From Stevie Nicks’ beginnings with her as-yet-unreleased-on-CD, Buckingham/Nicks duet recording to her eventual introduction, with Lindsay Buckingham, into a re-re-revitalizing Fleetwood Mac (resulting in the band’s most popular incarnation) to her successful solo career, she has mesmerized a wide audience with her gypsy-like presentation. After the disruption of the Fleetwood Mac parade (before her current rejoining), Ms Nicks knew how to take much of her unrecorded writings to the next stage, and, along with a myriad of followers from her Fleetwood Mac days, turn them into music demanding to be heard.
Crystal Visions is a recently released collection of the best that came from her solo work as well as her penned Fleetwood Mac b-side, “Silver Springs” and a few live recordings and a remix. Crystal Visions is an excellent revue of her work although I have to admit surprise that she didn’t tease fans with a cut from the highly coveted Buckingham/Nicks album. The contrast between her 1991 ‘best of’, the Modern Records/Atlantic issue of Timespace with its 14 tracks and this new Crystal Visions compilation with its 16 tracks and a DVD of 13 videos, is a lot of included songs – you’ll find 6 songs on Timespace not on Crystal Visions and 7 on Crystal Visions not on Timespace. It may have been to avoid extreme replication or it is a rethink of what were really ‘best’ cuts from here career. Regardless, both sets offer a sincere overview of Stevie Nicks with Crystal Visions doing the better job because of the wider career sweep and the added DVD. Both sets provide Nicks commentaries on the songs contained therein.
The real deal on this set is the DVD with the videos that add to the luxury of this special Edition collection. A few of the songs on Crystal Visions (“Landslide,” “Edge of Seventeen”) are live, a practice that I detest when they replace the original in a compiled ‘best of.’ I like live inclusions but only if they are added as the best live cut of an original in addition to the original - fortunately done here with "Edge of Seventeen." There are a few other live cuts including a very good version of Led Zeppelin’s classic “Rock and Roll” that works very well.
All in all, Crystal Visions…The Very Best of Stevie Nicks, is a very good overview of what Stevie Nicks has produced. With live tracks, originals, videos, and an excellent booklet with commentaries, Crystal Visions represents.
I recommend her excellent 1985 Modern Records/Atlantic release of Rock a Little, of which 2 of her big hits, (“I Can’t Wait,” “Talk to Me”) are inevitable inclusions on any collected set.