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Old 11-19-2022, 07:15 AM
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Macfan4life Macfan4life is offline
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Arrow Rock A Little release 37th anniversary

How will you feel 37 years from now?

RAL was released 37 years ago yesterday (November 18, 1985). The album got mixed reviews but most of them were positive. It was highly anticipated after about a year delay. I remember reading in Rolling Stone in April 1984 that Stevie was putting the "finishing touches" on her new album. It would not be released a year and a half after that article. The album did achieve some commercial success but was a disappointment in commercial success and album sales. After 2 prior solo albums raced to the top of the charts: Bella Donna #1 and Wild Heart #5 on the heals of a #1 Thriller and Flashdance soundtrack, RAL never even made top 10. Stevie lost many rock stations who had her Bella Donna songs in heavy rotation and were not going to play Talk To Me or HAEWAFY. Stevie's drug addiction was in full swing and its a miracle an album even got finished. Studios were rented where she never showed up. Jimmy Iovine walked out midway, and her demos were so messed up the record company had to bring a bunch of songs she never wrote to include on the album. Stevie rejected songs like These Dreams and Dont Come Around Here No More. I was 15 when the album came out and at the peak of my cult worship. Even though I bought the album immediately after release and played it to death, deep down I hid my disappointment. Even at 15 I was shocked how bad she sounded on some songs and wondered why anyone would allow a vocal like on the title track appear on the album. Sure Waddy adds a few guitar licks and the song has a cool bass line that shows up but the rest of the track is crap. You can barely hear her in her coked out, Kool Mild 100 raspy voice. The rest of the song sounds like a cheap casio keyboard programmed track. Songs like Sister Honey were ruined by the synth pop funk of its time. This was not the Stevie I knew. At least there was a Heartbreakers tune on the album and we hear real instruments. But it sounds like the Heartbreakers took about 5 minutes to make up and play that track. Imagine the Heartbreakers playing on Sister Honey. Remove the funk and have some guitars churning with real drums. It could have been a great rocker and a single. Even songs like No Spoken Word were ruined by synth pop programmed bass and drums. RAL is the only album by Mac members I owned on vinyl that I never upgraded to CD. I dont own a copy of this album since I discarded the vinyl many moons ago. As much as the album was not a huge commercial success, the RAL tour was wildly successful. It was the first time Stevie doubled looped around some cities playing there twice on the same tour. It also moved Stevie into concert success equaling Fleetwood Mac numbers which only strengthened her management's position for more percentages of Mac tour proceeds.
Imagine that after the Wild Heart tour Stevie went into rehab. She could have had a solo album much better and could have been there for the Mac's Tango album. The mid 80s were a dangerous time for Ms Nicks. Instead of doing RAL promotion in the fall of 1985, she was partying on tour with Heart. Instead of coming to her RAL tour rehearsals, she was partying down under with Tom and Bob. She did not take her career or music serious because the party became the priority. The studio time and concert time gave her an excuse to over indulge and facilitated her problem. Much of what attracted me to Stevie Nicks was not there on RAL but like any cult member, I hid my disappointment.
My heart will rise up with the morning sun and the hurt I feel will simply melt away
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