Foreword Reviews

Mirror in the Sky

The Life and Music of Stevie Nicks

In Mirror in the Sky, Simon Morrison traces the development of Stevie Nicks’s artistic persona via a perusal of her music.

After a brief outline of Nicks’s early life in the American West, the book follows her artistic development, using her songs and albums as its timeline. She first worked with Lindsay Buckingham, a boyfriend of hers, and then with Fleetwood Mac; she later went solo, working with handpicked collaborators on occasion. There are detailed descriptions of recording studios in Los Angeles and elsewhere that help to capture the eras in which she worked, as well as references to the expansive array of musicians with whom she worked. The result is a portrait of a sensitive artist who immersed herself in the surrounding culture, responding to cultural and industry changes.

In its focus on Nicks’s creative pursuits, the book downplays well-known dramas in her life, such as strife within Fleetwood Mac, addiction troubles, and romances. Its treatment of Nicks’s music is academic and knowledgeable, if sometimes at odds with the pop spirit of her work. But the book also draws on Nicks’s lesser-known work for its assessments, including demos and tracks not included on her albums, adding to collective understandings of Nicks as both a singer and an instrumentalist.

Though Nicks has characterized her own techniques as spontaneous and idiosyncratic, this book approaches her process in a serious manner, pointing out the chord progressions, lyrics, and rhythms that comprise her message of independence and self-assurance. Here, Nicks is re-centered as an artistic presence in her own right, and her opulent attire, seductive mystique, and wide influences become proof of her lasting star quality.

Written with respect and admiration, Mirror in the Sky analyzes Stevie Nicks’s music with care, noting how it expressed the sentiments of a generation.

Reviewed by Mari Carlson

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Load Next Review