Stevie Nicks’ role in Fleetwood Mac was undeniably the reason the band is still touring today. If Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac had never joined Mick Fleetwood’s band in the mid 1970’s, Fleetwood Mac would probably not been in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yes, we understand that the band had a significant following in the late 1960’s with Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer, and then into the early 1970s with Bob Welch and Danny Kirwan. There will always be music fans who say they liked that Fleetwood Mac better. However, the Fleetwood Mac pre-Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham was a completely different band.
The arrival of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham elevated that band to a level of stardom the original Fleetwood Mac never would have achieved. That point right there raises the importance of the voice and songwriting of Stevie Nicks. The songs “Rhiannon,” and “Dreams,” fueled those records. Stevie Nicks performances in the 1970s fronting Fleetwood Mac were mesmerizing. Of course, the band had other big hits with Lindsey and Christine McVie singing lead vocals on their own fantastic songs. Nonetheless, no one left their seats when Stevie Nicks sung lead. I saw the band in 1977 at MSG. When Stevie Nicks stepped up to the front, we were all frozen and hypnotized. She was that powerful.
How many people would go see Fleetwood Mac in the present day without Stevie Nicks behind the mic. They are going to see the band without Lindsey, but there is no way Fleetwood Mac tours in the present day without Stevie Nicks.
We have argued that Fleetwood Mac would have never had the success the band had on such a mass cultural level without Stevie Nicks. That argument alone lays the groundwork for solo Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inclusion. Yet, her work as a member of Fleetwood Mac is only part of her story. Starting in 1981 with the release of her first solo album Bella Donna, Stevie Nicks began a solo career that defined the balance between artistry and commercial success.
Bella Donna was a work of art. The title track alone was worth the price of the album. The album’s first single performed with Tom Petty called “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” was a huge rock and roll hit that proved Stevie Nicks could sell great duets with others singers not named Lindsey. Bella Donna was an album that explored many genres of music. From the rock and roll spirited “Edge of Seventeen,” to the country tinged beauty of “Leather and Lace,” Stevie Nicks had made a thunderous statement that she could succeed outside of Fleetwood Mac from both a commercial and artistic standpoint.
Two years after the release of Bella Donna, Stevie Nicks released her second solo album entitled The Wild Heart. With such incredible songs such as “Nightbird, I Will Run To You, The Wild Heart, Stand Back and If Anyone Falls,” the album has become the favorite of most Stevie Nicks fans. Bella Donna was an amazing debut album, but The Wild Heart was an emotional packed masterpiece that stands as one of the finest albums ever made.
After the release of The Wild Heart, Stevie Nicks would release six more solo albums including Rock a Little in (1985) The Other Side of the Mirror in 1989, Street Angel in 1994, Trouble in Shangri-La in 2001, In Your Dreams in 2011 and 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault in 2014. In between solo albums Stevie Nicks continued to release albums with Fleetwood Mac often delivering the real gems on those records. Those gems included “Gypsy,” from Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage in 1982, Seven Wonders from Tango In The Night in 1987 and the title track from Say You Will in 2003
The addition of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham to Fleetwood Mac in the mid seventies sealed the band’s fate to eventually be placed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, the importance of Stevie Nicks to the band, combined with her incredible artistry as a solo artist from both a quantitative and qualitative output fuels way more than 10 reasons why she deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There are hundreds of reasons why, and each reason begins with the incredible heart, soul and voices on one of our most cherished artists.