30-Day Song Challenge, Day 15: A Song You Like That’s a Cover by Another Artist
I took a break from these song challenge posts for a while because, in light of everything going on in the country and the world, they seemed frivolous, if not outright disrespectful to those whose lives have been upended by — say it with me — “these unprecedented times.” But honestly I’ve been missing them. Missing the escape from thinking about current events and my job and all the rest of it. I’ve missed writing. Writing has become a luxury I rarely get to indulge, and even though these entries aren’t anything much… they’re something. I enjoy doing them, and I enjoy talking about music even though I’m basically just an uninformed loudmouth sitting at the end of the cafeteria with his friends, blathering about whatever cassette they ripped off from the 7-11 last night.
Not that I have any knowledge of what that would feel like. No, sir, not me.
I also just want to finish something. This challenge was supposed to generate 30 entries, and I’m only halfway through. So, let’s get back to it, shall we?
Stevie Nicks’ fifth solo album, Street Angel, was released in 1994. That was an unhappy period in Stevie’s life as she’d been battling an addiction to painkillers, and the album turned out to be a big disappointment for her. It was the least successful of her efforts away from Fleetwood Mac, with poor sales and no top-40 hits. Both the critics and Stevie herself have criticized the album’s production, and Stevie has also said she should have gone back and redone the vocals before it was released.
But you know… in my usual contrarian fashion, I quite like this album. It has a pared-down quality compared to her work in the ’80s (no doubt due to the production she doesn’t like) and a world-weariness that suited my general mood at the time it came out. This is an album for listening to in the middle of the night, when you’ve gotten off the late shift and the heat of the day is still bleeding out of the asphalt as you drive home with the windows down, and you’re trying figure out what the hell you’re supposed to do with your life because it sure as shit isn’t what you’ve been doing.
Not that I would know how that feels either.
Stevie mostly writes her own stuff, but one of my favorite tracks on this album is actually a cover of a Bob Dylan song. I have mixed feelings about Dylan… I think he’s hugely overrated, to be honest. His lyrics are more opaque to me than poetic, and his singing voice… well, I’m no doubt revealing myself as the uneducated philistine that I am, but he’s always sounded to me like Eddie Murphy’s impression of Buckwheat from The Little Rascals. In the hands — or voice — of someone else, though, his songs can be… magical. Like this one. At least to me. Listening to Stevie NIcks’ rendition of “Just Like a Woman,” I hear her singing about herself… or about a daughter she never had… or about a girl I might have known in my early twenties, when we all feel impossibly old and jaded as well as unbearably fragile and clueless.That’s how I remember feeling, anyway. Your mileage may vary.
I love this song.
There was no video made for this one, so just enjoy listening and gazing at the album cover for four minutes.