Can’t do one without doing the other, I suppose.
After seeing massive success with her debut solo album, “Belladonna”, Stevie Nicks settled into more regular pattern of releasing solo works between Fleetwood Mac
cash grabs reunions, delving into a bit of synth-y New Wave with her second solo album, 1983’s “The Wild Heart”. You probably heard the story about its first single, Top 5 hit “Stand Back” – “that’s Prince playing keyboards!” Well, not really. Prince reportedly played on the demo version of the song and gets a co-writing credit, but keyboardist Sandy Stewart actually did the synth duties on the finished product. And the video is significant because it was the only time Stevie ever used a treadmill:
Yes, Lost in the ’80s – home of the cheap shot.
Stewart also co-wrote “The Wild Heart’s” second single, “If Anyone Falls”, which was even more synth-drenched. “If Anyone Falls” is a pleasant enough tune, but those opening lyrics still crack me up:
“I hear a voice in the room next to mine
Feels good, sounds good
Closes the door from behind
And another voice comes thru the door”
…then she goes on to talk about her lover. Um, who were the other two people in the room next to hers? Her lover and a mistress? And the voice closes the door? Impressive. Huh? Coke paranoia says what?
Don’t blink or you’ll miss Mick Fleetwood…
Speaking of Bolivian nose candy, boy oh boy howdy, was Mizz Nicks snortin’ it up by the ‘dozer-full back in those days. Ever hear the urban legend about the origin of the Stevie Nicks Booty Bump? It’s really not worksafe. Let’s just say it involves snorting coke without using your nose, but with a straw and another orifice. If you’d like me to share further, ask me in the comments. But anyhooze, the point being is that Miz Nicks was getting progressively more and more snowblind, so outside writers were brought in, more synths were stacked up and the result was “Rock a Little”. Love the title – rock a little, not a whole lot, ‘k?
First single “Talk To Me” was pretty typical Nicks fare and resulted in another big Top 5 hit. The follow-up, “I Can’t Wait” is quite interesting, though. Take a listen and forget it’s by Stevie Nicks for a sec – get to about the thirty second mark and tell me that doesn’t sound exactly like New Order at the time. The synth-bass, the sampled orchestral stings…a definite influence, and not one people would immediately associate with the Welsh Witch.
And as for the video, I have two words for you: Stairs Choreography!
After a rocky “Rock A Little” tour, marred by the ravages of coke on Nicks’ voice and figure, Stevie retreated for a bit to rejoin the Mac for a couple more albums, with two disjointed and relatively ignored solo albums before finally cleaning up her act and joining the classic Mac line-up for the huge “The Dance” comeback album and tour. Since then, Stevie continues to work with Fleetwood Mac while putting out solo work in the downtime. And Nicks hasn’t left the New Wave/Dance influences entirely behind her, as her #1 Dance Club Hit from 2001, “Planets of the Universe” can attest.
Oh, and uh, wow.
“If Anyone Falls” peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983.
“I Can’t Wait” peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986.
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