Happy 35th: Stevie Nicks, Bella Donna
35 years ago today, Stevie Nicks released her first-ever solo album, kicking off a career which has resulted in 10 top-40 singles and more than a few classic LPs.
Stevie Nicks’s evolution from a member of Fleetwood Mac into a solo artist in her own right was one which came about organically: when you’re part of a band that has three songwriters, it’s hard to keep things fair and spread the wealth while still providing space for all of the material that was being written. As a result, Ms. Nicks took some time during the sessions for TUSK to record demos for a solo project, but that was in ’78, and when TUSK was released in ’79, she was decidedly preoccupied with touring behind that album.
Finally, in 1981, BELLA DONNA emerged, released on Modern Records, a label founded by Paul Fishkin, Danny Goldberg, and Nicks herself. Given how insanely popular Fleetwood Mac was by that point in their career, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the album soon found its way to the top of the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. More importantly, though, four tracks – “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (a duet with Tom Petty), “Leather and Lace” (a duet with Don Henley), “Edge of Seventeen,” and “After the Glitter Fades” all made it into the top 40, with “Leather and Lace” hitting #6 and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” climbing all the way to #3.
Her success as a solo artist proven in a big, big way, Nicks subsequently went on to balance her time between Fleetwood Mac and her own work, and whenever the former has gone away for a while, the latter has always been there to keep her in the public eye.