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The Ledge (09/04/1998), (Exclusive essay by John B) < Stevie Nicks < Main Page

The Ledge (09/04/1998), (Exclusive essay by John B)

Posted to The Ledge by John B. on September 4, 1998 at 10:45:23.

A tardy (but hearty!) tribute to Twisted. *hand claps*

I realize that I'm about two years late on this song, but I heard it for the first time about three months ago, and I love it so much for so many reasons--it's a great, great song, with brilliant lyrics, but knowing the history of the two singers adds such incredible depth and enjoyment--that I want to publicly rave about it.

So I'm gonna rave. Stevie wrote it, and deserves MASSIVE kudos for it.

This song is in overdrive from the opening note. The lead guitar, so great throughout--it's Lindsey, of course (thanks, Chili)--fades in on one extended note, and creates an effect like a tornado rapidly approaching. It gets louder and louder until it1s here! I don't know if that was the intention, but from the first time I heard it, that's how it felt.

After the tornado arrives, the Real Storm arrives in the person of Stevie, in a clear, beautiful voice, with some of her best, most searing, perceptive, reflective lyrics ever. OUTSTANDING LYRICS. Now, I haven't heard much of her solo stuff, but what makes these lyrics extra-brilliant is the layers of meaning she wrings from them. I cannot praise enough her ability to somehow tie together the physical nature of a tornado with the 3Twister2 lead character's psyche, and then link all of that--BRILLIANTLY--to Lindsey, and to their relationship.

Of course, this may all exist in my mind, but I don't think so. It's too perfect to be otherwise.

So on with the story.

The first line is a harbinger of things to come. She sets the table with "You think you hear demons" which is, to me, a blatant reference to Lindsey, who has repeatedly used this word to describe the psychological turmoil in which he and others have found themselves. Of course, it's also (primarily, to the viewing audience) about the lead character in 3Twister,2 who's a storm chaser, I believe. (I haven't seen the movie, but I've gleaned as much from the reviews.) She immediately nails him to the wall with the POWERFUL "I think YOU are the demon." She isn't going to let him (the character or Lindsey) off the hook so easily; she's going to make them take responsibility for their behavior, for their obsession.

When Lindsey joins her for "The sun goes down," it's pure magic, and harkens back to 3Buckingham Nicks.2 When they sing "Winds lift you up to God," the imagery soars. One suddenly understands why somebody would want to chase a tornado: the thrill, the exhilaration. GREAT lyric.

Then it's Lindsey's turn. He sings "You fall to your knees/Embrace the storm," and when he sings "storm," his voice softens in that massively appealing I'm-closing-my-eyes-as-I-sing-this way that he possesses. The delivery of this word is the perfect counterpoint to the word itself.

The lyrics reach cruising altitude at "You wear your passion and your anger/You don't let go." She MUST have been thinking of him when she wrote that, and I wonder what it was like for him to sing them. That's punctuated by "You like to be twisted," her awesome description of the whole psychology of the tornado, the character, Lindsey and their relationship.

I suppose I should mention that, lyrics aside, the song has a great melody. The music's fabulous, with a delicious country twang. I LOVE THIS SONG!

The piece de resistance, however, is just around the corner.

After the "You like to be twisted/By the storm/You like to be shaken/By the wind2 lyrics, there's an instrumental break that's musically pleasing and absolutely pregnant with anticipation for the next lyric. If you've heard the song, you know what I'm talking about. They sing, and then the break comes, and stays about a half-second longer than you think, and it1s one of those breaks that tell you something1s coming, and you're waiting for the payoff.

I cannot say enough about the next part of the song. It1s a single line, and it blows me away. As someone who's read in-depth (in too much depth) about their relationship--I have no doubt whatsoever that they recognize their relationship was not meant to last, couldn't last, that they can't live together, they're polar opposites, that it was practically a fluke that they were together so long, that physically they were together six years but every indication is that they were emotionally separated LONG before that, but since it was an early and long-standing relationship, there is something special there that cannot be denied and will never go away, as it is for many of us with our first true loves--and taking into account what she was trying to accomplish by tying it in to the lead character's obsession (he has his tornadoes, Lindsey had his guitar), and the fact a person (the lead character1s wife, Stevie herself) can never really have all of somebody like that, it's beyond perfection when they sing, to each other, the melodically beautiful, lyrically wrenching, oh-so-nostalgic "I know, you know, watching you go is like dying/It's like dying."

God. It doesn't get any better than that. If you haven1t heard the song, get it for that line alone. You can almost see them gazing into each other's eyes as they sing that, knowing that there's a flame somewhere deep inside that refuses to extinguish itself. It's the most beautiful moment of the song, and one of their best moments together ever. Maybe THE best.

Speaking as herself, and as the lead character's wife, she later continues with the lyrics of resignation: "You'd rather be wrapped up in the arms of a storm."

Stevie was at the top of her game when she wrote this song. It1s just an amazing piece of work.

The fade-out is awesome, with Stevie reaching down from the heavens as she counters each line with a thundering echo (they sing "The sun goes down," and Stevie bellows, "THE SUN GOOOOES DOWN).

And then the storm ends. Stevie has taught us something about our natures, has revealed to Lindsey and the lead character something about theirs, and then she passes to the next town.

What a song. Makes me long for Buckingham Nicks II. When these two get together, it may not be a storm, but you really feel the power.

I'm tired just thinking about it.

Thanks, Stevie. Awesome.

Date: 1998-09-04         Number of views: 1461

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