Posts Tagged ‘Gypsy’


Fleetwood Mac is one of those bands that loves to experiment with new sounds. Sometimes it works for them – such as the stylistic change they experienced with the addition of the two Americans in 1974 [guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and his then-girlfriend, Stevie Nicks] to a then-all British blues band. Other times the band experiments a little too much, such as they did with the addition of Bekka Bramlett in the 90’s due to the absence of singer Stevie Nicks.

Cool Water is the b-side to their hit 1982 single Gypsy from Mirage. Thankfully, it was left off the album. It’s stylistically more fitting for a Lindsey Buckingham album, not Fleetwood Mac.

The verdict: don’t waste your time with this track.

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On July 27, 1981 Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks released her landmark solo album Bella Donna. That album with songs

30 years of entertainment and white-winged doves

like Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, Leather and Lace – both duets with Tom Petty and Don Henley respectively, and the ever-popular Edge of Seventeen launched her enduring solo career. Though its a belated birthday, I, would like to present you with the 10 facts that you probably didn’t know about Bella Donna.

  1. The most well-known single from this album is, of course, Edge of Seventeen. Nicks has said that this song is about the death of her uncle and the death of John Lennon. She explained in her Live In Concert video that “I was in Australia when John Lennon was shot. Everybody was devastated. I didn’t know John Lennon, but I knew Jimmy Iovine, who worked with John quite a bit in the ’70s, and heard all the loving stories that Jimmy told about him. When I came back to Phoenix I started to write this song. Right when I got to Phoenix, my uncle Bill got cancer, got very sick very fast, and died in a couple of weeks. My cousin John Nicks and I were in the room when he died. There was just John and I there. That was part of the song when I went running down the hallways looking for somebody – I thought where’s my mom? Where’s his wife and the rest of the family? At that point I went back to the piano and finished the song.”
  2. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around was one of the earliest videos to air on a new network that debuted on August 1, 1981 at midnight called Mtv. Mtv ended up being massively popular with teenagers and young adults and introduced both Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Nicks to a younger audience.
  3. Producer Jimmy Iovine (who has since worked with rap artist Eminem, Dr. Dre and R&B singer Mary J. Blige among others) produced the album. Iovine and Nicks ended up moving in together during the making of the album.
  4. Bella Donna is an italian expression for “beautiful woman.”
  5. Some tracks did not make the final cut of Bella Donna, but were included on other albums. Some of these tracks were “I Sing For Things (which was eventually re-recorded for her 1985 album Rock A Little), Gypsy (which was included later on Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage album in 1982), Sleeping Angel (which was included on the soundtrack to the hit film Fast Times at Ridgemont High), Blue Lamp (which was included on the Heavy Metal soundtrack) and Gold and Braid, which Nicks has performed live for the Bella Donna tour.
  6. The Bella Donna tour kicked off in Houston, TX at the the Summit, which was also where fellow rockers Journey recorded their 1981 Live In Houston – the Escape Tour video. Nicks herself would later return to The Summit in 1989 for her The Other Side of the Mirror tour and film the video for Whole Lotta Trouble at said concert. The Summit was the home of the Houston Rockets and later became known as the Compaq Center. It now currently houses bestselling Christian author Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church.
  7. There are many tracks that still remain officially unreleased but have become popular on sites like youtube and other peer-to-peer sites. Some of these tracks include “Castaway,” “Lady From the Mountains,””China Doll”, “Christian (Spinning Wheels)”, another duet with Tom Petty, and “Stay Away.”
  8. Bella Donna hit #1 on the US Billboard charts in September 1981 and was awarded platinum status 2 months later. It has since gone 4x platinum.
  9. This was the 1st recording to feature Nicks’ longtime backup vocalists Sharon Celani and Lori Perry Nicks.
  10. Nicks wrote Leather and Lace for a duet album for country singer Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter. However it wasn’t used by either singer so Nicks recorded it as a duet with Don Henley. The song itself hit #6 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in January 1982.

I will post what the Wild Heart considers to be the 20 best Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks songs.

  1. This is the sole song that was written by the entire band.
  2. This song was apparently written for Christine McVie‘s then-boyfriend, Dennis Wilson of  the legendary Beach Boys. Their relationship ended in 1981 due to his alcoholism. Unfortunately he passed away in 1983 when he drowned somewhere in Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles when he was once again drinking heavily, jumped off his yacht and tried to retrieve stuff he had thrown out 3 years prior. 
  3. This was the song that introduced me to Fleetwood Mac.
  4. This is, at least for me, one of those songs you occasionally hear on the radio, but you don’t know what it is. When I first put in the album that this is on, Tango In the Night, I called up my now ex-boyfriend (who gave me the album on a trip to San Antonio – we found in in an antique shop and it is one of the few things I still look at or listen to since the relationship ended) and ecstatically exclaimed that this was the song that I was looking f0r from Stevie Nicks. It is one of her best with Fleetwood Mac – even though most people don’t like this particular album. 
  5.  When I was a young girl, my father used to tell me the rumor about Stevie Nicks being a witch or was a member of a family of witches as truth. As a Christian, it is wrong to perpetuate rumours. Though yes, some of her beliefs I do question, I still enjoy her music, buy her albums and dance around to her music. If anything, I would rather pray for her.
  6. Every single time I hear this song I think of my friend that is currently in a bad relationship. She is currently pregnant with his child. Kinda haunting, but great at the same time.
  7. I love how Stevie changes the lyrics from the original recording in this song. Also, her voice is much more raspier, which brings the song to a whole new level of amazing!
  8. One of the best duets I have ever heard.
  9. This is what happens when you mix Inception, a fun house, “love grunts” and a really cute Lindsey Buckingham. By the way, every other time that they try to do this song live, they never do this song justice: its always stripped down and acoustic. So here is my plea: STOP DOING IT ACOUSTIC! It sounded better when done in the studio. Ever heard of the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well Lindsey it wasn’t broke so why are you fixing it?
  10. I frequently quote this song. At least in my head.
  11. Also written for Dennis Wilson.
  12. Some bands don’t age well when they put out later material. Say You Will, released in 2003, the album entered the Billboard 200 charts at #3. They also had a very successful Unleashed tour in 2009. They have aged very well, don’t you think?
  13. This is perhaps Nick’s best-known song even to the point that Destiny’s Child sampled the guitar riff for their 2001 hit Bootylicious. Stevie even makes a cameo in the video for the song as the woman playing the guitar riff. 
  14. Everytime I hear this song I either want to get up and dance with sashes upon my arms and/or sing.
  15. I once tried to dedicate this song to a friend of mine who was about to get married. It was my own little way of saying “Congrats, he’s a good guy.” Sadly  Oprah didn’t pick my name as the “Ultimate Stevie Nicks Fan.”
  16. About a week ago, due to some some personal issues that have been going on in my life, I listened to this song and broke down crying. 
  17. Finally, one for those that love the Soundstage Sessions, aka “Live in Chicago” dvd: Enchaaannteedd!

Band fights: Almost every single band goes through this. Fleetwood Mac was no

Mirage is another example of what can come from pain: beautiful music.

exception with their release of 1982’s Mirage. There was much in-fighting within the band that seems to stem from the time during when Rumours was released in 1977.

One of the best tracks on the album is the Lindsey Buckingham-penned Can’t Go Back. It’s made even better by the beautiful piano playing and finger-picking guitar combination of Christine McVie and Buckingham. However, the melody of the song does not seem to match the overall lyrics. The overall lyrics are about lost love.

On the country-tinged That’s Alright, Stevie Nicks talks about a mutual breakup. Overall, it doesn’t seem to stand the test of time as the other great Nicks-penned track. Gypsy. Gypsy is a beautiful track that has a beautiful piano highlighting the entire track with Buckingham on backup vocals. Also, the lyrics are completely impeccable when Nicks says “So I’m back to the velvet underground/ Back to the floor that I love/ To a room with some lace and paper flowers/ Back to the gypsy/ that I was/ To the gypsy/ that I was.” She only gets better on Straight Back – which seems like a deeper version of Dreams. It keeps getting better when she starts singing with McVie.

Keyboardist Christine McVie never seems to disappoint with her contributions to Mirage. Only Over You, a love song written to her then-boyfriend and late member of the Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson. McVie’s voice is often underestimated and it should not be because it is the thing that makes this track absolutely beautiful.

However, one of the most annoying tracks is Book of Love, where Lindsey Buckingham cries throughout the chorus “Oh tell me who wrote the book of love/ Was it somebody from above/ Surely he must know all the rules.” Overall, the writing is on the wall about whom the song is about: Stevie Nicks.

Hold Me has to be the best album track overall due to McVie and Buckingham’s almost duet-like singing. McVie and Buckingham blend very well vocally.

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