1983: The Story Of Stevie Nicks’ “The Wild Heart”
The Wild Heart album cover - Stevie Nicks / Youtube
As she removed herself from Fleetwood Mac’s picture, Stevie Nicks already had enough firepower in her arsenal to make herself be heard – alone. She released her second solo album The Wild Heart on June 10, 1984, which featured a lot of her friends in it as well. But how did the album come to realization? Here are some facts that surround this enigmatic piece of music from Nicks’ career.
It was inspired by the death of her best friend
Nicks was busy with touring commitments when her longtime friend Robin Anderson died days after giving birth to her child. Because of this, Nicks married her husband in an attempt to raise the child as her own, but it only lasted 3 months.
Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” influenced Nicks’ “Stand Back”
“Little Red Corvette” was playing on the radio as Nicks and then-husband Kim Anderson were driving to their honeymoon. “It just gave me an incredible idea, so I spent many hours that night writing a song about some kind of crazy argument, and it was to become one of the most important of my songs,” she wrote in the liner notes of her 1991 album, Timespace.
She called Prince to tell him he ripped off his song
In a 2016 interview with Billboard, Nicks said, “I asked him if he would come over to Sunset Sound in Los Angeles. Never in a million years expecting that he would say yes or that he was even in Los Angeles, and he was there in like 20 minutes. I didn’t have to call and tell him that I kind of ripped off his song, but I did because I’m honest. So it turned into a really amazing relationship.”
The album hit #5 on the Billboard Charts
While not as high as her chart-topping debut solo album Bella Donna was, The Wild Heart hit 5th place on the album charts. The top of the American charts was occupied by The Police’s Synchronicity.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers lend a hand on “I Will Run To You”
Just like how he helped on Bella Donna, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers backed her up for “I Will Run To You”. Petty also co-wrote the track, which reached 35th place on Billboard’s Top Tracks chart despite never being released as a single.
Her being frightened in her dream house led to the creation of “Sable on Blonde”
“There were no phones, and I was alone, freezing, with nothing. It was like going from heaven straight to tell without stopping off for a burger on the way. I was devastated. I moved into my closet with my quilt and pillows and my writing stuff. My clothes were hanging in my face, and I took my little stereo in there, and that’s where I lived. But the song really is about learning to live with Stevie; learn to be a stranger, learn to live in silence, learn not to call on everybody else to get you out of everything or make everybody else pay for what you’re going through because you’ve chosen this life,” Nicks said.
“Nightbird” was a continuation for “Edge of Seventeen”
“This song does extend from ‘Edge of Seventeen. It’s about the difficulties of female rock ‘n’ roll singers; it’s about my friend Robin, it’s about death, it’s a spirit calling. Wearing boots all summer long is like, always being ready for a flood or avalanche to happen, for the worst to happen. Because when you really look at life, all the money, material things and dreams we all search after could not save one small girl,” said Nicks in The Wild Heart’s press kit.