Our top 10 Stevie Nicks Albums list takes a look at all the wonderful and very powerful passionate filled albums Stevie Nicks has released throughout her marvelous solo career. We love every single one of them and it’s very difficult to even rank them. In many ways, we are not really ranking them in order of quality, we are just listing them in order of our favorites. They are all fabulous albums, and we highly recommend every single one of them to anybody who’s never heard the albums in full. Stevie Nicks first solo album entitled Bella Donna was released in 1981. The album was a huge success as well as the follow up album The Wild Heart which was released two years later in 1983. So far, as of this date in 2020, Stevie Nicks has released eight studio albums. She has also released five compilation albums and one amazing live album. And of course besides all these brilliant solos albums was her work with Fleetwood Mac which this article does not explore.
This Top 10 Stevie Nicks albums article is all about her solo work. Its a mix of her studio records, live albums and a very special compilation release. We hope you enjoy this great list and check out any of these Stevie Nicks albums that you are not familiar with.
# 10 – Timespace: The Best of Stevie Nicks
We open up our top 10 Stevie Nicks albums list in an unusual way as compared to most of our other top 10 album lists. This is the first time we’ve ever put a greatest hits package on an artists top 10 albums list. There are two reasons for this. First is the point that Stevie Nicks only released eight studio albums. The other reason is there are actually three new songs on this record. Furthermore, many of the songs on this album were remixed and sound very different from the originals. Even if you have every single Stevie Nicks studio album, we still highly recommend this one because of the unreleased songs and the new mixes.
# 9 – Street Angel
Stevie Nicks Street Angel album was released in 1994. The album was released supposedly during a troublesome time in Stevie Nicks life. Over the years, Stevie Nicks has mentioned that there were many issues with the recording. Nonetheless, It’s still a Stevie Nicks album and one that we have really enjoyed over the years. The standout track has always been the great song “Blue Denim.”
# 8 – Trouble in Shangri-La
Continuing with our top 10 Stevie Nicks albums list we turn to the album Trouble in Shangri-La. The record featured one of our all-time favorite Stevie Nicks album covers. Trouble in Shangri-La was released in 2001. The album featured a Rumours outtake which was newly recorded called “Candlebright.” The record also contained the song “Sorcerer” which had been recorded for The Wild Heart album but had been used on the Streets Of Fire soundtrack instead.
Stevie Nicks; friendship at the time with Sheryl Crow led Stevie Nicks to record a Sheryl Crow song on the record called “It’s Only Love.” Sheryl Crow also played guitar and bass and performed backing vocals on the record. Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench from the Heartbreakers were also on board. Other rock star guest appearances also included Lindsey Buckingham, Macy Gray, and Sarah McLachlan.
# 7 – In Your Dreams
In 2011, Stevie Nicks released the album In Your Dreams. It was her first new studio album in ten years. It’s hard to believe that Stevie Nicks took ten years in between her solo albums, but then again she had gotten involved once again with Fleetwood Mac during that time period. The album was produced by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics who had also built up an impressive resume of production credits including six albums with Ringo Starr. The album was also produced by Glen Ballard who was known not only as a great songwriter but as the producer of Alanis Morissette’s debut album Jagged Little Pill.
# 6 – The Other Side of the Mirror
Another great album, another great cover and another record full of passionate vocals and performances by the beautiful Stevie Nicks. The album The Other Side Of The Mirror was released in 1989. Four great singles were released from the album including the songs “Rooms on Fire,” “Long Way to Go,” “Two Kinds of Love” and “Whole Lotta Trouble.”
# 5 – The Soundstage Session
Although it is not really fair to rank a live album among an artist’s studio albums because a live album can also serve as a greatest hits package, the Soundstage Sessions CD is just too good not to rank this high. Additionally, the CD is a mix of Stevie Nick’s live performance with a string section overdubbed in the studio and mixed onto the live recordings. Stevie Nicks lit the room on fire during that October evening in 2007 and this CD defines every minute of it, especially the ballads.
# 4 – Rock a Little
I always loved this album in a sort of separate way from Bella Donna and Wild Heart. It was definitely a departure from her first two solo albums in terms of production and arrangements. Part of the reason for the change in sound was the departure of Stevie Nicks’ longtime producer Jimmy Iovine, although he had produced four songs on the record. Yet, of course, the album still retained that mystical Stevie Nicks spirit. The album’s title track “Rock A Little,” is especially addicting and perhaps the most underrated song on the album. Probably, because it stood in the shadows of some of the album’s big hit singles like “Talk To Me,” and “I Can’t Wait.” The album also presented Stevie Nicks fans with one of the most beautiful ballads of her career with the wonderful song “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You?”
The album featured an all-star cast of musicians as usual with members of the bands Little Feat and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers performing on the record. Former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Les Dudek also played on the album as well as co-writing one of the songs. Four separate drummers played on the album including Steve Jordan, Russ Kunkel, Andy Newmark and Denny Carmassi. The same went for guitarists and bass players. Marilyn Martin sang back ground vocals on the record. Marilyn Martin would go on to release a few solos albums and have a couple of big time hits in the mid to late 1980s with the songs “Night Moves,” and a duet with Phil Collins entitled “Separate Ways.”
# 3 –24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault
Stevie Nicks’ album 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault was a totally unexpected surprise for Stevie Nicks fans. The album featured a collection of demos that Stevie Nicks had put down on tape from 1969 to 1987. However, the album did not feature the original demos but rather newly recorded versions of those songs.
Some of the songs had been heard by some fans due to bootleg versions that have been circulating over the years. Nonetheless, Stevie Nicks newly recorded versions of these songs were fabulous. The songs also defined the many changes that Stevie Nicks songwriting has gone through over the years. Yet, despite any sort of stylistic changes, the one constant that was so apparent in this material was the magical soulfulness and mystical qualities that have always been inherent in her music. Don’t miss this one!
# 2 – Bella Donna
Stevie Nicks Bella Donna album was the legendary artist’s first solo record. The closest Stevie Nicks had ever come to a solo record during her career was the duet album she did with Lindsey Buckingham entitled Buckingham Nicks which was released before the two joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975. Nonetheless, Stevie Nicks fans were thrilled to finally receive a full album of Stevie Nicks songs instead of the Fleetwood Mac records that usually contained no more than two or three Stevie Nicks songs and lead vocals. Some were worried that maybe a full album of Stevie Nicks songs would lessen the effect of her music when compared to the limited release of her songs on Fleetwood Mac albums. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bella Donna was further proof of the sheer talent and brilliance nestled in the soul of that Stevie Nicks heart. It was a brilliant debut album that went beyond expectations and brought much to Stevie Nicks fans and music fans in general.
The Bella Donna album featured some pretty big hits. The Bella Donna record was released during the summer of 1981. Four singles were released from the album. The album’s first single entitled “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” was written by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell. The song was a smash success reaching all the way to the number three position on the Billboard Top 100 in 1981. The song was played on MTV’s inaugural day during that summer. The video featuring Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty went into high rotation further fueling the song’s success. The second single released from the album was a duet Stevie Nicks sang with the Eagles Don Henley entitled “Leather and Lace.” It was an extraordinarily beautiful song that melted the hearts of so many Stevie Nicks fans.
After the release of two singles that were recorded as duets, Stevie Nicks released the rocker “Edge of Seventeen,” as the album’s third single but only featured herself on lead vocals. The album’s fourth and final single release was another ballad entitled “After the Glitter Fades.” Over time, Stevie Nicks’ album Bella Donna has become the biggest selling album of her solo career.
# 1 – The Wild Heart
While Stevie Nicks’ debut album Bella Donna was welcomed with open arms by Stevie Nicks fans, it was the follow-up album entitled The Wild Heart which would be the record we had all been waiting for. Hands down, The Wild Heart is Stevie Nicks’ masterpiece. It is a compelling, heartwarming brilliant record in which every track is a work of genius. But it was not so much the album’s brilliance that Stevie Nicks fans sound so gripping, it was the album’s emotional core that just felt so genuine. It began instantly on the title track “Wild Heart.” Anyone who ever suffered through a relationship that ended badly or just simply ended could relate to the song so dearly. It hurt, yet it healed. It made you feel like your pain was not just yours alone.
The Wild Heart was of course another album filled with guest appearances by some of the most talented musicians and artists in the business. Tom Petty and many of his bandmates were on board again with the great song “I Will Run To You.” Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac played drums on the track “Sable on Blond.” Steve Lukather who stands as one of the greatest studio guitarists of all time besides being the founding member of the band Toto also played on the record.
Updated May 23, 2023
Top 10 Stevie Nicks Albums article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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