Shuffle: Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”
Robert Christgau once referred to Stevie Nicks as a “mooncalf,” and in general has dismissed all her post-Rumors recording career, both with Fleetwood Mac and solo, preferring Buckingham the soundmaker on later Mac albums and McVie the deep voiced singer of prime love songs for solo work. To my ears, Nicks’s ten best songs — which include the three hits off of the solo Bella Donna (two in collaboration with Christgau nonfavorites Tom Petty and Don Henley), and “Stand Back,” as well as the best of her Fleetwood Mac output — are as good as the ten best songs by Chryssie Hynde or Joan Jett, and are noticeably better then the ten best songs by Buckingham, McVie, Debbie Harry or Warren Zevon (to take some nonarbitray examples).
In this light, and as a New Yorker who moved to California by choice and preference, I note the following lyric from Nicks’ biggest hit:
Now here I go again I see a crystal vision
I keep my visions to myself
A perfect distillation of mooncalfness, this couplet, represents all of Nicks’s best lyrics both in its straightforward report about the gender wars of the 1970s, and also the war between the coasts over who gets to say what to whom. I don’t happen to believe the world was better when California “mooncalfs” remained silent among New York critics. The rest of the words of the song suggest listening, solid interpersonal communication, emotional caring, and other sissy things.
And, like you who are reading this, I have no crystal visions to report. But I do wish you’d learn something about organics.
Filed under: Fleetwood Mac, Shuffle, Stevie Nicks | 7 Comments
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