Posts Tagged ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’


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.
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As a member of Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks was just one of many contributing voices and songwriters. However she proves that she is much more with the release of Bella Donna.

This album is almost like an extension of her contributions to Fleetwood Mac at least on the title track and Kind of Woman, but she quickly kicks things into gear with a duet, Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around with fellow rocker Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It is a sign of what is to come on her next album, The Wild Heart. She continues this with the country-tinged Think About It and The Highwayman. 

However, Bella Donna takes flight in the area of sheer amazement with the ever-popular and seminal smash Edge of Seventeen. It is one of the best songs of the album not only because of its driving guitar, but even its meaning. It has a pretty interesting story behind the song. Nevertheless it is a sad story. It is about the death of both ex-Beatle John Lennon and Nicks’ Uncle John, who died around the same time of each other. It is referenced metaphorically throughout the song. Nicks has talked about this many times whenever the subject of this song comes up. It has since become a staple of all her concerts.

On Leather and Lace, former boyfriend and Eagles lead singer Don Henley joins her in a rather beautiful manner. She tells him “I have my own life/ and I am stronger than you know/ But I carry this feeling/ That when you walked into my house/ That you won’t be walking out the door.”

Overall the album still sounds like some of the Fleetwood Mac material, yet Nicks shows that she is capable of having a great solo career outside of the band.


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!

In keeping with the fact that Rumours will be the theme of next weeks episode of Glee, I thought it would be fun to post some videos of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks behind the scenes and live. Enjoy!

Stevie Nicks rehearses a demo of “The Wild Heart” while applying makeup

Behind the scenes footage of the video shoot for “Hold Me.”

The first performance ever of Nicks’ iconic hit Stand Back. Unfortunately she is a bit coked up  on this performance at the Us Festival – however she is really funny throughout this performance which is what makes it a classic. 

I love it when Stevie performs with Tom Petty! It always is a great performance!

And now for some DEMOS!!! Some of the demos sound better than the released versions! Every Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks fan needs to hear them!

Demos for “Little Lies”  

Demo for “Seven Wonders.” Though this is one of my favorite songs off the “Tango In the Night” album, thank goodness they made it better!

Demo for “Hold Me.” This is probably one of my favorite demos and even the finished song is a favorite.

Honestly I think the “Tango In the Night” recording is much better.

Lesson to be learned: don’t make Stevie mad at you. This is a great demo of “Smile at You.”

One of the most underrated tracks from “The Wild Heart:” “Nothing Ever Changes.” Good thing is that this track did change – at least on the chorus.  

I am kinda liking this demo of “Talk to Me.”
What collection of demos would be complete with a few takes of “Edge Of Seventeen?” None!