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  #1  
Old 04-20-2019, 02:40 PM
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Macfan4life Macfan4life is offline
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Arrow The Other Side of the Mirror turns 30

Can you believe it's been 30 years already. I can still remember the day I bought it. I was 19 and working at a grocery store. When the album came out, I drove to the mall and bought the cassette and listened to it in the car.
OSOTM does not get lots of love around here so I am probably in the minority who thinks its a fairly good album with many songs landing in the winner's circle. A few interesting stats on the album. It peaked at #10 album on the hot 100 in the USA. Rooms on fire (released 30 years ago tomorrow April 21, 1989) peaked at #16 both in the USA and UK and also reached #9 in Canada. My first impressions of the album were quite good because I was really worrying about Stevie during the RAL era. I thought OSOTM was a bounce back or step up from RAL. Her voice was strong and not coke fried out. She wrote most of the songs again and for the most part real instruments were used. The album does have a few 80s sound tricks but the album holds up today, something that IMHO RAL does not. Rooms on Fire got me really excited for the album's release because it was a great song and the video was really good. Its probably my favorite Stevie video. And lastly, for some reason Rooms on Fire made a personal connection to me. I understand and have lived through the love at first sight thing which is something very real and powerful. Its weird but its almost like I felt like I wrote the song. Most of the album's best songs are on the first side so first impressions were strong. Stevie's lyrics on this album are very personal. She does not hide things or beat around the bush. "High in my life, obsessive was my love." Many forget but Stevie ran away from Betty Ford. She did not complete the full stay. She even titled a track "Escape from Berlin." Lyrically speaking, OSOTM is my second favorite Stevie album after Bella Donna. Her songs were crafted very well right before klonopin turned out all the lights. I also admired Stevie's desire to do something a bit daring and going in another direction. Tom Petty did not sing a song with her this time for the first album. However, Tom was very busy working on his own solo career in 1988 so maybe he did not have the time. Although a Heartbreaker does work with her on the album. I have categorized the songs from Outstanding, Good, Average, and should have been dropped.

Outstanding:
Rooms on Fire
Long Way To Go - one of her best rockers. lyrics combining love/break up and drug addition the way only Stevie could do
Ooh My Love - wow esp compared to the Tango demo
Doing the Best that I can - I love the hypnotic feel, captures the poet song perfectly


Good:

Ghosts - love the past, present and future Stevie almost like a Christmas Carol
Two Kinds of Love - took awhile but it grew on my - amazing lyrics and probably one of very few openly sexual songs about love and lust
Whole Lotta Trouble - its good but it could have been better with a slightly faster beat and started as track 1 on side 2


Average
Fire Burning - its catchy and amazing to think its really about Stevie's house on fire and what could she take and survive the fire
Other Side of the Mirror - used to not care for it but its catchy
Juliet - pretty good/average

Should have been dropped
Cry Wolf - Stevie had better songs, no need to put a Laura Brannigan song on the album. She does a pretty good job but just does not belong on the album
I still miss someone (Blue Eyes) - ok please Johnny Cash with a drum machine and merry go round keyboards ahhhh NO. Maybe this was Stevie's hidden Lindsey moment?

How the album could have been better? Let me count the ways. I would have added the song Mirror Mirror like the version she recorded a few years later in 1992. She also could have added Smile at You and Running through the Garden. I think her band at the time could have made them work.

As much as I liked the album, the tour was my least favorite of any Stevie tour. So glad she performed 5 songs from the album but I did not care for the songs she performed that year.

The album really is a glimpse into Stevie's life in the mid to late 80s. We get 2 songs about Joe Walsh: Long Way To Go which is about the booty call Joe called her right after RAL was finished. She took the first cut of the album to play it for him and he kept it...something that she says she still does not forgive him for. It was a long way to go to say goodbye again. The have fun, tell the world part is coded language for F*ck You Joe. Stevie does not swear in songs but it was a good metaphor. Stevie worked with Bruce Hornsby and Kenny G who were the hottest and biggest guys in 1988. Stevie fell in love with Songbird when she was on tour with the Mac in the fall of 1987 and heard the song on the radio. She sought him out to record with. Many don't like his contributions to the album. I think they fit in a whimsical kind of way on a magic album. I think Thousand Days could have been added to the album with Kenny G on sax.

So glad she got to put this album out before things got scary again. The night I saw her in the summer of 1989, I could tell something was wrong.


So what are your favorites (if any) from the album?
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Last edited by Macfan4life; 04-20-2019 at 07:53 PM..
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2019, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfan4life View Post
Can you believe it's been 30 years already. I can still remember the day I bought it. I was 19 and working at a grocery store. When the album came out, I drove to the mall and bought the cassette and listened to it in the car.
OSOTM does not get lots of love around here so I am probably in the minority who thinks its a fairly good album with many songs landing in the winner's circle. A few interesting stats on the album. It peaked at #10 album on the hot 100 in the USA. Rooms on fire (released 30 years ago tomorrow April 21, 1989) peaked at #16 both in the USA and UK and also reached #9 in Canada. My first impressions of the album were quite good because I was really worrying about Stevie during the RAL era. I thought OSOTM was a bounce back or step up from RAL. Her voice was strong and not coke fried out. She wrote most of the songs again and for the most part real instruments were used. The album does have a few 80s sound tricks but the album holds up today, something that IMHO RAL does not. Rooms on Fire got me really excited for the album's release because it was a great song and the video was really good. Its probably my favorite Stevie video. And lastly, for some reason Rooms on Fire made a personal connection to me. I understand and have lived through the love at first sight thing which is something very real and powerful. Its weird but its almost like I felt like I wrote the song. Most of the album's best songs are on the first side so first impressions were strong. Stevie's lyrics on this album are very personal. She does not hide things or beat around the bush. "High in my life, obsessive was my love." Many forget but Stevie ran away from Betty Ford. She did not complete the full stay. She even titled a track "Escape from Berlin." Lyrically speaking, OSOTM is my second favorite Stevie album after Bella Donna. Her songs were crafted very well right before klonopin turned out all the lights. I also admired Stevie's desire to do something a bit daring and going in another direction. Tom Petty did not sing a song with her this time for the first album. However, Tom was very busy working on his own solo career in 1988 so maybe he did not have the time. Although a Heartbreaker does work with her on the album. I have categorized the songs from Outstanding, Good, Average, and should have been dropped.

Outstanding:
Rooms on Fire
Long Way To Go - one of her best rockers. lyrics combining love and drug addition the way only Stevie could do
Ooh My Love - wow esp compared to the Tango demo
Doing the Best that I can - I love the hypnotic feel, captures the poet song perfectly


Good:

Ghosts - love the past, present and future Stevie almost like a Christmas Carol
Two Kinds of Love - took awhile but it grew on my - amazing lyrics and probably one of very few openly sexual songs about love and lust
Whole Lotta Trouble - its good but it could have been better with a slightly faster beat and started as track 1 on side 2


Average
Fire Burning - its catchy and amazing to think its really about Stevie's house on fire and what could she take and survive the fire
Other Side of the Mirror - used to not care for it but its catchy
Juliet - pretty good/average

Should have been dropped
Cry Wolf - Stevie had better songs, no need to put a Laura Brannigan song on the album. She does a pretty good job but just does not belong on the album
I still miss someone (Blue Eyes) - ok please Johnny Cash with a drum machine and merry go round keyboards ahhhh NO. Maybe this was Stevie's hidden Lindsey moment?

How the album could have been better? Let me count the ways. I would have added the song Mirror Mirror like the version she recorded a few years later in 1992. She also could have added Smile at You and Running through the Garden. I think her band at the time could have made them work.

As much as I liked the album, the tour was my least favorite of any Stevie tour. So glad she performed 5 songs from the album but I did not care for the songs she performed that year.

The album really is a glimpse into Stevie's life in the mid to late 80s. We get 2 songs about Joe Walsh: Long Way To Go which is about the booty call Joe called her right after RAL was finished. She took the first cut of the album to play it for him and he kept it...something that she says she still does not forgive him for. It was a long way to go to say goodbye again. The have fun, tell the world part is coded language for F*ck You Joe. Stevie does not swear in songs but it was a good metaphor. Stevie worked with Bruce Hornsby and Kenny G who were the hottest and biggest guys in 1988. Stevie fell in love with Songbird when she was on tour with the Mac in the fall of 1987 and heard the song on the radio. She sought him out to record with. Many don't like his contributions to the album. I think they fit in a whimsical kind of way on a magic album. I think Thousand Days could have been added to the album with Kenny G on sax.

So glad she got to put this album out before things got scary again. The night I saw her in the summer of 1989, I could tell something was wrong.


So what are your favorites (if any) from the album?
Like Docklands, Cry Wolf is a great song but Stevie can’t sing it. Her voice is like sandpaper on these well written songs and she doesn’t sound fully committed to them. Terrible vocal and production.
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:05 PM
svnwndrs svnwndrs is offline
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You beat me to it! I know with what’s been going on with Stevie and the rest of FM within the past year, and how we’ve all reacted to that drama, I was kinda worried nobody would mention the 30th Anniversary of this album. I love this era in contemporary music in general, so my love for this album is “big” to say the least. It was the very first Stevie album I ever bought. And once I listened to it a few times I was hooked. I was about 14 and really started to get into a lot of REAL music. Not teeny bopper stuff. I love pretty much every song, except for Cry Wolf. Stevie had her own songs that were much better and would’ve been better inclusions (Beautiful Ghost, Love And War...). I know the production puts a lot of people off, but I think it was the perfect balance of her usual trademark sound and the sound of the late 80’s. Also, Rooms On Fire and a few other songs need some attention on any future tours.
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:50 PM
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She needs to do "Ooh My Love" on stage before everything is all said and done. That song is just amazing.
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:56 PM
TheWILDheart TheWILDheart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfan4life View Post
Other Side of the Mirror - used to not care for it but its catchy
I used to feel the same about "Alice" (there isn't actually a song called 'Other Side of the Mirror', so I presume that's the song you're talking about) until I realised how personal of a song it really is.

"Like Alice through the looking glass, she used to know who she was...call out my name, but I get no answer". She's talking about herself. It's possibly the most honest song of that era, it really describes how zonked out she was on coke and then klonopin, to the extent that she was completely losing who she was as a person and damaging her career and everything she believed in as a writer and musician. I think "I'm going back to the other side of the mirror" was partly a wake up call for Stevie...she was wanting to leave behind this crazy drug fuelled world she had built around her and get back to the real girl she was - back to the Gypsy ("you cannot tell a gypsy that she's no longer a member").

Overall, I think OSOTM is kind of weak. I love 'Rooms On Fire', 'Long Way To Go', 'Ooh My Love', 'Alice' and 'Doing The Best I Can'. 'Whole Lotta Trouble' and 'Juliet' are fun too. But I think the album is lacking something that I can only put down to production. I don't like Rupert Hines approach, I think it's all a little bit flat and lifeless in parts. OSOTM needed Jimmy really to breath some life into it. The state Stevie was in at the time, it needed more than Rupert Hine.

Last edited by TheWILDheart; 04-22-2019 at 02:59 PM..
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Old 04-22-2019, 03:52 PM
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Another thing that I miss about music in general is reading the liner notes, lyrics, credits etc. LOVED reading the notes for this album. Stevie was getting tech and modern and remember her thanking the "computer baby", Los Angeles for all its smog ( a joke), and thanking Lindsey Buckingham which in 1989 2 years after the big blow out was rather interesting.
I know this sounds petty and trivial but IMHO if the album was released 1 year earlier, I believe it would have done so much better. Bruce and Kenny were some of the biggest stars of 1988 and their limelight would have shined a little on the album.
Two Kinds of Love was the first second solo album single that did not chart. No video also in the peak of MTV days.
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Old 04-23-2019, 07:57 AM
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TOSOTM gives me a dull headache.
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:17 AM
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I like The Other Side of the Mirror. I find The Other Side of the Mirror easier to listen to than Rock a Little.

I am wondering which songs did not make The Other Side of the Mirror.
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
I like The Other Side of the Mirror. I find The Other Side of the Mirror easier to listen to than Rock a Little.

I am wondering which songs did not make The Other Side of the Mirror.

I liked OSOTM better than Rock a Little and the show I caught on the tour in Toronto was quite good- nice to hear the 5 tracks from the new album. I remember reading somewhere that the "Tragedy of One's Own Soul" (there's a mouthful lol), Dial the Number and Don't Treat me Like a Stranger" were originally considered for the album. As with all albums after the exquisite Bella Donna, each had misfires and stellar songs left off. OSOTM did not need ANY cover songs- bad idea. Mirror Mirror in the '92 vibe would've fit perfectly, Thousand Days with some lyric edits, Running Through the Garden to name a few- also would've been a good spot for one or two of the Rhiannon soundtrack songs. Overall contains 3 or 4 of her best tunes but the rest has little staying power. Rooms on Fire belongs in her top 5 songs for sure and was even played back in the day by radio stations that would not have touched a Stevie Nicks song, which is saying a lot!
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by On Ice View Post
I liked OSOTM better than Rock a Little and the show I caught on the tour in Toronto was quite good- nice to hear the 5 tracks from the new album. I remember reading somewhere that the "Tragedy of One's Own Soul" (there's a mouthful lol), Dial the Number and Don't Treat me Like a Stranger" were originally considered for the album. As with all albums after the exquisite Bella Donna, each had misfires and stellar songs left off. OSOTM did not need ANY cover songs- bad idea. Mirror Mirror in the '92 vibe would've fit perfectly, Thousand Days with some lyric edits, Running Through the Garden to name a few- also would've been a good spot for one or two of the Rhiannon soundtrack songs. Overall contains 3 or 4 of her best tunes but the rest has little staying power. Rooms on Fire belongs in her top 5 songs for sure and was even played back in the day by radio stations that would not have touched a Stevie Nicks song, which is saying a lot!
Those OSOTM demos like Dial the number are horrible and no surprise why they did not make the album. They are lifeless and she is zonked out singing them.
Oddly enough, I hate RAL but love the RAL demos or songs left off the album
I really like OSOTM but hate the demos and songs that were left off. OSOTM had an easier chance of being an excellent album. The magical Stevie was back. RAL was funky pop songs that never fit Stevie IMHO. Its the worst thing to be something you are not. I never considered Stevie a pop star but it almost seemed like with RAL she was trying to be one against her will. Stevie said that once Tom Petty called her a pop star and she said she ran across the other side of the room and was offended by the comment.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:17 PM
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The Other Side of the Mirror consistently ranks as one of her worst albums.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:10 PM
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Even the album cover. The odd pose on the floor, the over done lips, the red dress.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:43 PM
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Even the album cover. The odd pose on the floor, the over done lips, the red dress.
You forgot those lifeless eyes
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:31 AM
AliceLover AliceLover is offline
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The Other Side of the Mirror consistently ranks as one of her worst albums.
..and yet it still remains as one of Stevie's favorites today.

Its funny how revered some people find it. Of course, I love it, but I can see how the public might not. It's glossy, weird, overdone but somehow still fabulous.
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:40 AM
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It's one of my Top 3 solo albums. The other 2 can fluctuate from time to time, but TOSOTM has stayed there.

"Rooms on Fire" has arguably been my favorite song off and on from the first time I heard it, and I've related to it in good times and in bad.
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