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Stevie Nicks The Soundstage Sessions Review

Live. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

On this evidence she's still standing tall.

Chris Jones 2009

Without meaning to appear too cynical, the appearance of Stevie's first solo live album after a four decade career may have something to do with a certain band, whose initial are FM, being just about to embark on a massive tour of North America. With Lindsey Buckinghams' Gift Of Screws still fresh on the racks and with the aforementioned band not releasing anything this year it certainly fills a gap on the merchandising stand. But enough griping, for The Soundstage Session is as pristine a collection of favourites (sprinkled with newer material) that any fan could hope for.

Recorded in October 2007 before an intimate audience at Grainger Studio in Chicago, Stevie wisely cherry picks her strongest material, including a reprisal of the orchestral version of Landslide that she recorded with the Melbourne Symphony orchestra in 2006.

If there's a reservation it's that whereas many of her contemporaries have used the live trawl through their back catalogues to come up with surprising reinterpretations of their material (especially when you consider that it's a mere couple of years since her greatest hits collection, Crystal Visions), Nicks sticks fairly faithfully to the original versions. Even her rendition of Dave Matthews' Crash Into Me sounds pretty much like it did by its writer. She's also been fairly upfront about the amount of post-production that followed the recording, tuning a raw document of her live show into a smoothly polished piece of work.

But no matter. Nicks is on fine form and, if you're a follower you'll probably buy the deluxe edition complete with the DVD of her performance. The five foot one singer may have had to deal with all the pitfalls that the life of a rock starhas to offer, but on this evidence she's still standing tall.

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