One of the reasons this “best of” compilation is so good is because it’s more than just a nicely arranged package of Top 40 hits. Though most of Nicks’ solo chart-toppers are included, there are also a few overlooked gems from past albums that, apparently, Stevie and her record company felt deserved a place in this collection. These precious songs include “Beauty and the Beast” and “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You” which are truly not only beautiful but timeless as well.
Another reason this collection stands above the rest is the addition of three new songs to complement the old. And in these songs, Nicks enlisted four of rock music’s most innovative for inspiration and guidance: Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Falcon who wrote “Sometimes It’s a Bitch” for her and Bret Michaels (of the band Poison) who wrote “Love’s A Hard Game To Play,” and Tom Petty’s long-time friend and musical collaborator, Michael Campbell, who aids Nicks in “Desert Angel,” which was written for all the men and women who lost their lives during the Gulf War.
The new material is well written and, generally well executed; however, the spirit of this musical achievement resides in Nicks’ past accomplishments. Stevie Nicks’ post-Fleetwood Mac contributions to music are, arguably, her most prolific. Her 1981 debut LP, “Bella Donna,” not only topped the rock and pop billboard charts, but also gave her a new and separate identity away from Fleetwood Mac. Subsequent solo albums have all been million-plus sellers and combined have yielded a string of memorable hits, which include “Edge of Seventeen,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” “Stand Back,” and “Talk to Me.” These, and many more, are offered here, and, due to a little technological manipulation, have been greatly enhanced in sound quality.
In essence, this musical anthology is impressive. It showcases the contributions of one of rock music’s most interesting female performers in a way that both flatters her unique style and adds depth to her commercial successes. n