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While Stevie Nicks had the most recognisable voice in Fleetwood Mac, there was no guarantee she could craft the same kind of pop-rock magic without the help of the Mac's guiding musical force, Lindsey Buckingham. As such, Bella Donna found her emerging surprisingly strongly as a solo talent. Part of the credit goes to Tom Petty, who gave her an excellent song in "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" (and duets with her on it). But other high points are Nicks's own creations, including the urgently rocking "Edge of Seventeen" and the country-tinged ballad "Leather and Lace" (a duet with Don Henley). A few tunes here are forgettable, but overall Nicks started her solo career on a high note. --Peter Blackstock
Top Customer Reviews
But Nicks proved much more artistically resourceful and a much tougher deal-maker than her critics expected. Released in 1981, BELLA DONNA exploded to the top of the charts. Throughout the 1980s Nicks would score further solo successes with THE WILD HEART and ROCK A LITTLE; at the same time she remained a mainstay of the on-again-off-again Fleetwood Mac. And she would become one of the most admired performers of the decade.
Whatever the merits of her other work, BELLA DONNA remains Nicks' single best selling solo effort, a release beloved by fans and admired by critics alike. And it isn't hard to see why. Although Nicks had done some very tough rock and roll with Fleetwood Mac, and had often performed folk and country-flavored songs with the band, BELLA DONNA extended her range in both directions. At the same, however, she did not make the mistake of doing material so completely different as to alienate her core fans, preferring instead to elaborate her previous work than to dismiss it completely.
The result is a series of songs that are very clearly by the same Stevie Nicks who performed with Fleetwood Mac--but which don't simply repeat the sound she acheived with that band.Read more ›
Sure, this was the magical frontwoman of one of rock history's most successful bands, Fleetwood Mac, a compulsive songwriter who had never found a sufficient outlet for her creativity in the context of her band; and the personification of the ethereal witch character she had created in her trademark song "Rhiannon." But Stevie as a solo artist? The doubters were many. Doom was prophesized for Fleetwood Mac which, as conventional wisdom had it, was sure to break up regardless of the success of Nicks's solo career, by virtue of the mere fact that she was going solo. Besides, would her dreamy persona work as well as a solo artist as it did in the context of her band? Last but not least, did Nicks, who had lived the high life ever since her career took off with Fleetwood Mac, be disciplined enough to make it through the production of a solo album?
The answer to the last question was a resounding "yes," thanks in no small part to producer Jimmy Iovine, brought in by record executive Paul Fishkin who had created his Modern Records label specifically for the production of Nicks's album. (Soon Iovine was so enthralled with Nicks, who returned the feelings, that they embarked on a several year-long relationship.Read more ›
Other standout tracks for me include ' Edge of Seventeen' , 'Kind of Woman' and also ' Outside The Rain'
There is a strong country flavour to some of the songs here and 'After the Glitter Fades' is very similar both musically and lyrically to what would become a typical Nanci Griffith piece .
The production , courtesy of Jimmy Levine , is really superb as is the strong influence of the excellent musicians who contribute here such as Tom Petty and his band member colleagues in particular .
All in all I have no hesitation in recommending this superior album to anyone with an appreciation for strong compositions , played and produced to virtual perfection and sang with heart and soul by the very unique Ms Nicks ...
Favourite songs would include:
Stop Draggin' My Heart Around
Think About It
Edge of Seventeen
Leather and Lace
But they are all incredible and wonderful
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great album by Stevie and members of The Heartbreakers!Published 4 months ago by Damian P Burdell
Arrived very quickly. Meant to buy ages ago as only had it on tape. Brings back many memories of my college days, great to hear Stevie again.Published 7 months ago by I.M.