Trouble in Shangri-La

Trouble in Shangri-La is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks. Released in 2001, it was her first new solo album since 1994's Street Angel. The album returned Nicks to the top 5 for the first time since 1983's The Wild Heart, and achieved Gold status within six weeks of its release for shipping 500,000 copies in the U.S.[2] As of February 2011, the album has sold over 663,000 copies in the US.[3] Nicks' renewed success also spawned a very successful tour entitled 'The Trouble in Shangri-La Tour'. The tour was the 27th highest grossing tour of 2001 and grossed $14.1 million from 38 shows.

The album debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart with sales of 109,000 copies in its first week. The album remained in the top 10 in its second week holding the #9 spot and sold 76,000 copies. The album spent a total of 20 weeks on the "Billboard" Top 200 Albums chart.[4] Three singles were released: "Every Day", "Planets of The Universe", and "Sorcerer".

Trouble in Shangri-La
Stevie Nicks - Trouble in Shangri-La
Studio album by Stevie Nicks
ReleasedMay 1, 2001
Recorded1995-2001
GenreRock, adult contemporary
Length56:10
LabelReprise
ProducerJohn Shanks, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, Mike Campbell, Jeff Trott, David Kahne, Rick Nowels, Pierre Marchand
Stevie Nicks chronology
Enchanted
(1998)
Trouble in Shangri-La
(2001)
Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks
(2007)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]

Background

Shortly after the somewhat muted reception to her previous album, Street Angel, and a crushing bout of writer's block caused by Klonopin dependency between 1987 and 1994, Nicks asked close friend Tom Petty to help her write and record a new album. Petty advised her that she did not need any help and to have more faith in her own abilities, which Nicks recounts in the track "That Made Me Stronger". Nicks then proceeded to write the title track to the album and the closing song "Love Is", but whilst crafting a track for the 1996 movie Twister, entitled "Twisted", she was reunited with former lover and Fleetwood Mac frontman, Lindsey Buckingham, which formed part of a chain of events that led to the full reunion of the Rumours line-up of the band in 1997.

One of the tracks on the album, "Fall from Grace", recounts the ever-troubled relationship between Fleetwood Mac members as experienced during that 1997 reunion, which nonetheless culminated in the multi-platinum selling live album The Dance. This somewhat turbulent experience was a 9-month interruption to the recording of Shangri-La but it inspired Nicks to pen this track, and another, "Thrown Down", which, although recorded for her solo album, ultimately surfaced in a newer version on the 2003 Fleetwood Mac release Say You Will.

Following promotion for her 1998 3-disc retrospective Enchanted and an accompanying tour (both at the insistence of her former label Atlantic, who wanted to capitalise on the 1997 reunion of Fleetwood Mac, and complete Nicks' six-album deal), Nicks finally continued to record her material for Shangri-La, enlisting the help of Sheryl Crow, who had been a fan of Nicks for some years. The pair worked on a couple of tracks that would end up on the soundtrack to the movie Practical Magic (see below), but Crow also contributed the song "It's Only Love", and performed on and co-produced several other tracks. The two became good friends and Nicks, in return, performed on Crow's 2002 album C'Mon C'Mon, including writing and providing lyrics for the b-side song "You're Not the One". The pair have also performed on stage together numerous times since the 1990s.

When Crow's own career commitments in 1999 prevented her from completing work on the album, Nicks initially produced one track, "Bombay Sapphires", alone. At the suggestion of their mutual management company, Macy Gray performed backing vocals. Nicks then enlisted the help of John Shanks for co-production duties on the remaining tracks to be recorded. He had previously sent her a demo of a track he had co-written with Damon Johnson, "Every Day", which she liked, and it was the first track the pair then recorded at Shanks' home. The track would also be released to radio as a single. Johnson recorded his own version of the song for his album Release in 2010. Shanks is also notable for helping Nicks to finally record a completed studio version of her 1976 composition "Planets of the Universe" after several failed attempts over the years with other producers. It was the last track to be completed for the album in late 2000, and it went all the way to #1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.

The dragon that is used for the "S" in Stevie's name on the album cover (and also appears elsewhere on the disc art) was drawn by Sarah McLachlan, who also provides keyboards and background vocals on the album's closing track, "Love Is".

Songs

Though most of the songs on this album were relatively recent compositions, written between the years 1995 and 2000, there are three songs that date back to the 1970s:

  • "Candlebright" dates backs to the "Buckingham-Nicks" sessions (previously titled "Nomad"). The song was recorded by Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in demo form, and was almost used on Fleetwood Mac's 1975 eponymous album, however "Rhiannon" ultimately made the album instead.
  • "Sorcerer" also dates back to the "Buckingham-Nicks" era and was recorded as a demo, as well as being performed on the subsequent tour. It was also considered for some Fleetwood Mac projects, in particular 1979's Tusk, before ending up on Trouble in Shangri-La. The track had also previously been recorded by Marilyn Martin (with backing vocals by Nicks) in 1984 for the film soundtrack Streets of Fire. in 2016 a previously unreleased full production recording of the song was released on the expanded reissue of Stevie's album "The Wild Heart", recorded during the sessions for that album but ultimately shelved.
  • "Planets of the Universe" was written during the Rumours period while Nicks and Buckingham were separating, which was Nicks' inspiration for the song. A rough demo (performed by Fleetwood Mac) ended up on the remastered and expanded release of Rumours in 2004. Nicks chose to include only an edited version of the song on Trouble in Shangri-La, omitting a verse which she ultimately felt was 'too spiteful' towards Buckingham. The full-length 2001 version of this song, with the extra verse (as originally demo-ed on the expanded release of Rumours), did appear on a 6 track single release in late 2001.

Two tracks from the Shangri-La sessions were given to film soundtracks. "If You Ever Did Believe", which Nicks recorded with Sheryl Crow, became the theme song to the 1998 Warner Bros. film Practical Magic. The track's origins actually lie in the coda of a 1976 demo of "Gold Dust Woman", one of Nicks' signature tracks from the Fleetwood Mac album Rumours. The song was released as a promotional 7-inch vinyl single to radio stations in the US, and a video featuring Crow and Nicks was made for VH-1 promotion. To date, CD availability of the track is restricted to very-hard-to-find promotional CD singles issued to US radio stations, or the Practical Magic soundtrack album, which also features a newly recorded version of Nicks' 1973 composition "Crystal", originally recorded for the Buckingham Nicks and 1975 Fleetwood Mac album releases with Lindsey Buckingham on lead vocals. The version for Practical Magic features Nicks on lead vocals, with Crow on backing vocals.

Before Nicks herself released "If You Ever Did Believe", the song was given to singer-songwriter Louise Goffin. It appears on Goffin's self-titled second album from 1981. Nicks sings background vocals on the track and is credited as such on the inner sleeve.[5]

Another track, "Touched by an Angel", was given to the 2001 remake of Sweet November, starring Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron. Again, availability of the track is restricted to the movie soundtrack CD.

Videos

Two promotional videos were shot for single releases; "Every Day" features Nicks performing in an enchanted forest setting, and "Sorcerer" featured Nicks with Sheryl Crow, both playing guitars in a straightforward performance set in a room where the lyrics to various Nicks songs magically appear on the walls. Both of these videos are available, with optional Nicks' commentary, on the DVD supplement of the 2007 release Crystal Visions - The Very Best of Stevie Nicks.

A promo-clip for "If You Ever Did Believe", featuring both Crow and Nicks, was exclusively produced for VH-1 airplay, but to date has not been made commercially available.

Track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Trouble in Shangri-La"Nicks4:50
2."Candlebright"Nicks4:41
3."Sorcerer"Nicks4:55
4."Planets of the Universe"Nicks4:46
5."Every Day"John Shanks, Damon Johnson3:36
6."Too Far from Texas" (Duet with Natalie Maines)Steve Booker, Sandy Stewart3:48
7."That Made Me Stronger"Nicks, Scott F. Crago, Timothy Drury4:19
8."It's Only Love"Sheryl Crow3:31
9."Love Changes"Nicks4:23
10."I Miss You"Nicks, Rick Nowels4:15
11."Bombay Sapphires"Nicks4:05
12."Fall from Grace"Nicks4:31
13."Love Is"Nicks4:30
Total length:56:11

Personnel

Main performers

Guest musicians

Session musicians

Charts

Album

Chart (2001) Position
US Billboard 200 5
US Billboard Year End Charts 2001 162
UK 43
Canada 29

Singles - Billboard (U.S.)

Single Chart (2001) Position
"Every Day" Adult Contemporary 17
"Planets of the Universe" Hot Dance Music/Club Play 1
"Sorcerer" Adult Contemporary 21

Tour

Trouble in Shangri-La Tour - 2001

Opening night set list (with Sheryl Crow):

Footnotes

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "American album certifications – Stevie Nicks – Trouble in Shangri-La". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  3. ^ "Music Chart Analysis, Artist Spotlights, Music Insider, Chart Beat & News". Billboard.com. 2011-08-28. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
  4. ^ "Stevie Nicks - TISL on the charts". Rockalittle.com. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
  5. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Louise-Goffin-Louise-Goffin/release/2226077

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