Stevie Nicks - Bella Donna

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Posted on Wed, 07/08/2015 - 11:57am
by Angie Spray

Member since: Sat, 01/03/2015

Release Type

Studio Album

Release Year


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Modern Records


Album Overview

Bella Donna is the debut studio album by American singer, songwriter and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks. Released on July 27, 1981, the album reached number one on the U.S. Billboard charts in September of that year. Bella Donna was awarded Platinum status by the RIAA on October 7, 1981, less than three months after its release, and has since been certified quadruple-platinum. 'Bella Donna' spent nearly three years on the Billboard 200 from July 1981 to June 1984. The album has sold over 8 million copies worldwide, including more than 4 million copies in the US alone with approximately a million copies since 1991 in the US according to Nielsen Soundscan. It is Nicks' best selling solo album to date.

The album spawned four substantial hit singles during 1981 and 1982: the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers-penned duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (#3), the Don Henley duet "Leather and Lace" (#6), the iconic "Edge of Seventeen" (#11), and country-tinged "After the Glitter Fades" (#32).

Bella Donna would mark the beginning of Nicks' trend of calling upon her many musician friends and connections to fully realize her sparse demo recordings. Along with friends Tom Petty and Don Henley, Nicks brought in famed session musician Waddy Wachtel, Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band pianist Roy Bittan, and Stax session man Donald "Duck" Dunn of Booker T. & the MGs. Though Bella Donna's personnel list includes some 20 musicians, the album is very much Nicks' own work, with all but one of the songs on the record written by her.

The album also marked the first recording featuring Nicks' backing vocalists, Sharon Celani and Lori Perry, who still record and tour with Nicks today.


1Bella Donna5:18

Arranged By: Gordon Perry
Piano: Bill Elliott
Synthesizer: David Adelstein

2Kind Of Woman3:08
3Stop Draggin' My Heart Around4:02

Bass: Donald "Duck" Dunn
Drums: Stan Lynch
Percussion: Phil Jones
Producer: Tom Petty
Vocals, Guitar: Tom Petty

4Think About It3:33

Piano: Bill Payne

5After The Glitter Fades3:27
6Edge Of Seventeen5:28
7How Still My Love3:51

Arranged By: Roy Bittan

8Leather And Lace3:55

Vocals: Don Henley

9Outside The Rain4:17

Bass: Tom Moncrieff
Drums: Stan Lynch
Percussion: Phil Jones
Producer: Tom Petty

10The Highwayman4:49

Bass: Richard Bowden
Drums, Backing Vocals: Don Henley
Guitar: Don Felder


Nicks began work on Bella Donna in 1979, in between sessions for her third album as part of Fleetwood Mac, Tusk, released in October that year. The initial recordings for the album were in demo form, with Nicks accompanying herself on piano or electric piano for songs that were initially planned for inclusion but later shelved, such as "Lady from the Mountains" (later recorded as "Moonlight" for In Your Dreams), "Castaway", "Gypsy" (later resurrected for Fleetwood Mac's Mirage in 1982), and "I Sing for the Things" (later re-recorded for 1985's solo album Rock a Little).

Further demos were recorded during Fleetwood Mac's extensive ten-month world tour of 1979–80 including a notable April 1980 session with Tom Petty that ultimately went unused; following the tour's end in September 1980, work with a full band of other musicians commenced. Among the earliest songs recorded during the autumn 1980 sessions were "Blue Lamp", "Outside the Rain", and "How Still My Love."

Numerous sessions and multiple takes, including various re-recordings, went on for several months until the spring of 1981 when the final songs for the album, "Edge of Seventeen" and "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" were completed. A trove of finished material for the album, with the same band of musicians, was not included on the official ten-song 42-minute album release in the summer of 1981 – "Blue Lamp", which was released instead on the Heavy Metal soundtrack later in 1981, "Gold and Braid", performed live in concert during Nicks' 1981 concert tour, and "Sleeping Angel", released on the Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack in 1982. These three songs feature on her Enchanted boxed set in 1998. Two more songs from these sessions, "If You Were My Love" and "The Dealer," would surface on Nicks' 2014 release 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault. "Baby Doll" and "Julia" remain unreleased completed takes.

Nicks recorded many other songs that also did not make the album, such as "Belle Fleur," "Christian," and "Sanctuary." Nicks attempted some of the unreleased songs for future albums but a wealth of material from the Bella Donna era remains unreleased. However, some of these demos have recently surfaced as bootlegs on peer to peer sites and primarily In 2014 a finished version of "Belle Fleur" appeared on 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault.

On her Enchanted boxed set release in 1998, remastered versions of some Bella Donna tracks ran noticeably longer in some instances, notably "Leather And Lace".

Video footage of the album sessions can be found on the DVD portion of Nicks' 2007 retrospective release Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks.

Tour and HBO television special

Nicks underwent a short national tour in support of the album, starting on November 27, 1981 and finishing on December 13, 1981. The final night at The Wilshire Fox Theatre in Beverly Hills was recorded by HBO for a television special and later released on VHS in many territories by CBS/Fox in 1982 as White Wing Dove – Stevie Nicks in Concert. The whole show was recorded, but only 9 tracks were shown on the TV special and released to VHS. To date, the show has never been released on DVD or CD, although two tracks ("Edge of Seventeen" and "Gold And Braid") can be found on the 1998 boxset The Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks. Only "Gold Dust Woman", "Gold And Braid", "I Need to Know", "Outside The Rain", "Dreams", "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around", "Sara", "Edge of Seventeen" and "Rhiannon" were included on the VHS release. "Bella Donna", "Angel", "Blue Lamp", "Leather And Lace", "Think About It", "After The Glitter Fades" and "How Still My Love" were recorded and received audio broadcast on radio but were not televised, and as such have never been officially released.

The live performance of "Leather And Lace" was, however, used as a video promo for the single release (even though it was a solo version and did not feature Don Henley), and did surface on the 1986 VHS collection I Can't Wait, which featured six of Nicks' promo-clips between 1981 and 1985. These six promos were released on DVD as a special feature to the Australian issue of Fleetwood Mac – Mirage Tour in 2007.

Nicks' 2007 retrospective Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks included the full live 1981 clip of "Edge of Seventeen" on the DVD supplement, with optional commentary from Nicks. She admits that her tears at the end of the song were due to her thoughts of having to join Fleetwood Mac in France the following day to begin recording the Mirage album, one of the key reasons why the 1981 tour was so short.

The White Wing Dove performance remains unreleased in its entirety, although it has been circulating for many years amongst fans as a bootleg.

Tour set list

  1. "Gold Dust Woman"
  2. "Think About It"
  3. "Outside The Rain"
  4. "Dreams"
  5. "Angel"
  6. "After The Glitter Fades"
  7. "Gold And Braid"
  8. "I Need to Know"
  9. "Sara"
  10. "Bella Donna"
  11. "Blue Lamp"
  12. "Leather And Lace"
  13. "How Still My Love"
  14. "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"
  15. "Edge of Seventeen"


  • "Rhiannon"

Tour dates

  • November 27 – Houston, Texas, The Summit Arena
  • November 28 – Houston, Texas, The Summit Arena
  • November 29 – Dallas, Texas, Reunion Arena
  • December 3 – Oakland, California, Oakland Coliseum
  • December 5 – Tempe, Arizona, Compton Terrace (?)
  • December 6 – Los Angeles, California, Wilshire Fox Theater
  • December 7 – Los Angeles, California, Wilshire Fox Theater
  • December 8 – Los Angeles, California, Wilshire Fox Theater
  • December 12 – Los Angeles, California, Wilshire Fox Theater
  • December 13 – Los Angeles, California, Wilshire Fox Theater


The Band

  • Stevie Nicks – vocals
  • Lori Perry – backup vocals
  • Sharon Celani – backup vocals
  • Tom Petty – vocals, guitar (track 3)
  • Michael Campbell – guitar (tracks 3, 9–10)
  • Don Felder – guitar (track 10)
  • Benmont Tench – organ, piano (tracks 1–7, 9)
  • Stan Lynch – drums (tracks 3, 9)
  • Don Henley – vocals, drums, backup vocals (tracks 8, 10)

Additional Musicians

  • Waddy Wachtel – guitar (tracks 1–2, 4–8)
  • Davey Johnstone – acoustic guitar (tracks 1–2, 4–5, 7, 10)
  • Bob Glaub – bass guitar (tracks 1–2, 4–7)
  • Duck Dunn – bass guitar (track 3)
  • Tom Moncrieff – bass guitar (track 9)
  • Richard Bowden – bass guitar (track 10)
  • Dan Dugmore – pedal steel guitar
  • Bill Elliott – piano (track 1)
  • Russ Kunkel – drums (tracks 1–2, 4–8)
  • Bobbye Hall – percussion (tracks 1–2, 4–7)
  • Phil Jones – percussion (track 3)
  • Roy Bittan – piano (tracks 2, 5–8)
  • Billy Payne – piano (track 4)
  • David Adelstein – synthesizer (track 1)


  • Produced by Jimmy Iovine & Tom Petty
  • Engineered and mixed by Shelly Yakus and Don Smith
  • Assistant engineers: Dana Latham, Tori Swenson, Niko Bolas and James Ball
  • Additional engineering by Thom Panunzio
  • Mastered by Stephen Marcussen
  • Photography by Herbert W. Worthington


Released with an inner photo/credit/lyrics-sleeve



Bella Donna (album) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from -