Stevie Nicks and Prince’s music might sound different, but if you listen closely, two of their songs some similar. Nicks and Prince might have come from different worlds, but they could find common ground and be inspired by one another. Prince had a soft spot for female singers and loved Nicks’ band Fleetwood Mac so much that he formed his band, The Revolution, in their image. But which Prince song inspired Nicks to write a hit song of her own?
Stevie Nicks wrote ‘Stand Back’ after hearing Prince’s ‘Little Red Corvette’
After Nicks married her now ex-husband Kim Anderson in 1983, the couple embarked on a road trip to Santa Barbara for their honeymoon. While they drove, Prince’s newest hit song, “Little Red Corvette,” played on the radio and had Nicks stunned.
“All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I’m singing along, going, ‘Stand back!'” Nicks explained to Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show. “I’m like, ‘Kim, pull over! We need to buy a tape recorder because I need to record this.’ And so we do – we careen off the freeway to find a radio, record shop or something, and we go in and we buy a little tape recorder.”
Instead of having a romantic honeymoon, the newlyweds started a songwriting session, staying up all night writing “Stand Back,” which appeared on Nicks’ The Wild Heart later that year. “We get the song, and I’m basically using Prince’s instrumental melody,” Nicks said. “What I’m singing along is very, very different from what he’s singing. I’m singing in and out of all of the holes.” Nicks finished the song, but His Purple Highness had the last say on what needed to be added.
Prince helped Stevie Nicks on ‘Stand Back’
Even though “Little Red Corvette” and “Stand Back” have different lyrics, Nicks says “Stand Back” “belongs” to Prince. When Nicks had the lyrics, she called Prince, told him the story of how she’d taken “Little Red Corvette,” and written a song with the same melody. She asked him to meet her at Sunset Sound studio in LA. You call Prince, and he comes because he arrived twenty minutes later.
Nicks played the song for him, and Prince immediately started adding things to it. “That was the coolest thing we’ve ever heard,” Nicks said. “Takes him an hour; he gives me a little ‘I don’t really know you’ hug, and he’s gone. Like a little spirit.”
“He was so uncanny, so wild,” Nicks said in the book Rock Lives. “He spoiled me for every band I’ve ever had because nobody can exactly re-create — not even with two piano players —what Prince did all by his little self.”
In 1983, “Stand Back” went to No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Top 100, and it was all thanks to the mysterious little spirit, Prince. Although Nicks said the song was all His Purple Badness, he didn’t get a songwriting credit on the album.
Prince later put the moves on Stevie Nicks
Sometime later, after a Fleetwood Mac show, Prince put the moves on Nicks and took her out one night. “We get into his purple Camaro and bomb out onto the freeway at 100 m.p.h. I’m terrified, but kind of excited too,” the singer recalled. “I get on the plane and the rest of the band are like [drum fingers, rolls eyes]. “I’m like, ‘What? Nothing happened.'”
Nothing happened between the two performers, but they did develop a nice friendship over the years. In 1984, Prince asked Nicks to collaborate with him on one of his most important songs, “Purple Rain.” Nicks denied it because she could sense that the song would be big, and she didn’t want the pressure. Could you imagine “Purple Rain” as a country song?