Tuesday, September 25, 2018

"Talk to Me" by Stevie Nicks

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2538
Date:  11/16/1985
Debut:  66
Peak:  4
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Following the success of her second album The Wild Heart, Nicks had some time on her hands due to Fleetwood Mac's ongoing hiatus. Therefore, she moved ahead and began work on a third solo effort. In addition to her regular producer Jimmy Iovine, Nicks also worked with Rick Nowels and Keith Olsen. They helped to modernize her sound and outfit her songs in a more contemporary fashion using the new technology of the day. The resulting album, Rock a Little, had a slicker, more commercial feel to it and this first single was a perfect example. The track is one of only two on the album not written or co-written by Nicks. It was written and co-produced by Chas Sandford who had recently scored a big #1 co-writing John Waits' "Missing You." While this song wouldn't do quite as well as Waits' classic track, it did hit #1 at Rock and #14 AC while becoming Nicks' fifth Pop Top 10 outside of Fleetwood Mac. Unfortunately, it would also be her last single to reach the Pop Top 10. The album would end up at #12 and eventually go platinum, but that was a dip in sales compared to her previous two multi-platinum LPs.

ReduxReview:  This is definitely Nicks at her most commercial. This was pure pop fodder with a big memorable chorus that was meant for airplay. Apparently, Nicks was not liking the song as she was having a hard time singing it, but that certainly didn't show in the final version. She gave a great performance and the production was spot-on for the song and the time period. Iovine picked the song for Nicks and it was a solid choice. I liked it enough to immediately buy the album. That said, this song did seem like a big commercial stab with Nicks in full pop diva mode. She's not the "white which" here weaving her magic. While she made the song hers, this tune could have been knocked out by any other pop diva. I've always thought this would have been an ideal single for Belinda Carlisle. So while it was a good pop hit moment for Nicks, it lacked a bit of what made Nicks a special artist.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Nicks first started to record songs for the album back in 1984. It was to be titled Mirror Mirror after one of the songs she recorded. Nicks recorded many songs and demos for potential inclusion on the album, but when it came time to assemble the tracks, Nicks was unhappy with the way they were recorded and decided to shelve the songs and start fresh. Some of the songs from those sessions were eventually released or re-recorded for other albums including "Battle of the Dragon," a song Nicks did with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers that found its way to the soundtrack of the 1986 film American Anthem. She also did a version of the song "Tied Up" that was a #38 hit for Olivia Newton-John in 1983. That recording remains unofficially released, but it can be found on YouTube along with several others from the sessions.


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