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Reaching deep in the 'music vault'

Nicks hopes to bewitch fans with 'Shangri-La'

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Nicks says "Planets of the Universe" was originally a very angry song.
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(CNN) -- "Maybe I am calmer now. Maybe things are fine. Maybe I made the whole thing up. Maybe it isn't a lie."

Songstress Stevie Nicks croons these words in "Fall From Grace," a song on "Trouble in Shangri-La," her soon-to-be-released album.

The new album, she says, is about lessons learned of reaching the pinnacle of your dreams and then losing your footing.

Her latest album also marks the end of a seven-year stretch hiatus from recording. "Street Angel," her last (and admittedly poor) disc, debuted in 1994.

They gypsy-styled performer with trademark tresses and platform boots characterizes her post- "Street Angel" years as a time of growth and introspection.

"The last five years have really been a precious journey for me to sort of come back," she says.

World Beat recently sat down with Nicks to talk about lessons she's learned and chronicled on her new record.

Be sure to tune into World Beat the weekend of May 19 for an in-depth look at the music and philosophy of Stevie Nicks. World Beat airs on CNN Saturdays 12:00 a.m. ET, and Sundays 3:30 p.m. ET.

World Beat: Why did it take so long to release "Shangri-La" after your last album?

Nicks: Well, I started to do this record in 1994 and the Fleetwood Mac reunion sort of came along (in 1997) in the middle of it.

It was really hard to work on my album while I thought that Fleetwood Mac was going to come back into being. Then, by the time I came home and got adjusted to being home and got back into something else -- it just took about three years.

But it's good because if I had gone ahead and finished it (back) then -- if Fleetwood hadn't done the reunion thing -- the songs that were on this record wouldn't be on it. So I feel it was a necessary break to write the other songs.

World Beat: What is the album about?

Nicks: You know, (it's) just the idea of making it to paradise, making it to Shangri-La, and not being able to handle it once you get there. I always think, "Oh if I ever get there, if I ever get to the top of my field, I will be able to hang in there and so many people aren't able to hang in there." So that is really how it (the album) started.

World Beat: Apart from the title track, the first three songs were written in the 1970s. Were those songs done and just waiting for the right moment to be released?

Nicks:Yeah. I have what I call the "song vault" and before I do any record I pretty much go back and listen to all of those songs because they are all demos, and they all sound good and they are all kind of done. Sometimes, they (songs) go back into the vault and don't resurface for years. That is what happened with "Candlebright," "Sorcerer" and "Planets of the Universe."

World Beat: Why do you think your music touches so many people?

Nicks: I think they must really relate to my songs, and of course, that is what I really wanted. That was my original reason for doing all this -- to write songs that would affect people. I think it really is all about the content of my songs. Maybe they (listeners) do learn something from one of my songs, or something I say might help them through a rough period.

World Beat: Some reviews say this is your strongest record since "Bella Donna" in 1981.

Nicks: I hope it is. I worked very, very hard on this record, and I love these songs. The three (songs) I gathered from the past -- I love them, and I always wanted them to be on a record. The rest of the songs are really dear to me because they have been written in the last five years, and the last five years have really been a precious journey for me. This record is really what I wanted it to be, and I am very proud of it.



RELATED SITES:
Official Stevie Nicks Web site
The Changing Times of Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks in Her Own Words

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