Her distinctive voice, mystical stage persona, and her poetic lyrics make Stevie Nicks one of the most iconic musicians in rock & roll history. As a member of Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist, she has produced over 40 top-50 hits and has sold over 140 million records. She’s earned her spot atop the 100 Greatest Songwriters AND Singers of All Time lists by Rolling Stone, a double induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and eight Grammy nominations. This Sunday, she’s kicking off our “Legendary Ladies of Music” month! But first, let’s count down her five biggest songs from the Billboard charts!
Both this single and the album The Wild Heart made it to No. 5 on each of their own respective Billboard charts. Nicks was inspired to write this song after driving down the highway and Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” came on the radio. In her own words, “It just gave me an incredible idea, so I spent many hours that night writing a song about some kind of a crazy argument, and it was to become one of the most important of my songs.” Prince even came into the studio to play synthesizer on the track.
Stevie Nicks released this as the first single from her third solo album, Rock A Little. The song was written by Chas Sandford, who also co-wrote John Waite’s 1984 hit “Missing You”. However, Stevie had serious trouble perfecting the vocals. That is until Jim Keltner, who was next door recording drums, stepped in the studio and offered to sit in as an audience for her to sing to.
According to Stevie Nicks, “I wrote this song because Waylon Jennings called me up and asked me to write a song called ‘Leather and Lace.’ It was to be a duet for him and his wife.” After writing the song, Steve teamed up with Eagles guitarist (and ex-lover), Don Henley, to record her own version. It went on to become Henley’s first hit away from the Eagles and one of Nicks’ first hits away from Fleetwood Mac.
While recording Rumours, nearly everyone in Fleetwood Mac was going through a breakup, two of those people being Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. While Buckingham brought “Go Your Own Way” to the band, which was clearly about Nicks, Nicks wrote “Dreams” about Buckingham. “I remember the night I wrote ‘Dreams,'” says Nicks, “I walked in and handed a cassette of the song to Lindsey. It was a rough take, just me singing solo and playing piano. Even though he was mad with me at the time, Lindsey played it and then looked up at me and smiled.” This song then went on to become Fleetwood Mac’s only #1 hit.
With Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty on one track, it’s easy to see why this song stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks. This was the biggest hit for either Stevie Nicks (as a solo act) or Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Nicks requested a song from Tom Petty half-jokingly, but over a year later, they recorded “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” together. Nicks even wanted Petty to produce Bella Donna, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out.
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