I grew up on The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac, and though the former was playing in my life since I was in utero, it is the latter that I associate most with my young, “formative” years. I hear Fleetwood Mac songs and immediately feel transported to the house I grew up with, the living room with the giant speakers and big stereo system, or our yellow kitchen with my mom cooking, and singing-a-long to all the songs.
I’d take Fleetwood Mac with me as I grew up. The Beatles, too, though I always have felt they were part of my DNA, not necessarily even a choice I’ve made. Fleetwood Mac, and more specifically Stevie Nicks, have always been an active music choice of mine.
The first album I bought when I first lived on my own in my first apartment (that’s a lot of firsts!) was Stevie Nicks’, Bella Donna. Though I’d heard it MANY times before, often “borrowing” my mom’s copy of it on vinyl, and later playing my cassette copy in my room and car, this was the first vinyl copy that I bought on my own. It was used. Picked up at a small record store in downtown Fullerton. I was excited to find it and put it on immediately when I got back to my upstairs apartment. We didn’t have a TV, but we did have a stereo – so music was always playing.
My first listen favorite was Stevie’s duet with Don Henley, “Leather and Lace”. I loved it immediately on first listen, back in 1981. But, that afternoon in 1991, when I brought my new-to-me vinyl copy of Bella Donna home, it was “Outside the Rain” that I fell hard for. I love the entire album, from start-to-finish, but “Outside the Rain” (Today’s Song of the Day), and “Leather and Lace” remain my forever favorites.
“Outside the Rain” by Stevie Nicks
from the album, Bella Donna(1981)
Song of the Day
Women in Music from the ’80s
“Look at me,
for a very long time,
long enough to know,
love is a word –
I’ve been trying to find.
Words don’t matter.
They don’t matter at all.”
Songs about rain are another “theme” that I’ve been collecting over the years (along with songs about Los Angeles, songs about New York, songs with women’s names, and songs about kissing). Stevie wrote the music and lyrics to “Outside the Rain”, and I can hear and feel her in it. I can hear and feel Tom Petty, too, who was one of the producers on the album (along with Jimmy Iovine).
“Outside the Rain” (live at the US Festival, 1983) by Stevie Nicks
I wish I’d been old enough to go to the US Festival, or that I’d had an older sibling, or family member, who’d wanted to go, and take me along.