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Bella Donna: ‘Come in out of the darkness’

A look back on Stevie Nicks’ landmark solo debut

On July 27, Stevie Nicks’ debut solo recording Bella Donna turned 35. As we celebrate this historic recording, Stevie Nicks Info looks back on the tracks that comprised Nicks’ most important album, a personal statement of artistic expression and independence. First stop: “Bella Donna.”

While Nicks’ primary goal was to record a backlog of quality material, Bella Donna quickly transcended all expectations, setting the stage for a monster solo career. High Times described the songs of Bella Donna as Nicks’ “special way of combining vulnerability with strength,” a quality that Nicks affirmed in the standout title track.

“That’s what ‘Bella Donna’ is about…’come in out of the darkness,'” Nicks explained in 1981. “I had to prove to myself that I could exist on my own” (High Times).

The self-empowering title track kicked off Side A of the five-million bestseller and literally set the stage for even bigger showstoppers.

Here is the live version of “Bella Donna,” recorded at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, December 1981.

Bella Donna (Live 1981) – Stevie Nicks

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Video courtesy of jonjon1303

Album Version

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Stevie Nicks, Stand Back 1981-2017, compilation

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