Stevie Nicks released her debut solo album Bella Donna 40 years ago today, July 27th, 1981.We’re taking a look back at this iconic album from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.
Stevie talked about why she recorded Bella Donna:
"All those years when I was doing records with Fleetwood Mac there was only, you know, maybe 10, 11 songs on a record and there was three writers. So you'd have three and at the most four songs over a two-and-a-half year period, and for somebody who writes as much as me, there was a lot of really great songs that couldn't go into the record because there wasn't room. That's the only reason I decided to do a solo career was because I needed another outlet as a songwriter so that I didn't feel like there was no reason to write, you know. Christine [McVie] would say, 'Oh, she's writing another bloody song.' You know, that's why I did Bella Donna."
Stevie said she wanted to write all the songs on the album, but Tom Petty and Mike Campbell of The Heartbreakers wrote the album’s biggest hit “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” Stevie actually had to be talked into recording that song with Petty by her boyfriend and producer at the time Jimmy Iovine (who also worked with Petty).
While she wanted to write all the songs on the album, its biggest hit, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," was written by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell of The Heartbreakers.
Petty later said he felt that song slowed the success of his single at the time “A Woman In Love,” which didn’t fare as well on the chart.
While the song may have helped his finances, Petty always felt it hurt his single at the time, "A Woman In Love."
"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" went to number-three on the Billboard Hot 100 while Bella Donna hit number-one on the Billboard 200.
Bella Donna took a couple of years for Stevie to complete with the sessions starting in between her sessions on Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk album. Stevie finished the album after the Tusk tour in 1980.
The album also featured the hits “Edge of Seventeen” and “Leather and Lace,” Stevie’s duet with Don Henley.
[Source: Classic Hits Today]