Deep Dive: Stevie Nicks, SLEEPING ANGEL

Thursday, August 11, 2022
American singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks joins Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers onstage as the band play the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey, 30th July 1981. (Photo by Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

It was during the recording sessions for debut solo album, Bella Donna, when she crafted the song "Sleeping Angel." When the LP debuted in July 1981, "Sleeping Angel" hadn't made the cut of the record's 10 songs. The tune, however, would not be lost to history.

It was deep in the heart of summer 1982 when "Sleeping Angel" made its recorded debut as a song on the soundtrack for new movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High." A few weeks later in August '83, the movie debuted on a limited number of screens across the country. When the flick did big box office and created a word of mouth buzz that had kids packing theaters to see it, viewers were able to see the movie's soundtrack come to life.

While the instantly classic film deftly balanced the triumph and tragedy of American high school life, Nicks' "Sleeping Angel" provided the soundtrack for one of the most harrowing moments in the movie: when Jennifer Jason Leigh's character, 15-year-old Stacy Hamilton, lies to her big brother for a ride to a local abortion clinic.

In 1990, "Sleeping Angel" was among the songs remixed by Chris Lord-Alge for the collection Timespace: The Best of Stevie Nicks, but like with Bella Donna, did not make the final cut. The Lord-Alge remix finally landed on 1998 box set, Enchanted. An alternate mix of the track was included with the 2017 Deluxe Edition of Nicks' Bella Donna (via Stevie Nicks Info).

The song's performance history is brief; it was part of the acoustic section of Nicks' 1998 Enchanted tour. That tour still stands as the only time it's been performed live.