Bella Donna, Stevie Nicks’ debut solo album, was launched on July 27, 1981, however most of its songs had been written years earlier than. In Fleetwood Mac, practically everybody was a songwriter, and their albums had solely a lot house. Releasing a solo album turned a necessity for Nicks, who had an overabundance of songs that did not match on band data, in addition to an opportunity to discover her creativity outdoors of the group.
Nicks started recording the album within the late ‘70s, between periods for Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk. Following 1977’s Rumours, they had been the largest band on the earth. For Nicks, nevertheless, the group had turn into a gilded cage. She’d break up with bandmate and musical collaborator Lindsey Buckingham, and what she felt had been her greatest songs had been relegated to B-sides or discarded altogether. Fleetwood Mac had been additionally in tumult, having completed the epic recording and touring behind a double album that pushed them to their limits, solely to be greeted with blended opinions. For the delicate Nicks, the band was changing into a factor she misplaced herself in reasonably than one thing she was a part of.
So she struck a cope with Fleetwood Mac to file a solo album utilizing the songs they didn’t need. Periods for Bella Donna began between the periods for Tusk, with Nicks recording demos that wouldn’t see launch for greater than two years. When the tour in assist of the album ended, Nicks went into the studio with producer Jimmy Iovine to start work on her personal file.
A constellation of individuals helped her carry the LP to life, together with backup singers Sharon Celani and Lori Perry, who’re credited on the album slightly below Nicks and who helped conceive the vocal preparations; musical director Benmont Tench of the Heartbreakers; Tom Petty and Don Henley, with whom Nicks sings duets; and Roy Bittan of the E Avenue Band, who cowrote two songs. Nicks ended up spending three months within the studio. The album that got here out of it shot to the highest of the Billboard Scorching 100 and made Nicks a solo star.
Under we element the songs which have made Bella Donna a basic.
This was the one track Nicks refused to provide Fleetwood Mac as a result of she was saving it for herself. It meant a lot to her that it turned the title observe for her solo debut. “‘Bella Donna’ is a time period of endearment I take advantage of, and the title is about making plenty of choices in my life, making a change primarily based on the turmoil in my soul,” Nicks advised Rolling Stone in 1981. “You get to a sure age the place you wish to decelerate, be quieter. The title track was mainly a warning to myself and a query to others.”
“Sort of Girl”
Cowritten with Heartbreaker Benmont Tench, “Sort of Girl” really began across the identical time Nicks penned “Landslide” throughout a 1973 journey to Aspen, Colo., with Buckingham. She advised Rockline in a 1981 interview that she wrote the observe when he took a gig touring with the Everly Brothers whereas imagining her accomplice assembly and getting swallowed up by groupies as she continued working as a waitress.
“Cease Draggin’ My Coronary heart Round”
Bella Donna’s lead single was the one observe on the album not written by Nicks. The story goes that producer Jimmy Iovine didn’t assume the LP had successful single and, since he’d labored with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers beforehand, he requested Petty for a track. The collaboration became a radio smash and a mainstay throughout MTV’s early days. “[Petty] gave me ‘Cease Dragging My Coronary heart Round,’” Nicks advised Rolling Stone. “Had he not given me that track, let me candidly let you know, Bella Donna may not have been successful. That track kicked Bella Donna proper into the universe.” The track led to a tour with Petty and a lifelong friendship.
“Suppose About It”
One other oldie, “Suppose About It” was written for Mac bandmate Christine McVie in 1974, when her marriage to John McVie was coming to an finish. It was a tumultuous time for the band, as two relationships started to unwind. Nicks advised WLIR in a 1981 interview that she additionally wrote the track for herself. “In these days, there have been no wardrobe mistresses or speech therapists or something, there was simply me and Chris,” Nicks mentioned. “So, all she had, actually, was me. And so I actually needed to be her pal and actually be robust beside her at that time as a result of she was actually going to go away [the band]. And I had had my issues with Lindsey, and I used to be actually going to go away. And so this was only a track to remind her and remind me on the identical time that we had been giving up loads if we left.”
“After the Glitter Fades”
This country-tinged observe was written by Nicks in 1972 earlier than she joined Fleetwood Mac and after her father underwent emergency open-heart surgical procedure. “From that day onward, I used to be by no means the identical,” she advised Rolling Stone in 1981, noting that she felt music and her relationship with Buckingham didn’t matter within the face of such a life-changing occasion that compelled her to face her dad’s mortality. Nicks reportedly wrote “After the Glitter Fades” with one other singer in thoughts: Dolly Parton.
“Fringe of Seventeen”
“Fringe of Seventeen” has its origins in a pair of “white winged doves,” however there are references within the track to the lack of an uncle and John Lennon. Plus, the title was impressed by Tom Petty’s spouse on the time; Nicks misheard her saying she met Petty when she was 17. The observe has lived on although the years, most notably through a pattern in Future’s Kid’s hit “Bootylicious.” Nicks even appeared within the track’s video taking part in a guitar.
“How Nonetheless My Love”
Nicks has typically referred to as “How Nonetheless My Love” one in every of her favourite songs. It is a couple of lady getting concerned with a person nobody thinks she must be with. With all the singer’s high-profile romances, anybody may very well be the inspiration right here: Mick Fleetwood, Jimmy Iovine, Don Henley … or perhaps another person.
“Leather-based and Lace”
Carried out as a duet with Eagles’ Don Henley, this track was initially written on the request of country star Waylon Jennings for himself and his spouse, Jessi Colter. Nevertheless it didn’t make the reduce, so Nicks saved it for herself. And since the track is a couple of man and lady within the music trade having a relationship, she wished a fellow artist singing along with her. “I felt in my coronary heart that both I had to do that track with Don, or Waylon needed to do it with Jessi, or Waylon and I needed to do it,” Nicks defined to High Times. “These had been the one three potentialities for that track to be performed.”
“Outdoors the Rain”
Nicks has mentioned this track is the one connective thread between Bella Donna and Fleetwood Mac. “Outdoors the Rain” is a bookend to “Desires” and one which her band would have been completely satisfied to have recorded. When performing the song at solo shows, she steadily bridges it with Fleetwood’s Mac 1977 hit.
“The Highwayman” is about Eagles, the male members of Fleetwood Mac and the masculine rock stars of the ‘70s. “They’re the Errol Flynns and the Tyrone Powers of our day,” she advised Rolling Stone in 1981. “So so long as I’ve to stay with them, I attempt to make them into essentially the most great bunch of fellows I can presumably assume up.”
Fleetwood Mac Solo Albums Ranked Worst to Finest
There have been greater than 40 of those outdoors initiatives, which deepen and add to the band’s legacy.