Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Stevie Nicks - "Rooms On Fire"

Rooms On Fire - The Other Side of the Mirror

(Debuted May 6, 1989, Peaked #16, 14 Weeks on the chart)

During the Summer of 1989, I was dating a girl named Valerie. It was a short relationship, though; she was a free spirit that couldn't be contained and it was silly for me at that age to try. She looked a little like a red-headed version of Stevie Nicks (in fact, she looked an awful lot like the shot of Nicks on the back cover of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours LP), and since "Rooms on Fire" was the current Nicks hit during our time together, I immediately think of her when I hear it.

"Rooms On Fire" was the only single from Nicks' The Other Side of the Mirror LP to hit the pop charts. It peaked at #16 and was #1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart as well. With lyrics that seem to be purposely opaque and partially biographical, it was comparable to much of Nicks' material, both solo and with Fleetwood Mac. However, the album was panned by critics. Nicks was fighting a tranquilizer addiction at the time (in fact, she has said in interviews that she has no memory of the tour she took to support this album), so that might account for the seeming decline in her musical output.

That said, I like the song. I liked it then, and it brings back memories that are good ones from my teen years, which weren't always a bowl of cherries. I haven't seen Valerie in over 20 years, so the song is a little like running into an old friend after a long time apart. That is always a good thing.

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