All-Time Albums: #20

Nicks_Wildheart

STEVIE NICKS The Wild Heart
(1983)

1 The Wild Heart 6:08
If Anyone Falls 4:07 (UK single, did not chart)
3 Gate And Garden 4:05
4 Enchanted 3:05
Nightbird 4:59 (UK single, did not chart)
Stand Back 4:18 (UK single, did not chart)
7 I Will Run To You 3:21
8 Nothing Ever Changes 4:09
Sable On Blond 4:13
10 Beauty And The Beast 6:02

Her second solo album and the last before the rehab years, The Wild Heart found Stevie Nicks at the top of her game, confidently moving further away from the stylings of the material she was recording with Fleetwood Mac. Sure, the likes of Gate And Garden are not a million miles away from Sara, and Beauty And The Beast is as ethereal as anything from Tusk or Rumours. But overall, this is the record where Stevie discovered synths (and in the Eighties, really, who didn’t?).

Having given the Mac by far the standout song on their troubled 1982 set Mirage in the form of Gypsy, she was clearly in an inspired mood and there is an amazing quality to these 10 songs which no solo album by any member of a massively popular rock group should reasonably have a right to possessing.

There were two big hits; the Prince-inspired and assisted Stand Back, and If Anyone Falls, which twirled upon a cascading melody before bringing to mind primetime ABBA of the late 1970s with its middle-eight and coda. A third US Top 40 success was Nightbird, virtually a sequel to Edge Of Seventeen and Gypsy in its imagery, and the former is even referenced in the lyrics.

Sadly, none of these tracks got anywhere near the UK Top 75 – The Wild Heart nonetheless itself reached a respectable #28 in Britain, and stuck around for an impressive four months.

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