Stevie Nicks Said ‘The Wild Heart’ Is Like a Reckless ‘Bella Donna’: ‘It Has That James Dean/Natalie Wood Feeling’

Stevie Nicks released her second solo album, The Wild Heart, in 1983. Her debut, Bella Donna, was enormously successful, and its sister record was no different. While Nicks is proud of both albums, she said they have completely different personalities. The Wild Heart is, well, wilder than Bella Donna.

Stevie Nicks wearing black while performing during a U.S. music festival in 1983.
Stevie Nicks | Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Stevie Nicks said ‘The Wild Heart’ is more reckless than ‘Bella Donna’

Nicks explained how her solo albums differ in an interview with Rock magazine.

Nicks said, “It’s like ‘Bella Donna’s heart is wild all of a sudden. It has that James Dean/Natalie Wood feeling to it. It’s just ‘Bella Donna’ a little more reckless. She’s just more sure of herself now, so she’s taking a few more chances. I’m very pleased with the album because there are no holds barred on it. It’s real strong and emotional.”

After the success of her debut, Nicks said she wasn’t intimidated to go back into the studio, even though it was a bit scary going in to record Bella Donna at first.

“I’m never intimidated to go on and do something else because what I do today doesn’t depend on what I did last week,” Nicks explained. “I write songs and sing them because that’s the thing in the world that I love most.”

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Nicks said ‘Sable in Blond’ is her ‘serious statement’ on ‘The Wild Heart’

The Fleetwood Mac frontwoman is proud of all the songs on The Wild Heart, but there is one that is very important to her. She said the album’s “Sable in Blond” is her “serious statement.”

“‘Sable in Blond’ is my serious statement on ‘The Wild Heart,'” Nicks explained. “It fits into a particular group of my songs; ‘Rhiannon,’ ‘Beautiful Child’ and ‘Sara.’ It reflects the mood I was in when I moved into my new house last year. It was a time when I was learning how to live with myself.

“‘Sable in Blond’ meant to learn how to be a stranger, to learn to be with yourself, to learn to be one color. In the legend of Excalibur, the sword is there for protection, but you don’t call upon it unless it’s absolutely necessary. During that period in my life, I was learning how not to call on the sword.”

So “Sable in Blond” fits in with the reckless vibe of The Wild Heart.

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There’s another special song on the album

“Stand Back” is another song on The Wild Heart that is special to Nicks. She wrote the song after hearing Prince’s “Little Red Corvette.”

Nicks first heard the tune in the car as she and her now ex-husband Kim Anderson embarked on their honeymoon road trip to Santa Barbara. She was so stunned she had to pull over.

“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.”

“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.” However, His Purple Highness had the last say on the tune.

Nicks called Prince and asked him for help finishing the song. “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.”

After that, Nicks and Prince got close, and “Stand Back” is one of these best songs on The Wild Heart. The tune also fits in perfectly with the rest of the record. It’s mighty and one of Nick’s more in-your-face kind of songs. We can picture the song playing as King Arthur whips out Excalibur during battle.

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