These Are Arguably The 10 Songs That Made Stevie Nicks’ Career

These Are Arguably The 10 Songs That Made Stevie Nicks’ Career | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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Stevie Nicks, the undeniable songstress with a voice that soars and a heart that bares itself raw, has gifted the world with a treasure trove of musical moments. While many might instantly associate her with the mega-success of Fleetwood Mac, Nicks also carved a remarkable path as a solo artist.

This independent spirit, a true force of nature, not only held her own, but soared to new heights with a captivating blend of vulnerability and strength, all laced with her signature mystical charm.  

Let’s dig into the ten songs that arguably defined Stevie’s glittering solo career, a journey that encompasses everything from the pulsating energy of the 80s to the timeless beauty of love and heartbreak.

1. “Rooms On Fire” – The Other Side Of The Mirror (1989)

“Rooms On Fire” was born from a truly inspiring location: a 16th-century Dutch castle perched on a Beverly Hills mountaintop. The castle’s whimsical architecture, lavish details, and antique artworks fueled Stevie Nicks’ creativity. But the song’s heart lies in her intense infatuation with producer Rupert Hine.

Their “spiritual agreement” to create a magical album resulted in “Rooms On Fire”, a song burning with obsessive romantic fervor. It describes a fairytale connection, a mysterious energy that ignites the room whenever a certain someone enters. The music video, filmed within the castle walls, perfectly complements the song’s gothic and dreamlike atmosphere.

2. “Think About It” – Bella Donna (1981)

“Think About It” arose from the wreckage of Fleetwood Mac’s most tumultuous period. Keyboardist Christine McVie was divorcing bassist John McVie, and Stevie’s relationship with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham was crumbling. Both women contemplated leaving the band.

Nicks wrote “Think About It” as a beacon of hope for herself and McVie. It’s a bittersweet plea, urging them to prioritize their shared passion for music and the creative force that bound Fleetwood Mac together. The song’s uplifting melody and heartfelt lyrics offer solace amidst hardship, akin to a comforting conversation with a close friend.

3. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” – Bella Donna (1981)

Stevie Nicks’ solo debut, Bella Donna, needed a hit. Producer Jimmy Iovine suggested a duet with Tom Petty, specifically “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”, a track originally meant for Petty’s band, The Heartbreakers. Though not her own composition, Nicks delivered a powerful vocal performance.

Her throaty vocals weave perfectly with Petty’s smooth delivery, creating a bluesy rock masterpiece. This unexpected collaboration became one of Nicks’ biggest hits, launching her solo career and forging a lifelong friendship with Petty. The song even earned her the unofficial title of “The Heartbreakers’ fifth member”, a playful nod to the band’s former “no girls allowed” rule.

4. “Leather And Lace” – Bella Donna (1981)

A tender ballad unlike anything else on the album, “Leather And Lace” ranks among Stevie Nicks’ most cherished love songs. This folksy lullaby reflects on her past relationships with bandmate Lindsey and Eagles’ Don Henley, who joins her for a duet.

The song contrasts delicate piano and acoustic guitar with lyrics about balancing opposing personalities – night and day, city and mountains, even the title’s leather and lace. Initially intended for country music royalty Waylon Jennings and his wife, Nicks wisely reclaimed the song upon learning of their impending separation.

5. “Sorcerer” – Trouble In Shangri-La (2001)

Stevie Nicks’ “Sorcerer” has a long and winding road. Originally written in 1972 with Lindsey for their folk duo Buckingham Nicks, it resurfaced in 1983 during the Wild Heart sessions before finally finding its “greatest” form in 2001 on Trouble In Shangri-La. This stripped-down version, featuring Sheryl Crow, evokes a sense of autumn with raw guitar plucks and earthy vocals.

The song reflects Nicks’ struggle with her new Hollywood life, a world of “black ink darkness” far from her mountain roots. Bluesy and raw, “Sorcerer” stands as one of Nicks’ most soulful and unpolished releases, a glimpse into a calmer era of her career.

6. “Wild Heart” – The Wild Heart (1983)

Not to be outdone by Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights”, Stevie Nicks’ title track from her 1983 album, Wild Heart, also draws inspiration from Emily Brontë’s classic novel. This epic, seven-minute song channels the passionate but doomed romance of Heathcliff and Cathy.  

Nicks intended it as an anthem for navigating heartbreak, a resolute march with defiant vocals celebrating the strength of an emotionally intense heart. As she once said, the song “takes you through your nervous breakdown and through your recovery, and it takes you through your survival.”  Interestingly, it was first performed for the world during a Rolling Stone cover shoot.

7. “Talk To Me” – Rock A Little (1985)

While not penned by Stevie Nicks herself, “Talk To Me” became a signature song thanks to her powerful vocals. Written by Chas Sandford, the co-writer behind John Waite’s “Missing You”, the song shares a similar pop-rock flair. However, Nicks’ husky delivery elevates it beyond sappy sentimentality.

“Talk To Me” is a refreshingly direct plea for emotional connection, a shimmering love letter brimming with warmth and whimsicality. The song’s success, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100, proves that even a borrowed melody can soar with Nicks at the helm.

8. “I Can’t Wait” – Rock A Little (1985)

Pure 80s energy explodes in Stevie Nicks’ “I Can’t Wait”. This cocaine-fueled anthem captures the reckless abandon of love and rockstar life. Nicks herself suggests a touch of madness is needed to truly appreciate it. Recorded in a single, frenetic session, the song pulsates with hyperactivity.

According to Zoë Howe’s book Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams and Rumours, Nicks celebrated by dancing through the night with friends, the song on repeat. The music video perfectly complements the song’s wild spirit, featuring Nicks and her entourage (including her brother) stomping up and down a staircase under the assault of wind machines.

9. “Stand Back” – The Wild Heart (1983)

A throbbing bass line pulsates through “Stand Back”, a song Nicks described as existing in a space “unknown… with no time-space”. This dark, cosmic intro explodes into vibrant color with a funky guitar solo by Prince himself.

Inspired by Prince’s “Little Red Corvette”, the song Nicks discovered on her honeymoon road trip, became a surprising collaboration. Their contrasting styles melded perfectly, creating a sparkling yet shadowy pop masterpiece. “Stand Back” became the lead single for The Wild Heart.

10. “Edge Of Seventeen” – Bella Donna (1981)

“Edge Of Seventeen” is the quintessential Stevie Nicks solo song. This jubilant, bohemian anthem weaves together heartbreak, loss, magic, and mystery – all the hallmarks of her songwriting. While the soaring chorus exudes celebration, the lyrics hold a deeper meaning.  The song was inspired by the tragic deaths of John Lennon and Nicks’ uncle Bill, both in 1981.

It also references the wild landscapes of her Arizona youth and the mystical “white-winged dove” that resides there. Nicks explained: “The white-winged dove was for John Lennon the dove of peace, and for my uncle, it was the white-winged dove who lives in the saguaro cactus…and it does make a sound like ‘whooo, whooo, whooo’”.