Band much too loud, Stevie not enough, electronic "hum", etc.) Love the rough, rollicking live sound here anyway, and Stevie's "blown away on stage" thing (in front of a huge crowd no less)....Hilarious band intros, etc.

Messed up or not, she rarely looked better. The too-loudly amplified/recorded musicians are still good, especially Mr. Kunkel. (Link to this video - the sound seems to be getting more distorted over time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-2GD-d1Flk)

Bonus: More contemporary Stevie is on display here (link, new window)
A unique (rock/pop) voice (still today), as we all know. Another performer it is almost impossible not to like...

Another: A great one with 'bewitching' Stevie....Plus brilliant use of the backup singers (sometimes incl. Ms. Nicks). Hinted via the percussion at times the (pivotal lyrics) line "You can set your secrets free" echoes throughout the song -- whether it's (actually) sung or not.
(Not the only line to do so...)  :
(YT link) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y_fK7Tt9o0

BTW: If anyone is still with me here... Christine McVie has always been the true favorite from Fleetwood Mac.  Such a bluesy-sounding voice... that comes from somewhere down deep. She (also) gets a nice 'ring' to it when "singing up" just a bit.  I.e., more loudly or forcefully. (Like it a little less when Christine once-in-awhile pushed it too much (loud, for her),  in later-1970s Fleetwood Mac, though.) When she stays within herself, a good live singer... "Rounding"  those sung notes - and words - very nicely. (I.e., smoothly singing/finishing. No "edges"  Contrast (a wonderful one): Stevie, often.)

A special voice....another one. Almost seems like honey sometimes. (Make that "sultry honey"(?)...what tha'??)  Talented Christine caught this listener's fancy "way back" in 1972 beginning with the Bare Trees album. (Older Fleetwood Mac.)

There are more prominent examples for Ms. McVie but will link to this one as we get to see flashes of her strikingly light-colored eyes. (In the video. They appear either gray or some combination of gray-blue to me...)

(link, new window) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWdgTraidlU&fmt=18

Not a favorite Fleetwood Mac lineup, but decent Christine singing live here (link, new window): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JjQGVtZrE0&fmt=18

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