An essential read.
Published by: Omnibus Press
Although initially daunting as a four hundred page plus hardback book, this turned out to be an easy read because of Zoë Howe's entertaining writing style and most importantly the subject matter.
The story of the making of 'Rumours' is pretty well known with a number of TV programmes dedicated to it, but less well known is the early career of Stevie Nicks in Fritz and then Buckingham Nicks and the book covers this period in depth as well.
Moving on to her stellar career in Fleetwood Mac, examples of the angst between the members of the band are discussed to death. It would appear from the book that Lindsey Buckingham was not happy about her success as a key song-writer even though he had to "fix" her songs with his superior musicianship. This is very much a paraphrase of long sections of the book devoted to the love/hate love story of the ultimate Rock 'n' Roll couple but you get the picture.
Excess, hangers-on, an affair with married Mick Fleetwood, betrayal by friends etc. etc. are aspects of Nicks' far from normal life which at the same time resulted in the making of two great albums – 'Fleetwood Mac' and 'Rumours' – one distinctive disjointed album 'Tusk' and one not so special 'Mirage'.
Nicks' solo career – starting with 1980's 'Bella Donna' – is given a good airing and it is a pretty successful career, especially in the U.S. The end of the 'Tusk' tour which resulted in Nicks recording with Jimmy Iovine in a far more efficient way than FM at the time could ever dream of. Support from Tom Petty and his band plus master pianist Roy Bittan resulted in Nicks' having a musical backdrop with which she could sprinkle her fairy dust over her songs that she treated as her children. The low points of her solo career with her addiction to prescribed pills are very sad but of course the book closes with her triumphant upturn following the reformation of the Mac and a successful solo box-set release.
The book has a nice approach to the start of each chapter where it includes "factlets" about Nicks or FM that whets the appetite for what is later described in detail. As for sources; the book includes excerpts from previous biographies and autobiographies such as Mick Fleetwood's and various magazine interviews. Howe has put the pieces together well, stamped her own view and has included some interesting photos of Nicks and FM to boot; an essential read.