Our Top 10 Stevie Nicks Fleetwood Mac Songs list presents the most popular and best loved songs Stevie Nicks sang and wrote in Fleetwood Mac. When the topic of Fleetwood Mac comes up, along with the top songs this British-American group has recorded as a group since 1970, odds are many of them will have Stevie Nicks in mind as lead vocalist. Although she shared this role with Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, the distinction of her singing voice was unmistakable. Speaking as a fan, even as these lead singers would sing at the exact same time, it was impossible not to notice Nicks and the distinguishable rasp that made it so easy to identify her.
Before Fleetwood Mac
Before Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975, she was already part of the duo act, Buckingham Nicks. She, along with her then-boyfriend and partner, Lindsey Buckingham, was already established as a recording artist as they both came from the group, Fritz. Granted, the couple’s debut album was a folksy release that failed to make its mark as a success story but it was enough to win over the attention of Mick Fleetwood and his bandmates while they were in Los Angeles, California. At the time, Fleetwood Mac was better known for producing blues-style music. As soon as Buckingham and Nicks were on board, the group adopted a pop-rock sound that would make them one of the best-selling musicians of all time.
Prior to Fleetwood Mac approaching the two, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were already a couple as of 1966 after the two met at a high school party. Lindsey Buckingham was singing “California Dreaming” (by the Mamas and the Papas) at the party and an inspired Nicks joined in. From there, the two made history as they became a duo as performers. When Lindsey Buckingham was approached by Mick Fleetwood, he agreed to join the band only if the invite was extended to his girlfriend. As great of an opportunity as this was, it also served as a catalyst behind the eventual breakup that would take place between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.
Since Fleetwood Mac
When Buckingham and Nicks joined the roster of Fleetwood Mac, their involvement with the group extended beyond the professional chemistry that made them such a huge hit around the world. 1976 was a year that Buckingham and Nicks split as a couple while John McVie and Christine McVie faced a divorce. In the process, Mick Fleetwood’s marriage to Jenny Boyd was also meeting its end as he began an affair with Nicks. Although the affair was short-lived when Nicks realized it was a mistake, it was enough to add fuel to the fire of a group that already had a series of personal issues to deal with.
All this drama fed into the album, Rumours, a recording that would serve as the greatest recording Fleetwood Mac ever produced. It became a multi-platinum success, including achieving this with the Recording Industry Association of America and the British Phonographic Industry. It still remains one of the best-selling albums of all time. At the 1978 Grammy Awards, it was recognized as Album of the Year.
Many of the most successful hits coming from Fleetwood Mac either had Nicks as the lead vocalist or shared this role with either Buckingham or Christine McVie or both. While Buckingham and McVie were solid in their performances, Nicks had a distinct sound that set her apart from them. It didn’t necessarily mean she was better but when it comes to establishing a truly unique sound, there was a reason why Nicks was affectionately called the “Queen of Rock and Roll.”
Although Nicks continued with Fleetwood Mac as one of the group’s lead vocalists, she also embarked on a solo career. This began in 1981 with Bella Donna, which became the most successful album in her career. Like Rumours, it became a multi-platinum success story. While not taking anything away from the talent and success Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie earned on their own as solo artists, Stevie Nicks established for herself why she was such a top draw whenever she performed as a lead vocalist. Various media publications seemed to adore Nicks while she was in her prime as a recording artist. They, along with the critics and fans, still adore her today.
Nicking Her Mark
As one of the lead vocalists for Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks also stood out as a backing vocalist. If it wasn’t with Fleetwood Mac it was with other top-notch recording artists such as Don Henley and Tom Petty. In fact, she and Henley were romantically linked once upon a time in the late 1970s after her affair with Mick Fleetwood ended. That union did result in a 1979 pregnancy but Nicks arranged for an abortion as she had no desire to become a parent. She remained childless as a personal choice, a decision based on the grueling schedule that came with recording music and embarking on lengthy concert tours.
Aside from the seven studio albums recorded and released with Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks also has eight studio recordings as a solo artist. In 2003, she and her bandmates were given the Grammy Hall of Fame Award as it recognized Fleetwood Mac for its contribution to the music industry. Adding to this achievement was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducting Fleetwood Mac in 1998. In 2018, Stevie Nicks was inducted as a solo artist, becoming the first woman in history to be named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
Top 10 Fleetwood Mac Songs Sung By Stevie Nicks
#10 – Seven Wonders
“Seven Wonders” was a 1987 release that became a number two hit on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart for Fleetwood Mac. Performed by Stevie Nicks as the lead vocalist, this was a song about enjoying a beautiful moment and realizing not even the greatest sites in the world could ever match its magnificence. Coming from the album, Tango In the Night, this recording came about after Fleetwood Mac took a five-year break from each other as a group. “Seven Wonders” also peaked as high as number nineteen on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number thirteen on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs chart. It was also at least a top forty hit among the nations of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. In 2014, it became a hit again, this time at number eighteen on the US Billboard Rock Digital Songs chart.
#9 – Storms
1980’s “Storms” was a song performed by Stevie Nicks as the lead vocalist for Fleetwood Mac. It was a reflection of the short-lived romantic relationship she shared with its founder, Mick Fleetwood. Tusk was the album this song was featured on, a release that came right after the Rumours. Although not released as a single, the performance poured into this song seemed to serve as a reflection of the “Storms” that went on between each band member that led to the songwriting success of Rumours, then again with Tusk.
#8 – Angel
“Angel” was a song that came from the 1979 album, Tusk. As a whole, the album was an experimental piece of musical work as Fleetwood Mac agreed to go with Lindsey Buckingham’s post-punk influence. For Stevie Nicks, “Angel” was a song that carried “Rhiannon” into the next chapter of the character whom the songstress sang about as a single in 1976. At the time Nicks wrote “Angel,” this came about after she was inspired by the witch of the story written in the Mabinogion novels by Evangeline Walton. It was also during that time when she and Lindsey Buckingham were still close despite breaking up as a couple. Personal feelings aside, the two refused to allow their strained relationship to interfere with their sense of professionalism while in the recording studio and on tour.
#7 – Gold Dust Woman
“Gold Dust Woman” was a song written and performed by Stevie Nicks that made reference to a collection of personal experiences she was dealing with at the time. Between the addiction to cocaine, as well as the relationships she had with fellow bandmates Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood, she had lots of material to work with. For Nicks, it was a song that served as self-expression. As a song, it was easier to put together on paper than it was to record as she was determined to sing it right as the lead vocalist. The inspiration from “Gold Dust Woman” was enough for other recording artists to perform their own versions. It was also used in the 1996 movie, The Crow: City of Angels. Although this song wasn’t released as a single, it played an instrumental role in the overall success of Tusk.
#6 – Silver Springs
Originally, “Silver Springs” was a song written and sung by Stevie Nicks that was intended for Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album, Rumours. However, it was placed on the B-side of a record that featured the hit single, “Go Your Own Way.” According to Nicks, this came about when the relations between Fleetwood Mac were becoming too tense for comfort. As a song, “Silver Springs” was Nicks’ viewpoint of romantic relationships coming to an end. For her, the romance over with fellow bandmate Lindsey Buckingham. For John and Christine McVie, their marriage was ending in divorce. In many ways, “Silver Springs” seemed to be a song that hit too close to home for Fleetwood Mac at the time. In 1997, a live version of “Silver Springs” was performed as paper of the album, The Dance. That version of the song earned a 1998 Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
On the charts, the live version peaked as high as number five on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs chart in 1997. On the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, it peaked as high as number thirty-nine. “Silver Springs” was also a hit in Canada at the time, peaking as high as number eighteen on its Adult Contemporary chart and at number thirty-eight on its Top Singles chart.
#5 – Sara
Released as a single in 1979, “Sara” came from the album, Tusk. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked as high as number seven and at number thirteen on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs chart. In Australia, it peaked as high as number eleven and at number twelve in Canada. On the UK Singles Chart, “Sara” climbed as high as number thirty-seven.
According to Stevie Nicks, she wrote and sang the song as a tribute to Mick Fleetwood’s new bride, “Sara.” The timing of this song also came after Nicks had an abortion of an unborn child she had while she was involved with Don Henley. She admitted if she carried the pregnancy to term and had a daughter, the name would have been “Sara.” Oddly enough, Mick Fleetwood’s relationship with “Sara” blossomed at a time when he and Nicks had their own affair. Although Nicks didn’t care for the union, she didn’t hold it against a woman whom she regarded as a close friend.
#4 – Gypsy
“Gypsy” was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry not long after it was released as a single in 1982. It was written by Stevie Nicks in 1979 while she was still a member of Fleetwood Mac. At first, this was a song meant for her debut album as a solo artist, Bella Donna. However, when one of her best friends, Robin Anderson, died of leukemia, she felt “Gypsy” would be more fitting as a Fleetwood Mac single.
From the Mirage album, “Gypsy” became a number twelve hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as a number nine hit on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs chart, and a number four hit on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. Globally, it was at least a top forty hit in Australia, Canada, Germany, and Ireland. On the UK Singles Chart, it peaked as high as number forty-six. In 2020, it was released again, peaking as high as number twenty-one on the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart. This came about after Netflix aired Gypsy as a series and used “Gypsy” as its theme song.
“Gypsy” was originally designed as a song that described Stevie Nicks as a young woman before joining Fleetwood Mac. At the time, she was involved with Lindsey Buckingham after the two met while at a high school party. Before fame and fortune, the two lived like a pair of gypsies as they struggled to make ends meet. When Nicks learned about her high school friend’s leukemia, this came as a devastating blow. For Nicks, memories of her past, along with memories she shared with Robin Anderson, hit her hard. It showed in “Gypsy” as one of the most emotional pieces she ever performed as a vocalist.
#3 – Landslide
The first time “Landslide” appeared as a song was in 1975 on Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled album. Written and sung by Stevie Nicks, ‘Landslide” became one of those tunes that started off as a slow simmer that became a hit on the music charts after it was performed live. Just like “The Chain,” “Landslide” had its live recording become a hit. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it charted as high as number fifty-one in 1997. On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, it peaked as high as number ten. It also became certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2009. As of 2017, it sold over two million copies in the United States alone.
“Landslide” is a true gem of a song. For Nicks, she wrote this song while she fancied the idea of going back to school. At the time, she was romantically linked with Lindsey Buckingham and looked into further pursuing a career as a professional musician. It was also at this time she found her personal and professional life at a crossroads as she and Buckingham were having a tough time making ends meet. What triggered Nicks was the view she got while spending time in Aspen, Colorado. Upon looking at the mountains, she related to the avalanche effect as someone caught in a situation where it felt like everything was going downhill. When Fleetwood Mac offered them to join the band, it was an opportunity that sealed their fates. However, the romance between Nicks and Buckingham came to an end shortly afterward.
#2 – Dreams
On a commercial level, “Dreams” was the most successful single Fleetwood Mac ever produced. With Stevie Nicks as the lead vocalist, this 1977 hit came from the multi-platinum album, Rumours. Since its release, “Dreams” has become certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America three times. It also became platinum nine times with Recorded Music New Zealand as the fans in that nation, as well as Australia, fell in love with the song. On the US Billboard Hot 100 and Canada’s RPM Top 100 Singles Chart, “Dreams” was a number-one hit. At the very least, this song was charted as a top twenty hit among the nations of Australia, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. The UK Singles Chart had it peaked as high as number twenty-four. At the time, “Dreams” was a song that came about while each band member in Fleetwood Mac was undergoing personal issues that included breakups, divorces, and an extramarital affair. The fine line between personal conflict and professionalism was put to the test the entire time.
The song itself was written by Stevie Nicks while she had a free moment while her bandmates were busy in the music studio. With access to a piano in a room that featured Victorian decor, Nicks used a drum pattern and a cassette as she played out “Dreams” as a song that came to her with ease. When she was finished, she shared her work with the rest of the group. At first, they weren’t enthused about it but a persistent Nicks refused to let this song fall into obscurity. As the group worked together on it, “Dreams” turned into one of their greatest hits that truly showcased the talent of Stevie Nicks as a vocal artist.
#1 – Rhiannon
“Riannon” was a song Stevie Nicks wrote after she was inspired by Mary Leader’s novel, Triad. It was written while her love interest at the time, Lindsey Buckingham, was on the road as a guitarist for the Everly Brothers in 1972. Among the fans who learned ofStevie Nicks‘ interest in this infamous character she named the song after, they sent her a series of novels written by Evangeline Walton. Her Mabinogion series featured the Welsh witch, “Rhiannon,” as one of the main characters. This was enough for Nicks to buy the movie rights to Walton’s material with the hope to bring “Rhiannon” to life, visually.
As a song, “Rhiannon” is her own identity compared to what was originally portrayed in the novels. She was, however, a source of inspiration for Stevie Nicks as she began her research on the Mabinogion stories. Although there was never a finished full movie project regarding the character, “Rhiannon” still played a role in another Fleetwood Mac hit, “Angel.”
When “Rhiannon” was released as a single in 1976, it became a number four hit on two Canadian singles charts, namely the Canada Adult Contemporary chart and the RPM Singles Chart. It peaked as high as number eleven on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was a number thirty-three hit on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. It was also a top twenty hit in Australia and the Netherlands. When it was reissued as a single in 1978, it peaked as high as number forty-six on the UK Singles Chart. Since then, “Rhiannon” became certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry. This was a signature hit that became an all-time favorite among the fans of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks. The amount of passion poured into this song as Nicks performed it as the lead vocalist is what continues to make this song so special. Speaking as a fan myself, it is a personal favorite.
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Top 10 Stevie Nicks Fleetwood Mac Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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