Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Stevie Nicks Expanded Remasters: Bella Donna (3CD) & The Wild Heart (2CD); These Excellent Sounding Remasters Come With Rare Tracks Aplenty Plus A Legendary Live Show



Photo courtesy of Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks joined a growing group of artists, which include The Who, Phil Collins, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and many others, who are seeing their catalogs revamped with double disc reissues of remastered albums containing rare material as a bonus. Nicks wrote and sang some of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs including "Landslide" (Fleetwood Mac), "Silver Stream" (Rumours B-Side), "Beautiful Child" and "Sara" (Tusk).

When Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac in late 1974, listeners immediately found their one album called Buckingham Nicks that had come out in 1973. When the reformulated Fleetwood Mac released their self-titled (white album) in 1975, fans marveled at the way in which Fleetwood Mac seem to have adopted the Buckingham Nicks sound. That album and its follow-up, Rumours, were both huge hits selling millions of copies and making Fleetwood Mac a household name.

Nicks remained a member of Fleetwood Mac when she established a solo career, releasing Bella Donna, her first album (1981). Its follow-up, The Wild Heart, was released in 1983. Both albums were majorly successful, both were certified platinum for having sales in excess of a million copies. These are the first Stevie Nicks albums to be remastered and released in expanded deluxe editions.

Bella Donna Remastered, Deluxe 3CD Edition
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First off, I'll say that the live concert on Disc 3 is worth the price of purchase all by itself. Disc 1 is the remastered album, and it sounds great. Driven by four hit singles, Bella Donna went on to sell over six million copies. "Edge of Seventeen" has become her signature song. Two of the singles were duets: "Leather and Lace" featured the Eagles' Don Henley; Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers both wrote and performed on "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around". "After the Glitter Fades" was the forth single.

Disc 2 has the rarities. There are four alternate versions, the most interesting of which is a solo Nicks version of "Leather And Lace". The other alternate versions will probably be most valuable to fans and collectors. There's a demo of "Bella Donna" and an early version of "Edge of Seventeen". In addition to the above, this disc also includes three songs that were previously unreleased. Finally, there are two songs that appeared on movie soundtracks, "Blue Lamp" is from Heavy Metal and "Sleeping Angel" is from Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

Disc 3 contains the live concert, recorded on December 13, 1981 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, on the last night of a short Bella Donna tour. The performances are excellent, and the set includes a number of Fleetwood Mac songs in addition to the tracks from Bella Donna. The finish is especially nice with a powerful "Edge of Seventeen" leading into Nicks' "Rhiannon" from Fleetwood Mac. The performance included a guest appearance by Roy Bittan from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. "Rhiannon" opens with an acoustic first verse, which Bittan plays on piano while Nicks sings; then the full band kicks in.

Watch the official music video for "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"


Track Listings - Click song title to listen
Disc: 1
01. Bella Donna (Remastered)
02. Kind of Woman (Remastered)
03. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around (with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) [Remastered]
04. Think About It (Remastered)
05.Edge of Seventeen (Remastered)
07. How Still My Love (Remastered)
08. Leather And Lace (Remastered)
09. Outside The Rain (Remastered)
10. The Highwayman (Remastered)

Disc: 2
01. Edge of Seventeen (Early Take)
02. Think About It (Alternate Version)
03. How Still My Love (Alternate Version)
04. Leather And Lace (Alternate Version)
05. Bella Donna (Demo)
06. Gold And Braid (Unreleased Version)
07. Sleeping Angel (Alternate Version)
08.If You Were My Love (Unreleased Version)
09. The Dealer (Unreleased Version)
10. Blue Lamp (From "Heavy Metal") [Remastered]
11. Sleeping Angel (From "Fast Times At Ridgemont High") [Remastered]

Disc: 3
01. Gold Dust Woman (Live 1982) [Remastered]
02. Gold And Braid (Live 1982) [Remastered]
03. I Need To Know (Live 1982) [Remastered]
04. Outside The Rain (Live 1982) [Remastered]
05. Dreams (Live 1982) [Remastered]
06. Angel (Live 1982)
07. After The Glitter Fades (Live 1982) [Remastered]
08. Leather And Lace (Live 1982)
09. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around (Live 1982) [Remastered]
10. Bella Donna (Live 1982)
11. Sara (Live 1982) [Remastered]
12. How Still My Love (Live)
13. Edge Of Seventeen (Live 1982) [Remastered]
14. Rhiannon (Live 1982) [Remastered]

Bonus Video - The concert which appears on Disc 3 was also filmed, and a shortened version appeared on HBO.


The Wild Heart Remastered, Deluxe 2CD Edition
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Disc 1 is the remastered album. The Wild Heart spawned three singles on its way to selling over two million copies. Guests on the album included Tom Petty, Mick Fleetwood, Sandy Stewart (who also did some songwriting), and Paul Buckmaster (Elton John) who arranged and conducted the strings on the closing track, "Beauty And The Beast". Steve Lukather (Toto) played on the album's biggest single, "Stand Back", and according to Wikipedia, an uncredited Prince played synthesizer on the track.

Disc 2 contains the rarities. There are two alternate versions, "Sable on Blond" and "Wild Heart", which is labeled as a "session" version. "Violet And Blue" came from the movie Against All Odds, it also previously appeared on the Stevie Nicks box set. There is one demo, "Are You Mine", one B-side, "Garbo", plus four tracks that were previously unreleased.

Watch the official music video for "Stand Back"


Track Listings - Click song title to listen
Disc: 1
01. Wild Heart (Remastered)
02. If Anyone Falls (Remastered)
03. Gate And Garden (Remastered)
04. Enchanted (Remastered)
05. Nightbird (Remastered)
06. Stand Back (Remastered)
07. I Will Run To You (Remastered)
08. Nothing Ever Changes (Remastered)
09. Sable on Blond (Remastered)
10. Beauty And The Beast (Remastered)

Disc: 2
01. Violet And Blue (From "Against All Odds") [Remastered]
02. I Sing For The Things(Unreleased Version)
03. Sable on Blond (Alternate Version)
04. All The Beautiful Worlds (Unreleased Version)
05. Sorcerer (Unreleased Version)
06. Dial the Number (Unreleased Version)
07. Garbo (B-Side) [Remastered]
08. Are You Mine (Demo)
09. Wild Heart (Session)

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