Fleetwood Mac’s siren soars with her first solo album Bella Donna.
by Blair Jackson
THE VIEW FROM THE living room of Stevie Nicks’ Marina del Rey condominium is spectacular. As far as the eye can see there is nothing but an endless expanse of sand, ocean and sky. It is probably as close to a truly peaceful place as can be found in the Los Angeles area. Inside, the golden rays of late afternoon sun cast a glow on the warm pinks and beiges that dominate the room. Two rooms away is the bustling nerve center of the household, where workers have been handling phone calls and a stream of interviewers awaiting an audience with the hottest-selling artist in rock and roll.
Actually, the word “audience” is terribly unfair, because it implies pretension, and Stevie Nicks doesn’t leave a pretentious bone in her body. Though she has been a platinum selling artist for six years as a member of Fleetwood Mac, and her face has been steadily gracing the covers of magazines as long, the Stevie Nicks I interviewed for two and one-half hours recently seemed remarkably unaffected by success and candid! almost to a fault. ,
Her first solo album, Bella Donna, is already a smash hit — it is sitting at – Number One on Billboard’s chart as this is being written, and it looks like it will only he a week or two before –Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,– the gutsy, rock single that she sings as a duet with the song’s author, Tom Petty, also hits Number One. A new Fleetwood Mac album is due this fall, too, so it looks, as though the airwaves will belong to Stevie Nicks for the next several months.
Nicks’ rise to fame was a relatively-quick one. She and Lindsey Buckingham moved to Los Angeles in the early ’70s after several years as members of the once-popular Bay Area hand Fritz. ‘They cut an album as a duo (still available on Polygram) and then were asked to join Fleetwood Mac, which was struggling following the departure of Bob Welch. The first album the new five-piece Mac made Fleetwood Mac, was an enormous hit, thanks largely to the presence of Nicks and Buckingham, whose songwriting and singing totally dominated the LP. “Rhiannon,” a swirling Nicks tune about a Welsh witch, immediately established Nicks as one of the top women singer-songwriters in rock. Continue reading