By Jessica Wheeler, AliveTampaBay Columnist
A voice like black velvet, dreamy lyrics and a witchily elegant style have served Stevie Nicks well, helping her rack up countless hits as a member of Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist. In honor of her upcoming Nov. 2 show at Amalie Arena, get to know Stevie Nicks in five songs.
Nicks and longtime partner Lindsey Buckingham joined British blues rock band Fleetwood Mac in 1975, bringing with them two unique voices and a whole lot of songs. With the infusion of new blood into the established band, Fleetwood Mac turned from the blues to pop, featuring songs like Nicks’ “Landslide” and Christine McVie’s “Over My Head” on their self-titled 1975 album. The most enduring song from the album has proven to be Nicks’ “Rhiannon,” a song inspired by the story of a Welsh witch. The song was a radio staple and firmly established the band as a top concert draw, while also laying the template for many dark and dreamy songs to come.
The next Fleetwood Mac album, Rumours, became the biggest hit of the decade, but behind the scenes the band was falling apart. Relationships, including the one between Nicks and Buckingham, were unraveling. While all of the songs on the album trace the dissolution of partnerships with lyrics about heartbreak and betrayal, it was Nicks’ song “Dreams” that gave the band their only No. 1 hit.
Edge of Seventeen
Going solo for the first time in 1981, Nicks released the album Bella Donna. It featured several hits, including “Leather and Lace” and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” but the emotional centerpiece was the spiky “Edge of Seventeen.” Written after the death of John Lennon as Nicks recalled her emotional connection with the singer and his music, the song became her concert finale and an enduring anthem.
When she heard Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” playing on the car stereo on the way to her wedding, Nicks was inspired to write the song “Stand Back,” finishing the composition in her honeymoon suite that night. Prince himself played the synthesizers on the song when she recorded it, flattered that he had inspired the song. It was a musical departure for Nicks at the time, and earned her one of her biggest hits.
Written during the time of Rumours, “Silver Springs” had been recorded but left off the album. The song saw release as the B-side of the “Go Your Own Way” single, then disappeared, causing even more tension within the band. When Fleetwood Mac reunited for 1997’s The Dance, “Silver Springs” finally got the attention it deserved: a prominent place in live shows and release as a single.