Stand Back: 1981-2017
by David Chiu
(Promo photo: Ralph Arvesen [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)
Stand Back is the most comprehensive, career-encompassing collection of Stevie Nicks’ solo music outside of Fleetwood Mac, surpassing the 1998 boxed set Enchanted. Released on the heels of her recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Stand Back neatly collates the legend’s best work over three discs, showcasing her earthy yet magnetic singing and bewitching songwriting. Naturally, the first disc contains the familiar hits as the collection’s synth-pop-driven title track, the intense “Edge of Seventeen,”and the glossy rockers “I Can’t Wait” and “Talk to Me” — through her latter career-reviving works like “Planets of the Universe,” “Lady” and “The Dealer.” But it’s tracks on the second and third discs that will appeal to the most die-hard fans, as the former features Nicks’ collaborations with a number of artists including of course Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (the iconic “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around), Kenny Loggins (“Whenever I Call You ‘Friend’”), Sheryl Crow (“You’re Not the One”), Lady Antebellum (“Blue Water”), and most recently Lana Del Rey (“Beautiful People Beautiful Problems”). The third disc is made up mostly live material that includes songs she made famous with Fleetwood Mac, such as “Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” “Gold Dust Woman,” and “Sara”; covers of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” and Dave Matthews’ Band “Crash Into Me”; and songs that have appeared on soundtracks for Fast Times at Ridgemont High (“Sleeping Angels”) and the cult classic Heavy Metal (“Blue Lamp”). If there is a perfect document for why Stevie Nicks rightly belonged into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it’s this perfect compilation.