Stevie Nicks : Complete Studio Albums & Rarities – Box Set Review

Stevie Nicks Complete Albums CD Box Set: A Missed Opportunity in Packaging and Presentation

The recent release of Stevie Nicks’ Complete Studio Albums and Rarities box set, just before Christmas 2023, was a moment I had eagerly anticipated. As a fervent admirer of Stevie Nicks, whose music has been a constant companion since the mid-1970s, the prospect of owning a comprehensive collection of her work was genuinely exciting. However, after delving into the box set, my feelings are mixed, and I find myself compelled to address both the highs and lows of this release.

Firstly, let’s talk about the music – the heart and soul of this box set. Containing all eight of Stevie Nicks’ classic studio albums, plus two CDs of rarities and B-sides, the set promises an exhaustive journey through Nicks’ illustrious solo career. From the ethereal beauty of “Bella Donna” to the introspective depths of “Trouble in Shangri-La,” the music within these albums is undeniably some of the best you’ll ever hear. On this front, the box set scores a perfect 10/10. Stevie Nicks’ songwriting and vocal prowess shine brightly, offering a reminder of her indelible mark on the music world.

Design and Packaging: Where It Falls Short

However, it’s in the execution of the box set’s design and packaging that my enthusiasm wanes. Priced at around £99, the set’s presentation leaves much to be desired, especially when compared to other artists’ deluxe editions that offer more substantial content and thoughtful packaging. The inclusion of a mere foldout piece of card, rather than a detailed booklet with essays, lyrics, or insights from Nicks herself, feels like a missed opportunity to celebrate her legacy appropriately.

The design closely mirrors that of other Rhino/Warner archive boxes, with a visually appealing exterior. Yet, upon opening, the shortcomings become apparent. The CDs, while housed in gatefold sleeves that replicate the original albums’ artwork, lack the tactile richness and accessibility one might expect from a deluxe edition. The lyrics, when included, are often too small to read comfortably, detracting from the immersive experience that physical media enthusiasts cherish.

A Comparison with Joni Mitchell’s Box Set

For context, let’s consider the Joni Mitchell archive box set, which came with a substantial book filled with lyrics, essays, and photographs. This thoughtful inclusion elevated the set, making it a treasure trove for fans and a testament to Mitchell’s artistry. In contrast, the Stevie Nicks box set’s lack of similar content feels like a disservice not only to the fans but to Nicks herself.

The Price Point Dilemma

The pricing of this set is another bone of contention. While I was fortunate to find it for a more reasonable £45 on eBay, the standard retail price feels inflated for what is offered. It’s essential for record companies to understand that fans are willing to invest in their favorite artists, but they expect value for their money. A deluxe edition should offer more than just the music; it should provide a comprehensive experience that deepens the listener’s connection to the artist.

While the music of Stevie Nicks remains as captivating as ever, the Complete Studio Albums and Rarities box set falls short in its presentation and packaging. It’s a stark reminder that deluxe editions should honor both the artist’s legacy and the fans’ devotion.

As we move forward, I hope record companies will take heed and approach these releases with the respect and care they deserve. After all, music is not just about the notes and melodies; it’s about the stories, the emotions, and the connections we forge with the artists who soundtrack our lives.

Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x