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Reissue Theory: Stevie Nicks Solo – and Beyond

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Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we reflect on notable albums and the reissues they could someday see. With anticipation running high for a new album from Stevie Nicks in a few months, we bring you a special look back at her first two solo albums – which have never been expanded – and that one record she’s on that fans have been anxiously waiting for an official CD release…

This post is dedicated with love to Stephen Sears, a good friend of The Second Disc. Today is his birthday! Wish him a good one at his blog.

Stephanie Lynn Nicks is many things to many people – an accomplished singer/songwriter both on her own and as a member of Fleetwood Mac, an icon of ’70s rock music and all its styles and excesses, a witch (just kidding!) – and she’s going to drop In Your Dreams, her first solo album in a decade, this coming May. This will come after a co-headlining tour with Rod Stewart slated to begin next week. (Of course, she toured with Fleetwood Mac in 2009 as well – but right now this is mostly Nicks’ time to shine!)

Clearly, this is a year to get your Nicks fix. With that in mind, we take a trip down memory lane through three of her earliest, most significant moments on record outside of Fleetwood Mac. Join us after the jump!

If you’re a CD collector, there are two words that’ll always make you salivate: Buckingham Nicks. This LP, released by (as read on the jacket) Lindsey Buckingham and “Stevi” Nicks, came from the ashes of Fritz, a band the couple (who’d known each other since high school in the mid-’60s and subsequently attended and dropped out of college together) had been part of, to moderate local success. The ten tracks aren’t terribly different from what one might expect from Fleetwood Mac’s pop period; in fact, two of the songs ended up in the band’s repertoire. But at the time, it was not a success, and only gained cult status once the pair joined Mick Fleetwood and Christine and John McVie in that other band.

But here’s where things get crazy: the album has never been released on CD. Not once. If you have it in your collection, it’s a bootleg. (You probably know that already, but just want to hear the damn thing!) Rhino had prepped an expanded edition (with unspecified bonus material) for release in 2003, but it never materialized. It’s certainly a high holy grail for many collectors, and one can only hope that it sees the light someday.

Buckingham Nicks, Buckingham Nicks (Polydor PD-5058, 1973)

  1. Crying in the Night
  2. Stephanie
  3. Without a Leg to Stand On
  4. Crystal
  5. Long Distance Winner
  6. Don’t Let Me Down Again
  7. Django
  8. Races Are Run
  9. Lola (My Love)
  10. Frozen Love

Track 2 later released on Lindsey Buckingham Words & Music: A Retrospective promotional disc (Reprise PRO-CD-5482, 1992)
Track 4 later re-recorded for Fleetwood Mac (Reprise MSK-2281, 1975) and by Stevie Nicks for Practical Magic: Music from the Motion Picture (Warner Sunset/Reprise 9 47140-2, 1998)
Track 5 later released on Stevie Nicks Enchanted box set (Atlantic/Modern 83093-2, 1998)
Track 6 later re-recorded for Fleetwood Mac Live (Warner Bros. 2WB-3500, 1980)

Stevie struck out on her own as a solo artist in 1981, not long after the grandiosity of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk LP and tour in 1979. Produced by Jimmy Iovine and Tom Petty and ecorded with some astounding musicians – Petty and Don Henley served as duet partners, and Don Felder, Russ Kunkel, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Waddy Wachtel, Roy Bittan and Davey Johnstone all guested on the record – Bella Donna was a critical and commercial smash, topping the Billboard album chart and spinning off three Top 20 singles in “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” “Leather and Lace” and “Edge of Seventeen” (which kids my age rediscovered as the hook for Destiny’s Child’s “Bootylicious”).

There are plenty of outtake opportunities for an expansion of Bella Donna; our theoretical track list only scratches the surface! We’ve included two songs that ended up on notable soundtracks at the time (“Blue Lamp” from Heavy Metal and “Sleeping Angel” from Fast Times at Ridgemont High), two live tracks from her lauded White Winged Dove Tour and two of the known, fully complete songs from the album sessions that have yet to see a release. And then we’ve added a DVD section that would set fans minds ablaze: an expanded edition of the final show on the White Winged Dove Tour. An edited portion was broadcast on HBO in 1982 and subsequently released to video, but we’ve included the whole set list, in the event that all the footage is intact.

Stevie Nicks, Bella Donna

Disc 1: Expanded LP (Tracks 1-10 released as Modern Records MR 38-139, 1981)

  1. Bella Donna
  2. Kind of Woman
  3. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around (with Tom Petty)
  4. Think About It
  5. After the Glitter Fades
  6. Edge of Seventeen
  7. How Still My Love
  8. Leather and Lace (with Don Henley)
  9. Outside the Rain
  10. The Highwayman
  11. Blue Lamp (from Heavy Metal: Music from the Motion Picture – Asylum DP 90004, 1981)
  12. Sleeping Angel (from Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Music from the Motion Picture – Full Moon/Asylum 60158-1, 1982)
  13. Julia (previously unreleased studio take)
  14. If You Were My Love (previously unreleased studio take)
  15. Gold and Braid (Live from the White Winged Dove Tour) (from Enchanted box set – Atlantic/Modern 83093-2, 1998)
  16. (Edge of Seventeen (Live) (from 12″ promo – Modern DMD-315, 1982)

Disc 2: DVD – White Winged Dove: Live at The Wilshire Fox Theatre in Beverly Hills – 12/13/1981 (originally released in part on CBS/FOX VHS, 1982)

  1. Gold Dust Woman *
  2. Think About It
  3. Outside the Rain *
  4. Dreams *
  5. Angel
  6. After the Glitter Fades
  7. Gold and Braid *
  8. I Need to Know *
  9. Sara *
  10. Bella Donna
  11. Blue Lamp
  12. Leather And Lace
  13. How Still My Love
  14. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around *
  15. Edge of Seventeen *
  16. Rhiannon (Piano Version) *
  17. Rhiannon (Full Rock Version) *

* indicates track released on CBS/FOX VHS and HBO special

Two years later, Nicks struck out on her own again, while Fleetwood Mac were mostly on hiatus (after the aforementioned White Winged Dove show, she immediately rejoined the band for another tour). Nicks’ life had changed somewhat, with a new husband (Kim Anderson, the widower of her best friend who passed away shortly after Bella Donna was released) and established clout as a solo artist.

The biggest hit off the new record, The Wild Heart, was inspired on the first day of Nicks’ and Anderson’s honeymoon; while driving, Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” came on the radio. The emerging artist struck Nicks profoundly, and she crafted a demo within hours based on the rhythm and chord progression of the song. When it came time to record “Stand Back,” Nicks ended up calling Prince (who was still pleasantly signed to Warner Bros., like Fleetwood Mac) and explaining how he inspired the tune; in turn, he came to the studio, sat down at an Oberheim OB-Xa synth, played the iconic riffs hear in the song and left. (The insane postscript to the story? Prince later gave Nicks a song that she ended up turning down; he took it back and ended up finishing the title track to Purple Rain.)

While there are fewer outtakes from The Wild Heart sessions, we’ve included one non-LP B-side, “Garbo,” and a rare 12″ promo mix of “Stand Back” that has never been released in any capacity. For bonus material, we add a disc of a pre-tour show Nicks did at the short-lived US Festival in California.

Stevie Nicks, The Wild Heart

Disc 1: Expanded LP

  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)
  8. Nothing Ever Changes
  9. Sable on Blond
  10. Beauty and the Beast
  11. Garbo (B-side to “Stand Back” – Modern Records 7-99863, 1983)
  12. Stand Back (12″ Promo Mix) (12″ A-side – Modern Records PR-507(?), 1983)

Disc 2: Live at the US Festival, San Bernadino, CA – 5/30/1983

  1. Gold Dust Woman
  2. Outside the Rain
  3. Dreams
  4. I Need to Know
  5. Sara
  6. If Anyone Falls
  7. Leather and Lace
  8. Stand Back
  9. Beauty and the Beast
  10. Gypsy
  11. How Still My Love
  12. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
  13. Edge of Seventeen
  14. Rhiannon (piano version)
  15. Rhiannon (full rock version)

Written by Mike Duquette

March 16, 2011 at 15:50

7 Responses

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  1. The Buckingham Nicks disc is missing the single mix of Crying In The Night and there are several demo’s and live tracks that have surfaced. As any hardcore Stevie Nicks fan would be able to tell you, there are loads of Bella Donna outtakes and alternate takes, so a BD deluxe set could easily encompass three discs, even without including the White Winged Dove concert!

    Rick

    March 16, 2011 at 16:43

  2. Brilliant! Thanks so much. Your Bella Donna looks exactly like what I would do. For The Wild Heart bonus, I am pretty sure “Violet And Blue” (from the Against All Odds soundtrack) was recorded around that time and could be included. I don’t have the old Stand Back 12″ at all – GASP!

    Tidbit: Stevie ALMOST recorded a song Bruce Springsteen wrote for her called “Don’t Lose Heart” but it never was finished. He later released it as a b-side called “Janey Don’t Lose Heart” (or something). I remember Rolling Stone reporting on it when she was doing The Wild Heart.

    Her soundtrack cuts were usually brilliant. Sleeping Angel is a classic. And why did she leave Garbo of TWH?!

    I also love her track with Robbie Patton from 1983 – Smiling Islands. It has what is literally one of her warmest vocals. I wish she had recorded it solo. Gorgeous song.

    xolondon

    March 16, 2011 at 16:47

  3. Sorry to put a dampner on this fin theory – but the Stand Back promo 12″ just consisted of the single edit (4:18) and the lp cut – there was no mix for this track – sorry guys

    Andee

    March 18, 2011 at 04:02

    • Sorry, you are incorrect. Warner issued three 12″ versions of Stand Back. The promo to which you refer features the radio edit and the album version, and is notable for the misprint on the sleeve switching the running time of the tracks. There is a UK 12″: and a German 12″ with different track listing. Warner also issued a 12″ promo with 7:56 mix of “Stand Back.” Copies of that 12″ go for big bucks.

      batgirlknows

      June 15, 2011 at 05:20

  4. Sad trombones…

    Steve

    March 21, 2011 at 23:23

  5. I also remember an electric guitar version of Crying in the night. I recieved it sometime in the 80s,altho I really dont know where it originated from.

    Bryan

    April 20, 2011 at 18:41

  6. Last year, Prince finally set the record straight regarding his contribution to the recording of “Stand Back.” He did not play on the record or contribute “iconic riffs,” and he was only present in the studio for about 45 minutes total. He programmed the drum machine Stevie and her assistant were struggling with. Stevie – who was high – didn’t understand what he’d done, but knew something sounded better. When asked about Prince she simply said “he added this amazing great part”in an effort to be complimentary and vague. The keyboard parts were already present when Prince arrived. She wanted to give him a co-writing credit but he refused because he didn’t write a note of it. He’s a class act in my book and so is she.

    batgirlknows

    June 15, 2011 at 04:58


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