Adored by many and shunned by some, Stevie Nicks is an American rock singer most known for her work with Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist. Her first solo album, Bella Donna, released in 1981, is one of the best-selling debut albums ever, with over 6 million copies sold. She has also released seven more critically acclaimed studio albums since then. However, her discography isn’t without its misfires. Four of Stevie Nicks’ records aren’t essentially up to par with the general quality of her discography. That said, here’s a ranking of eight Stevie Nicks studio albums, from least good to best.
8. The Other Side of the Mirror (1989)
Stevie Nick had developed a cocaine addiction when she recorded “the Other Side of the Mirror,” which reflects in her vocals, making it more monotone than normal. The songs themselves are pretty unmemorable, especially compared to her other solo work. It’s not a complete loss, though. Stevie Nicks’ songwriting is still great, with the album containing “Two Kinds of Love,” one of her darkest songs ever. She also covers rock legends like Johnny Cash and Jude Johnstone, giving them a very Stevie Nicks-ish makeover. This is certainly not one of her best albums, but it’s still a decent record.
7. Trouble in Shangri-La (2001)
After a six-year hiatus from recording, Stevie Nicks returned with Trouble In Shangri-La in 2001. Unfortunately, it feels like a rushed album that could have been better if given more time to be honed and polished. The material is pretty good, but the album as a whole feels like it lacks cohesiveness. Her vocals also sound inconsistent on this record, and there seems to be a lack of energy that permeated through her other solo albums. It’s not a bad album, but it’s a bit of disappointment for someone who has been recording music since the seventies.
6. Street Angel (1994)
Street Angel was released in 1994. At the time, Nicks was going through a lot of personal issues in her life. As a result, the album sounds dark and moody, with an overall sad tone that permeates throughout the entire record. The songs themselves are heartfelt and emotional, and Stevie’s singing is on point as usual. However, the album seems to drag on a little bit, and it doesn’t help that most of the songs sound pretty similar (which might be intentional given the overall tone of the record).
5. Rock A Little (1985)
Stevie Nicks seemed to have lost a little bit of her creative touch for her third solo album. The album has a couple of great songs, like “Talk to Me” and “I Can’t Wait.” However, some songs just don’t quite fit in with the rest of the material on Rock A Little. Also, some of the songs drag on, which makes it difficult to get through the entire album. Overall, Rock A Little isn’t a bad effort by Stevie Nicks, but it could have been better.
4. The Wild Heart (1983)
The Wild Heart is a pretty solid album, and it’s an excellent example of what a Stevie Nicks record was supposed to sound like. Every song on the record is memorable, and Stevie’s voice sounds strong throughout the entire album. Rock A Little might have been a rush job, but The Wild Heart feels like a more deliberate effort. It’s clear that there was a lot of care put into this record, and it paid off in the end. This is hands a Stevie Nicks’ masterpiece. Every track on the album is a work of genius. This album made me fall in love with Stevie Nicks. The melodies are beautiful, the lyrics are meaningful and heartfelt, and the overall tone is gorgeous. This album is a true gem of the ’80s.
3. In Your Dreams (2011)
In Your Dreams is one of Stevie Nicks’s most recent solo albums, and it’s also her best one since The Wild Heart. It has a distinct feel that harkens back to that particular era of her career, and that’s always a good thing. The album has very few weak moments, and it features hit songs like “Secret Love” and “For What It’s Worth.” This is one of Stevie Nicks’ best efforts in the twenty-first century, and it’s definitely worth checking out.
2. 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault (2014)
When I first heard of 24 Karat Gold, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean, the album featured a collection of demo tracks she recorded between 1969 and 1987. But instead of releasing them as they are, Nicks re-recorded them and gave her ideas a more modernized sound. It’s the same album, but it sounds completely different because of Stevie Nicks’ new take on these old songs. I think she did an excellent job with reinventing them for this record. And even though some of the tracks aren’t as strong as others, Stevie Nicks manages to make them work, and she still turns in a solid record. This is one of the best albums I’ve heard from an artist who’s been around for decades.
1. Bella Donna (1981)
The first solo album from Stevie Nicks is, without a doubt, her best one. This album oozes with perfection, and there isn’t a single song on here that I don’t like. It has some of her biggest hits on it, too, including “Edge of Seventeen” and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” But there are some hidden gems as well, like the beautiful “After the Glitter Fades” and “Outside the Rain.” This album is just flawless, and no Stevie Nicks fan should go without listening to it at least once in their lifetime.