“We all really basically have a lot of magic … it’s only those of us that choose to accept it that really understand it.” – Stevie Nicks
There aren’t many artists as magical as Stevie Nicks. Though the singer has often been cited as an ethereal singer, many have even suggested she possesses magical powers and one of the purest vocal ranges in musical history. It’s the kind of nonsense that only follows around the true greats of their era and, there’s absolutely no doubting that Stevie Nicks is a true great. If you were left with any worries about her right to sit in the pantheon of musical heroes, then we’ll kindly point you to the below playlist. Over the course of 498 tracks, chronicling the singer’s career, we get an up-close and personal look at one of the best to ever stand behind a microphone.
In 2018, Stevie Nicks was rightly awarded a coveted spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The singer became the first female to be inducted into the esteemed club twice, having already been welcomed with her band Fleetwood Mac 20 years prior. It’s the kind of accolade which one can look back on and confirm what we already knew about Nicks — she’s one of a kind. However, if you really needed proof of her talent, then it’s all in her songs.
That’s because, whether it’s from her earliest days on record, sharing the limelight with her High School boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham, or out on her own during her sparkling solo career, Nicks has always put her heart and soul into her music. More so than many other artists, listening to the chronological playlist below is like reading her biography.
We begin with Lindsey Buckingham and the duo’s failed attempts to hit the soft rock stardom they had aimed for. While the records included below are a little off the pace of what’s to come, there’s still plenty to enjoy. Nicks and Buckingham would share a fractured relationship in the years that followed, but there’s no doubt that, without him, she would have struggled to make the impact she did. The story goes that when Mick Fleetwood approached the session guitarist Buckingham to be a part of his famed R’n’B band, Fleetwood Mac, the guitarist refused to join unless Nicks was signed up too. Fleetwood relented, the duo joined, and the group went from strength to strength.
They rebranded the band and, as such, shared the eponymous record in 1975. It was a triumph and saw the band once again become a main-stage act. Of course, following that, the band became a group built on tension and trust issues. However, they still managed to rescue themselves from disaster and produce one of the greatest albums in recorded history with 1977’s Rumours. After the following album, Tusk, Nicks knew that she needed to break out on her own, she enlisted the help of Tom Petty and Jimmy Iovine and began a successful solo career.
Managing to maintain her newfound spotlight as well as Fleetwood Mac, in 1981 Nicks released Bella Donna, another fine album that showcased Nicks’ sincere songwriting talent. Moving between one project and another, Nicks always gave herself fully to each album, song and note. It’s why, in 1990, she decided to leave Fleetwood Mac, suggesting she couldn’t give the band the attention it required. She returned in 1997, and the group have been slowly gathering more and more fans during the following years.
Another beautiful aspect of the playlist below is the live album moments. Whether it’s Fleetwood Mac’s record Live from 1980 or the most recent tracks on 2020’s Live In Concert: The 24 Karat Gold Tour. Considering Nicks spent most of her career completely stricken by stage fright, these performances possess a magic that remains untouchable.
That’s the most beautiful thing about this playlist. If indeed it reads like the singer’s recorded biography, you can flick through the pages at will, stop at any moment of the journey and still be touched in exactly the same way. Few artists have maintained such a high level of output. But, then again, few artists are as magnificent as Stevie Nicks.