The resurgent appeal of Stevie Nicks

Her generous songs provide an antidote to today’s often embattled pop music.

Stevie Nicks Bella Donna (1981)The cover of Bella Donna, Stevie Nicks’s first solo album, shows the artist looking slender and wide-eyed, wearing a white gown, a gold bracelet, and a pair of ruched, knee-high platform boots. One arm is bent at an improbable angle; a sizable cockatoo sits on her hand. Behind her, next to a small crystal ball, is a tambourine threaded with three long-stemmed white roses. Nicks did not invent this storefront-psychic aesthetic—it is indebted, in varying degrees, to Hans Christian Andersen’s Thumbelina, de Troyes’s Guinevere, and Cher—but, beginning in the mid-nineteen-seventies, she came to embody it. The image was girlish and delicate, yet inscrutable, as if Nicks were suggesting that the world might not know everything she’s capable of.

This intimation is newly germane: a vague but feminine mysticism is in. Lorde, Azealia Banks, FKA Twigs, chvrches, Grimes, and Beyoncé have all incorporated bits of pagan-influenced iconography into their music videos and performances. Young women are now embracing benign occult representations, reclaiming the rites and ceremonies that women were once chastised (or worse) for performing. On runways, on the streets, and in thriving Etsy shops, you can find an assortment of cloaks, crescent-moon pendants, flared chiffon skirts, and the occasional jewelled headdress.

While Nicks’s sartorial choices have been widely mimicked, it’s rare to hear echoes of her magnanimity in modern pop songs, which are frequently defensive and embattled, preaching self-sufficiency at any cost. It’s difficult to imagine Nicks singing a lyric like “Middle fingers up, put them hands high / Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye,” as Beyoncé does in “Sorry,” a song from her newest album, Lemonade. Nicks’s default response to betrayal is more introspective than aggressive. Her music has long been considered a balm for certain stubborn strains of heartache; her songs are unsparing regarding the brutality of loss, yet they are buoyed by a kind of subtle optimism. It’s as if, by the time Nicks got around to singing about something, she already knew that she would survive it.

Stevie Nicks - Bella Donna Deluxe EditionThis month, Bella Donna, from 1981, and Nicks’s second solo album, The Wild Heart, from 1983, are being reissued. Nicks was thirty-three when Bella Donna was released. Though its cover might not suggest an excess of reason, in its songs she is a sagacious and measured presence. Her acknowledgment of the heart’s capriciousness is gentle, if not grandmotherly. There’s surely no kinder summation of love’s petulance than the chorus of “Think About It,” a jangling folk song about taking a breath before hurling yourself off a metaphorical cliff. “And the heart says, ‘Danger!’ ” Nicks sings. She pauses briefly. “And the heart says, ‘Whatever.’ ” For anyone busy self-flagellating over an error in judgment, this can feel like a rope ladder thrown from above—an invitation to scramble up and out of despair. It is generous and knowing, and offers a clear-eyed conclusion: some things can’t be helped.

Stevie Nicks - The Wild Heart Deluxe EditionIn 2012, Tavi Gevinson, the young founder of Rookie, an online magazine concerned chiefly with the complexities of teen-age girlhood, ended a tedx talk with some blunt advice: “Just be Stevie Nicks. That’s all you have to do.” What does it mean to be Stevie Nicks? To understand loss and longing as being merely the cost of doing business? To acknowledge the bottomless nature of certain aches, yet to know, in some instinctive way, that you’ll keep going? Nicks evokes Byron, in spirit and in certitude: “The heart will break, but broken live on.”

Nicks was born in 1948, in Phoenix. Her paternal grandfather, A. J. Nicks, Sr., was a struggling country musician, and he taught Nicks how to sing when she was four years old. She was given an acoustic guitar for her sixteenth birthday, and immediately wrote a song called “I’ve Loved and I’ve Lost and I’m Sad but Not Blue.” The title is a surprisingly succinct encapsulation of Nicks’s lyrical alchemy: a combination of acceptance (I am hurting) and perspective (I will not hurt forever).

1966-menlo-athertonIn 1966, when Nicks was in her senior year of high school and living in Atherton, California—her father, an executive at a meatpacking company, had been relocated there—she met the guitarist Lindsey Buckingham at a party. He was sitting cross-legged on the floor—bearded, curly-haired, and strumming the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin’.” Uninvited, she joined him in harmony. (“How brazen!” she later said.) Buckingham asked Nicks to join his band, Fritz. By 1971, the two were romantically involved. They eventually took off for Los Angeles, where they tried to make it as a duo, called Buckingham Nicks, releasing one album, in 1973, to very little acclaim. Not long afterward, Buckingham was asked to join Fleetwood Mac, a British blues band featuring the singer and keyboard player Christine McVie, the bassist John McVie, and the drummer Mick Fleetwood; the group was being rebooted as an American soft-rock act. Buckingham insisted that Nicks be invited, too. She ended up writing two of the band’s biggest early hits, “Landslide” and “Rhiannon.”

1977_uncredited03Extraordinary success often leads to spiritual dissolution, and Fleetwood Mac had its share of psychic turmoil. In 1975, Fleetwood divorced his wife, the model Jenny Boyd, after she had an affair with one of his former bandmates. Nicks and Buckingham broke up the following year. Around the same time, John and Christine McVie’s marriage collapsed. There was an ungodly amount of brandy and cocaine on hand to help nullify the despair. Still, in 1977, Fleetwood Mac—now five wild-eyed, newly single people—released Rumours, a collection of yearning songs about love and devotion. The record spent thirty-one weeks at the top of the charts, and is one of the best-selling albums in American history.

(Norman Seef)
(Norman Seef)

Tusk, which the group released two years later, was a bombastic double LP that cost a million dollars to produce. The critic Stephen Holden, in his review of the album for Rolling Stone, suggested that Nicks sounded “more than ever like a West Coast Patti Smith.” Superficially, at least, Nicks and Smith aren’t obvious analogues. Nicks is hyperfeminine, intuitive, and bohemian; Smith is androgynous, cerebral, and gritty. But both are unusually perceptive chroniclers of their time and place.

If Smith is obliged to the Lower East Side of Manhattan—and the punk scene that included the Ramones, Television, and Suicide—Nicks’s debt is to Laurel Canyon, and to the sentimental, silky-voiced artists who emerged from L.A. in the late sixties and early seventies. Some of those acts—James Taylor, the Eagles—are now considered, fairly or not, irrelevant to the Zeitgeist: too mellow, too affluent, too sexless, too white. Candles and incense and macramé plant hangers; wistful thoughts about weather. Nicks’s lyrics often worry over domestic or earthly concerns—gardens, mountains, flowers, the seasons—and how they might affect the whims of her heart. “It makes no difference at all / ’Cause I wear boots all summer long,” she sings in “Nightbird.” When compared with the dissonant and provocative music coming out of downtown New York, the California sound could seem limp. But the scene in Laurel Canyon was tumultuous. Many of its artists—including, at various times, Nicks—were wrecked by drug addiction. Nicks’s voice, a strange, quivering contralto, gives her songs unexpected weight. Its tone reminds me of the gloaming—that lambent, transitional moment between night and day.

Jimmy Iovine Stevie Nicks
Jimmy Iovine and Stevie Nicks, 1981 (Chris Walter)

Bella Donna was produced by Jimmy Iovine, a Brooklyn-born audio engineer who worked on Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run and produced the Patti Smith Group’s Easter and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Damn the Torpedoes. Iovine spent time in California, but his sensibility was tougher and more plainly that of the East Coast. He later became a co-founder of Interscope Records, where he helped to establish the career of the rapper Tupac Shakur, and, for a period, he oversaw the hip-hop label Death Row Records. Iovine was aware of concerns that Nicks was too coddled and immature to make a solo record as good as the records she’d made with Fleetwood Mac. Regardless, there was romantic chemistry. “This record was our love story unfolding,” she has said.

Bella Donna reached No. 1 on the Billboard chart, and produced four hit singles: “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” a duet with Petty; “Leather and Lace,” with Don Henley; “Edge of Seventeen”; and “After the Glitter Fades.” The last, a country song about the travails of stardom—Nicks wrote it just after she and Buckingham moved to Los Angeles, long before she had a record deal, showing either hubris or prescience—contains organ, pedal steel, and reassurances. “The dream keeps coming even when you forget to feel,” she sings.

Nicks, like most artists, culls inspiration from disparate sources. She is prone to saying things like “ ‘Edge of Seventeen’ was about Tom Petty and his wife, Jane, my uncle dying, and the assassination of John Lennon.” But her personal life—a tangle of love affairs, often with her collaborators—informs her work in explicit ways. “Heartbreak of the moment isn’t endless,” she sings, in “Think About It.” This might seem like a billowy platitude, but if you are someone who does not think that every flubbed decision is fodder for personal growth, it is comforting to hear someone assert that nearly all mistakes can be neutralized, if not conquered. If Bella Donna contains a single directive, it’s to love freely, love fully, and hang on.

Fleetwood Mac 1982
(David Montgomery)

In 1981, Iovine flew with Nicks to the Château d’Hérouville, in northern France, where Fleetwood Mac was recording its next album, Mirage. Iovine left almost immediately, to escape the interpersonal conflicts that roiled the band. Iovine and Nicks’s relationship foundered. The following fall, while Fleetwood Mac was on tour, Nicks’s childhood friend Robin Anderson died, of leukemia, at the age of thirty-three. “What was left over was just a big, horrible, empty world,” Nicks has said. Days before her death, Anderson had prematurely given birth to a son. Nicks, operating under the savage logic of grief, married her friend’s widower, Kim Anderson, thinking that she would help raise the child. They divorced three months later.

By 1983, Nicks was ready to make another record. Her relationship with Iovine was strained, but Nicks asked him to produce the record anyway. The Wild Heart is inspired in part by the unravelling of that relationship, and in part by her mourning for Anderson. Nicks frequently cites as a guiding influence for the recording sessions the 1939 film adaptation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, which depicts an undying, almost fiendish love. Mostly, the songs are about bucking against the circumstances that separate us from the people we need.

(Herbert W. Worthington, III)
(Herbert W. Worthington, III)

The artist Justin Vernon, of the band Bon Iver, uses a brief sample of “Wild Heart” (a track from The Wild Heart) on the group’s new album, “22, A Million.” Nicks’s voice is sped up, pitch-altered, and barely discernible as human—just a high, grousing “wah-wah,” deployed intermittently. Vernon pinched it from a popular YouTube video of Nicks, in which she sits on a stool having her makeup done, wearing a white dress with spaghetti straps. She begins to sing. Soon, someone is messing with a piano; one of her backup singers joins in with a harmony. The makeup artist gamely tries to continue with her work, before giving up. While the studio recording of “Wild Heart” is saturated, almost wet, this version is all air, all joy.

What affects me most about the video is how profoundly Nicks appears to love singing. Her voice has an undulating, galloping quality. It is as if, once it’s started up, there’s no slowing down, no stopping; the car is careering down a mountain, with no brakes. You can see on her face how good it feels just to let go.

Stand Back 1983“Stand Back,” the first single from The Wild Heart, was inspired by Prince’s “Little Red Corvette,” which Nicks heard on the radio while driving with Kim Anderson to San Ysidro Ranch, in Santa Barbara, for their honeymoon. (Prince played keyboards on the track, though he’s not credited in the album’s liner notes.) The song was produced in accordance with the style of the era, with lots of synthesizer and rubbery, overdubbed percussion. The lyrics describe a deliberate seduction followed by an acute betrayal. “First he took my heart, then he ran,” Nicks sings. The chorus is appropriately punchy: “Stand back, stand back,” she warns. Nicks is capable of going fully feral before a microphone, perhaps most famously at the end of “Silver Springs,” a song intended for Rumours and one of several that she wrote about Buckingham. (It ends with Nicks hollering, “Was I just a fool?”) On “Stand Back,” she erupts briefly, on the middle verses, but for the rest of the song she is more characteristically sanguine. “It’s all right, it’s all right,” she concedes. “I did not hear from you, it’s all right.”

Nicks went on to make six more solo albums, and three more with Fleetwood Mac. Following her divorce from Kim Anderson, she never married again, or had any children, though a rich maternal instinct runs through all her songs. This, more than anything else, may be the reason that Nicks’s work has endured—why listeners turn to her for consolation, especially now, when many feel wounded and the radio remains rife with confrontational whoops. To be Stevie Nicks is to offer shelter. ♦

Amanda Petrusich / The New Yorker / November 28, 2016

Amanda Petrusich is a contributing writer for newyorker.com, and the author of “Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records.” MORE

This article appears in other versions of the November 28, 2016, issue, with the headline “What the Heart Says.”

Bella Donna, The Wild Heart deluxe editions out now!

The deluxe editions of Stevie Nicks’ first two solo albums Bella Donna (1981) and The Wild Heart have been released. Both albums are available as CD deluxe editions with remastered sound, bonus tracks, new liner notes, and rare photos. The remastered vinyl edition of each album is also available.

Click here to see a list of purchase options.

Stevie Nicks - Bella Donna Deluxe Edition Stevie Nicks - The Wild Heart Deluxe Edition

Stevie Nicks Bella Donna Deluxe Edition Stevie Nicks Bella Donna Deluxe Edition Stevie Nicks The Wild Heart Deluxe Edition

LISTEN: ‘Bella Donna’ demo

Hear Stevie Nicks’ Intimate ‘Bella Donna’ Demo

Deluxe reissues of singer-songwriter’s first two solo albums, Bella Donna and The Wild Heart, out November 4th

On November 4th, Stevie Nicks‘ first two solo albums — Bella Donna and The Wild Heart — will be reissued via Rhino. Each deluxe release will feature not only the original LP but rarities and bonus tracks, like the previously unreleased demo of her solo debut’s title track, streaming below.

Stripped of its backing vocals as well as the raucous live band and synthesizers featured on the original album version, Nicks’ demo is a tender, intimate take on the song. She sings softly above just the piano track, nearly whispering “Bella donna, my soul” and barely reaching the full-throated belt she unleashes on the 1981 recording.

Later this month and just before releasing the reissues, Nicks will embark on a solo tour with opening act the Pretenders. Nicks’ tour is in support of her 2014 album 24K Gold, a collection of songs she had cut from her prior solo releases for various reasons. “These are the glory songs,” she told Rolling Stone of her reason to follow a multi-year world tour with Fleetwood Mac with the solo dates. “These are the sex, rock & roll and drugs songs that I’m actually not really writing right now, and these are the songs I could never write again.”

Brittany Spanos / Rolling Stone / Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bella Donna, The Wild Heart deluxe editions out Nov 4

STEVIE NICKS TO RELEASE DELUXE EDITONS OF HER FIRST TWO SOLO ALBUMS

Legendary Singer-Songwriter Builds On Her Unparalleled Legacy With Deluxe Editions Of Bella Donna And The Wild Heart. Available From Rhino On November 4.

24 Karat Gold Tour With Pretenders Kicks Off October 25

LOS ANGELES – Stevie Nicks, the legendary singer songwriter whose highly acclaimed 30 year solo career includes seven studio albums, iconic hits, and record sales in the millions, will release deluxe editions with newly remastered audio and never before released live and recorded music from her first two solo albums Bella Donna and The Wild Heart. The end of October dual releases will come out in conjunction with the start of Nicks’ 24 Karat Gold Tour with Pretenders which begins in Phoenix on October 25. Complete tour schedule follows this release.

BELLA DONNA: DELUXE EDITION is a three-CD set for $29.98 and THE WILD HEART: DELUXE EDITION is a two-CD set for $19.98. Both will be available on November 4. On the same day, newly remastered versions of the original albums will also be available on LP ($21.98) and CD ($11.98). The music will be available digitally and through streaming services as well. A complete list of cuts on both deluxe editions follows this release.

“I’ve had so much fun reliving the making of Bella Donna and The Wild Heart while working on the liner notes and listening to all of the alternate versions and demo takes,” says Nicks. “The liner notes are so much more than liner notes. They are like a little novel. I tried to make whoever reads this feel like they were there. I think…I succeeded….”

Nicks joined producer Jimmy Iovine to begin recording songs for her solo debut, Bella Donna following the recording of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk and subsequent tour. The 1981 album was quickly certified platinum. Today, the album is 4x platinum thanks to Nicks classics like “Edge Of Seventeen,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and “Leather And Lace” (with Don Henley).

BELLA DONNA: DELUXE EDITION uncovers unreleased versions of “Edge Of Seventeen” and “Leather And Lace,” as well as rarities like “Blue Lamp” from the Heavy Metal Soundtrack and “Sleeping Angel” from the Fast Times At Ridgemont High Soundtrack. This deluxe edition also includes a concert from 1981 that features performances of songs from Bella Donna along with several Fleetwood Mac favorites.

Nicks returned in 1983 with her follow-up, The Wild Heart, which peaked at #5 on the album chart and has been certified double platinum. The album produced hits like “Stand Back,” “Nightbird” and “I Will Run To You,” which features Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. THE WILD HEART: DELUXE EDITION builds on the original album with unreleased versions of “All The Beautiful Worlds” a session version of “Wild Heart” and “Garbo,” the B-side to “Stand Back.”

Stevie Nicks - Bella Donna Deluxe EditionBELLA DONNA: DELUXE EDITION

Track Listing

Disc One: Original Album

  1. “Bella Donna”
  2. “Kind Of Woman”
  3. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” – with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  4. “Think About It”
  5. “After The Glitter Fades”
  6. “Edge Of Seventeen”
  7. “How Still My Love”
  8. “Leather And Lace”
  9. “Outside The Rain”
  10. “The Highwayman”
Stevie Nicks
(Photo: Herbert W. Worthington, III)

Disc Two: Bonus Tracks

  1. “Edge Of Seventeen” – Early Take *
  2. “Think About It” – Alternate Version *
  3. “How Still My Love” – Alternate Version *
  4. “Leather And Lace” – Alternate Version *
  5. “Bella Donna” – Demo *
  6. “Gold And Braid” – Unreleased Version *
  7. “Sleeping Angel” – Alternate Version *
  8. “If You Were My Love” – Unreleased Version *
  9. “The Dealer” – Unreleased Version *
  10. “Blue Lamp” – From Heavy Metal Soundtrack
  11. “Sleeping Angel” – From Fast Times At Ridgemont High Soundtrack

Disc Three: Live 1981

  1. “Gold Dust Woman”
  2. “Gold And Braid”
  3. “I Need To Know”
  4. “Outside The Rain”
  5. “Dreams”
  6. “Angel” *
  7. “After The Glitter Fades”
  8. “Leather And Lace” *
  9. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”
  10. “Bella Donna” *
  11. “Sara”
  12. “How Still My Love” *
  13. “Edge Of Seventeen”
  14. “Rhiannon”

Stevie Nicks - The Wild Heart Deluxe EditionTHE WILD HEART: DELUXE EDITION

Track Listing

Disc One: Original Album

  1. “Wild Heart”
  2. If Anyone Falls”
  3. “Gate And Garden”
  4. “Enchanted”
  5. “Nightbird”
  6. “Stand Back”
  7. “I Will Run To You” – with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  8. “Nothing Ever Changes”
  9. “Sable On Blond”
  10. “Beauty And The Beast”

Disc Two: Bonus Tracks

  1. “Violet And Blue” – from Against All Odds Soundtrack
  2. “I Sing For The Things” – Unreleased Version *
  3. “Sable On Blond” – Alternate Version *
  4. “All The Beautiful Worlds” – Unreleased Version *
  5. “Sorcerer” – Unreleased Version *
  6. “Dial The Number” – Unreleased Version *
  7. “Garbo” – B-side
  8. “Are You Mine” – Demo *
  9. “Wild Heart” – Session *
  • previously unreleased

24 KARAT GOLD TOUR DATES

Source: Official press release


Enter to win the Bella Donna 3CD Deluxe Edition! (5 copies available)

This contest has ended. See winner’s list below. All winner’s have been notified via email.

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Enter to win The Wild Heart 2CD Deluxe Edition! (5 copies available)

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Happy 35th Anniversary, Bella Donna!

(Photo: Herbert W. Worthington, III)
(Photo: Herbert W. Worthington, III)

Stevie Nicks‘ debut solo album and crowning commercial achievement Bella Donna turns 35 today.

Packed with radio-friendly tracks, Bella Donna spawned four Top 40 singles: “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) (#3), “Leather and Lace” (with Don Henley) (#6), “Edge of Seventeen” (#11), and “After the Glitter Fades” (#32) To date, Bella Donna has sold than 5 million copies in the United States and Canada and 10 million copies worldwide. In 1982, Nicks earned two Grammy nominations for Best Rock Vocal Female for “Edge of Seventeen”; and Best Rock Vocal Group for “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.”

Stevie Nicks
(Photo: HBO)

Nicks supported the release of Bella Donna with a short 10-date national tour, dubbed “The White Winged Dove Tour.” The tour culminated with a series of concerts at the iconic Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, parts of which were later broadcast on HBO and NBC Radio. Nicks created one of the strongest set lists of her touring career, performing an unprecedented 8 tracks from a single album (Bella Donna); Fleetwood Mac classics “Dreams,” “Sara,” “Rhiannon,” and “Gold Dust Woman”; high-level deep cuts “Blue Lamp” and “Gold and Braid”; and even a Tom Petty cover, “I Need to Know.”

Jimmy Iovine Stevie Nicks
Jimmy Iovine and Stevie Nicks, 1981 (Photo: Chris Walter)

Nicks began her mission to launch a solo career in the late 1970s, planning the ambitious career move with record executives Paul Fishkin, Danny Goldberg, and Doug Morris. “I had all these tunes stored up,” Nicks explained. “I really needed to know that I could do something on my own” (People, 1982).

(Photo: Herbert W. Worthington, III)
(Photo: Herbert W. Worthington, III)

Along the way, the Nicks A-team recruited Tom-Petty-producer Jimmy Iovine, who enlisted Petty and the rest of his band The Heartbreakers to play on Nicks’ record. Nicks rounded our her band with backup singers Sharon Celani and Lori Nicks, who remain dear friends and loyal bandmates to this day.

Rolling Stone magazine
In 1981, Rolling Stone crowned Stevie Nicks as “the reigning queen of rock and roll.”

“I was particularly nervous about making this album,” Nicks revealed, “because I knew I wouldn’t have [the four other members of Fleetwood Mac] to blame if it didn’t do well. Fortunately, I had great people to work with who encouraged me constantly” (BAM, 1981).

Thirty-five years later, Bella Donna stands as Stevie Nicks’ most important recording, with timeless songs that continue to inspire and move generations of listeners. Fans would heartily agree “the feeling remains even after the glitter fades.”

https://stevie-nicks.info/2013/02/vintage-monday-gold-and-braid/

https://stevie-nicks.info/2013/05/vintage-video-edge-of-seventeen/

Redbeard celebrates 35th anniversary of Bella Donna

During the week of August 8, In the Studio with Redbeard will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Stevie Nicks’ debut solo album Bella Donna. The nationally syndicated radio show will air tracks from the 5X platinum album and interviews from Nicks talking about the recording sessions and the beginning of her solo career.

Bella Donna marks its 35th anniversary on Tuesday, July 27.

For a list of radio stations that air the show, click here.

VINTAGE VIDEO: ‘Edge of Seventeen’

This rarely-seen video for “Edge of Seventeen” has moments of pure telenovela, which beg for Stevie’s retrospective commentary. For example, why was brother Christopher shaking Stevie so violently (at 3:38)? Did he want her magical doll? Why is Stevie walking on the beach in her beautiful black dress? Many unanswered questions! So it’s a surprise to see it missing from the Crystal Visions…The Very Best of Stevie Nicks DVD video compilation, when the equally-campy “Scarlett version” of “Stand Back” was included. Like that video, “Edge” has everything that we love most about Stevie Nicks videos: drama, passion, and endless spinning! Stevie’s lip-syncing skills, still in their formative years, would probably get her voted off RuPaul’s drag race, but there is certainly no shortness of creativity, uniqueness, nerve, and talent in this raw, over-the-edge performance.

VINTAGE VIDEO: 'Gold and Braid'

“Gold and Braid,” or “Golden Braid” as it has been commonly known among fans, is a track from the Bella Donna recording sessions. Though it was never recorded for the album (or ANY album for that matter), it quickly became a cult fan favorite, kind of like the “Silver Springs” of Stevie’s solo career. The live version of the song finally found a home on Stevie’s 1998 Enchanted box set. But most fans will turn to this familiar performance from the 1981 White Winged Dove Tour to rekindle fond memories of marching high kicks and flying tambourines.

When Stevie performed “Gold and Braid” during her millennium shows in December 1999, she told the crowd how flabbergasted she was by the popularity of the song among her fans.

“This song was never recorded. That song we just played, I never recorded it. It was recorded as a demo and it went out on a million bootleg tapes. That’s fine, I don’t care. At least somebody heard it. It’s amazing to me that so many people know this song that was never on a record.”

Why she never recorded a completed studio version remains a mystery. But, of course, there is certainly no shortage of songs about Lindsey Buckingham. (Yes, this one is partly about him, too.)

VINTAGE VIDEO: ‘Gold and Braid’

“Gold and Braid,” or “Golden Braid” as it has been commonly known among fans, is a track from the Bella Donna recording sessions. Though it was never recorded for the album (or ANY album for that matter), it quickly became a cult fan favorite, kind of like the “Silver Springs” of Stevie’s solo career. The live version of the song finally found a home on Stevie’s 1998 Enchanted box set. But most fans will turn to this familiar performance from the 1981 White Winged Dove Tour to rekindle fond memories of marching high kicks and flying tambourines.

When Stevie performed “Gold and Braid” during her millennium shows in December 1999, she told the crowd how flabbergasted she was by the song’s popularity.

“This song was never recorded. That song we just played, I never recorded it. It was recorded as a demo and it went out on a million bootleg tapes. That’s fine, I don’t care. At least somebody heard it. It’s amazing to me that so many people know this song that was never on a record.”

Why she never recorded a completed studio version remains a mystery. But, of course, there is certainly no shortage of songs about Lindsey Buckingham. (Yes, this one is partly about him, too.)

MTV @ 25

On August 1, 1981, MTV began broadcasting to the world. One of the first music videos played that day was Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, the hit duet by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty.

“I’d never done a video before. That was pre-Fleetwood Mac videos. If you watch it, you’ll see that the lip synching is particularly horrible because we’d never done it before. And it’s hysterical to watch. You see both of us look at each other like, what the…? What was that? And the film’s rolling. So anyway, of course it became this huge song because it was the first song off my first solo record. So really, it spun off my entire solo career. So, thank you Tom Petty for that!”

–Stevie Nicks, 2005