"Crystal," was written by Stevie Nicks and first appeared on the Buckingham Nicks solo album. Additionally, a few years later, it appeared on their first Fleetwood Mac album, simply titled, Fleetwood Mac. While written by Stevie herself, the song is sung by her ex-lover Lindsey Buckingham, displaying the strong bond they shared together before joining Fleetwood Mac.
Lindsey's touching vocals on "Crystal" are complemented by Stevie's beautiful, soft background harmonies, both of which create a delicate balance in the song.
There is a strong correlation between "Crystal" and "Landslide", also written by Stevie Nicks during this time. "Landslide" was scheduled to be released on their next album had they not joined Fleetwood Mac, but it found it's place on the Fleetwood Mac album along with "Crystal". Both songs revolve around Stevie's feelings of gradual independence and increasing need for growth and change, combined with Lindsey's strong loyalty to her, which she saw as ageless and never changing. Eventually these feelings would cause an inner turmoil between them both, ultimately leading to their passionate break-up (see the album Rumours). The song "Landslide" combines the metaphors of nature with these feelings of independence and change, and many of these same metaphors can be seen in the song "Crystal."
"Do you always trust your first initial feeling, Special knowledge holds true, bears believing."
This is a very simple statement and deals with the question of trusting your own feelings. Most likely, Stevie is questioning her feelings about her relationship with Lindsey. In the end, what's in her heart, in her sub conscience, will give her the answer. This is a truthful statement, saying if you do not believe in or acknowledge your special knowledge, you will miss out on the beauty of your feelings.
"I turned around and the water was closing all around like a glove, like the love that finally found me, then I knew, in the crystalline knowledge of you."
This passage displays the flood of feelings and total envelopment of Lindsey's love that Stevie felt and how her feelings of love for him are now clear. She likens this clarity, this "crystalline knowledge", to the clearness of water, which symbolizes the feelings one has when they are at peace with themselves. Think of the movement and sounds of water and how peaceful those feelings are. Often, Stevie and Lindsey used the imagery of the water, waves and the sea in their lyrics through the years, most likely as a symbol of this peacefulness (See the songs "Sara," and "Tango in the Night.")
"Drove me through the mountains, through the crystal like and clear water fountain, drove me like a magnet, to the sea, to the sea."
The mountains represent an obstacle that Stevie must conquer, be it her independence or her feelings for Lindsey (see "Landslide"). The fountain reference symbolizes hope and freedom. The magnet is the pull towards Lindsey's love that Stevie feels. This love is compared to the clearness of the sea, where she is now at peace. The visualization of her movement through the mountains to the sea is not a physical movement, but an emotional one, as Stevie's feelings move from confused to clear.
"How the faces of love have changed turning the pages, and I have changed, oh, but you, you remain ageless."
Stevie likens the stages of their relationship to turning pages. Although her love for Lindsey is clear, it changes. As the pages turn, this love grows from something that was once simple and sweet, to a more passionate and intense relationship that can lose it's direction at any time if not nurtured. Stevie's statement about her changing can again be directly related to the lyrics in "Landslide," "I've been afraid of changing, cause I've built my life around you." Stevie is changing and growing and this change was most likely hard for Lindsey to accept, as well as difficult for Stevie to acknowledge, as in her eyes, he does not change, he is ageless.
As the second and third verses repeat, Lindsey's voice fades out, and the sounds of his soft guitar combined with the gentle heartbeat of the drums, are all that remain. Slowly, they too fade into the increasingly haunting sounds of the synthesizer, and become a strong reminder that peacefulness can only be attained through the clarity we have in our feelings.
(The interpretations to these lyrics were compiled through discussions on the message boards of the Penguin, The Ledge. It is entirely possible that the artists had something completely different in mind.)