With a long and distinguished career, Stevie Nicks is one of the most charismatic singers of all time. Her raspy dulcet tones are instantly recognizable and have been beloved around the world for over 40 years.
This lengthy career gave us plenty of material to choose from when trying to come up with the top 10 best Stevie Nicks songs of all time.
Nicks first entered the public spotlight when she worked with Lindsey Buckingham on their 1973 Buckingham Nicks album. These early recordings were just a sign of what was to come for the tumultuous duo.
Well known for their turbulent relationship, both Nicks and Buckingham soon joined the band Fleetwood Mac after the departure of original singer and songwriter Peter Green. And, the rest was history.
Fleetwood Mac has recorded many timeless classics and their 1977 album Rumours became an instant commercial success with over 10 million sales in its first month of release. With over 40 million sales worldwide, Rumours is one of the best-selling albums of all time.
It wasn’t until 1981 that Nicks released her first solo album, Bella Donna. Again, this was a commercial success and is remembered for its many collaborations such as “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” which was credited to Nicks and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.
There was also a duet with Don Henley of The Eagles on the song “Leather and Lace.” But Stevie was proving that she could produce incredible music all by herself.
The mercurial talent of Stevie Nicks has been evident since the 1970s. She is regarded as one of the most important and influential songwriters of her generation and is still the only female who has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
Well respected by her peers, Stevie Nicks is one of the greatest rock singers the world has ever seen with wonderful songs to match.
Read on as we guide you through our top 10 best Stevie Nicks songs of all time, ranging from her work with Lindsey Buckingham to her work with Fleetwood Mac and through to her solo career.
We start with a song released on Stevie Nicks Trouble in Shangri-La album in May 2001. This album had been long-awaited by her fans after her critically acclaimed box set Enchanted in 1998. And, the wait was worth it!
The album includes a collection of tracks produced by one of the 1990s biggest stars, Sheryl Crow. And, on the track Sorcerer, Crow joined forces with Nicks to create a haunting yet beautiful song.
The rhythmic groove this song contains perfectly sits alongside the harmonies of Sheryl Crow. Furthermore, the song is a fine example of Nick’s mysterious dark mystique but with a lighter edge.
Sorcerer has actually been recorded and released on various demos in the past. It was first written in 1972 while Nicks was with Lindsey Buckingham. However, Nicks gave it to Marilyn Martin to sing in 1984 for the soundtrack of the film Streets of Fire.
But, it’s the 2001 version that makes our list thanks to Crowe’s wonderful producing skills that encapsulated Nick’s energy and creativity.
Inspired by a TV movie character, Crying In The Night is the first song from Buckingham Nicks’ self-titled album. While Nicks has never stated what movie inspired the song, it’s believed to be about the character Mae, a prostitute in the movie The Daughters of Joshua Cabe from 1972.
As soon as you listen to this, even for the first time, you can’t help but think it should have been a chart-topper that everyone knows. But, the reality is that it never reached its full potential and was only a minor hit for the duo.
Nevertheless, Crying In The Night was the song that first caught the attention of Fleetwood Mac’s drummer Mick Fleetwood. This led him to contact the duo and ask them to join the band.
So, while it may not have been the hit it deserved to be upon initial release, it certainly changed the fortunes of both Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.
This is one of the first examples of the aggressive honesty Nicks is renowned for with her songwriting. She sings about the dangers of obsessive love but in a light-hearted, power-pop manner. In other words, it’s classic Stevie Nicks.
Destiny was released in 1994 on Stevie Nicks’ album Street Angel. As a matter of fact, this was Nicks’ only album during the 1990s. Luckily, it had some fantastic songs for us to enjoy.
The Street Angel may not have been the commercial success Nicks and her management would have wanted but nearly 30 years on, the songs still sound as fresh as ever. A number of songs on this album are on par with some of Nicks’ biggest hits.
For instance, Blue Denim, Street Angel, and Rose Garden are some of our favorites from this album with that classic Stevie Nicks sound. Her voice is characteristically gruff but the free-flowing nature of Destiny’s structure is very pleasing to the ear.
This song echoes some of Nicks’ best work with imaginative lyrics telling us that “Love don’t mean what it says at all” and Nicks’ destiny says she is “destined for it all.” It’s a heartfelt performance of someone who is feeling a little lost in the world and completely heartbroken.
Backed up by country-styled backing vocals, Destiny is the perfect song to have playing in the background when you’re feeling a little emotional.
We mentioned this earlier and it had to make our list. With so many incredible rock and roll duets through classic rock history, this is one of the best.
Instead of one meg star teaming up with lesser-known artists, which was the norm back in the day, we are treated to a collaboration between two superstars – Stevie Nicks and Don Henley of The Eagles.
Leather and Lace is one of the most heartfelt and passionate duets ever recorded. Released on Nicks’ 1981 Bella Donna LP, this was the second single released on October 6th, 1981. What a great day for music!
As you would expect, the song boasts wonderful, sincere vocals from both Nicks and Henley. In fact, Henley even played drums on the track. There are supergroups and then there is this super duo!
Perhaps one of Stevie Nicks’ most 80s sounding tracks but her voice is, as always, timeless. If Anyone Falls is from her follow-up album to her debut Bella Donna. Released in 1983, the album The Wild Heart featured just three singles with If Anyone falls being one.
The album is known for having guest appearances from some of the very best rock musicians of all time such as Roy Bittan (Bruce Springsteen’s pianist), Toto’s Steve Lukather, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Mick Fleetwood, Don Felder (The Eagles), Russ Kunkel (Crosby & Nash), Waddy Wachtell, and, believe it or not, Prince.
With a typical 1080s synthesized keyboard taking center stage and electric bass backing this up, If Anyone Falls immediately takes you back to the 80s. And, as with most singles of that era, the video is dramatic and over the top. And, we wouldn’t want to have it any other way! Check it out above!
We go back into the Fleetwood Mac archives with this entry. It is arguably one of their most famous tracks too. While the song wasn’t solely written by Stevie Nicks, she was responsible for the famous commanding lyrics.
The Chain was actually an amalgamation of different pieces of music from the different members of Fleetwood Mac.
The fact there are so many musical styles in the band, it is no surprise that The Chain is one of the band’s most unifying songs as the staccato bass line marches through the song while the vocals flow effortlessly on top.
Again, Nicks’ voice is majestic as she somehow manages to command listeners to stop and listen to every word she is saying alongside Lindsey Buckingham’s emotional vocals. A legendary classic rock song that will forever stand the test of time.
Our number four choice goes to Nicks’ Rooms on Fire released on her fourth studio album, The Other Side of the Mirror in 1989. Even all those years on after the success of Rumours and Tusk with Fleetwood Mac, this song just goes to prove Stevie Nick’s incredible songwriting skills.
This track is believed to have been inspired by Nicks’ relationship with Rupert Hine, an English musician, and producer.
Nicks herself stated “Rooms on Fire is about a girl who goes through a life like I have gone through, where she finally accepts the idea that there never will be those other things in her life. She will never be married, she will never have children, she will never do that part of life.”
While this may sound melancholic, it can be seen as acceptance and a time in Nicks’ life where she could focus on what she wanted to without having the pressure of what was to be expected from her in society.
Although the song was a mainstay of Nick’s live shows up until 1999, she has not performed it since. Somebody give her a call and let her know that we want to hear it again!
If you didn’t know The Chain, we’re pretty sure you will know this classic Fleetwood Mac song from their seminal record Rumours. The song came about during the recording of this album where Nicks would often go for a break in Sly Stone’s (often regarded as the King of Funk) room.
It was here that Stevie Nicks sat down and wrote one of the best and most beloved songs of all time.
Stevie Nicks knew it was a very special song when she first write it according to a 1997 Classic Albums documentary. “I knew when I wrote it that it was really special. I was really not self-conscious or insecure about showing it to the rest of the band.”
Most songwriters feel a little trepidation when going to their band members with a song in case they don’t like it but we can all agree that this was never going to be the case with Dreams.
With the relationship of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks being thunderous at the best of times, they had broken up by the time this song was written.
Dreams is Nicks taking fire at Buckingham with some force as she lets her thoughts and anger out at him but with a sweet ferocity that we could listen to over and over again.
“This is a song about an old Welsh witch.” This is how Nicks describes the song at the beginning of their official music video. Rhiannon is a firm favorite among Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks fans and is certainly one of her best pieces of work.
Another masterpiece, Rhiannon is from the band’s self-titled 1975 album but was written before both Nicks and Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac. When Fleetwood Mac sat down and recorded this track, it turned out to be one of the greatest pop songs ever written and recorded.
Written about a character in a novel called Triad by Mary Bartlet Leader, the story centers around a woman named Branwen who is possessed by an older lady named Rhiannon.
This song gave us one of the first glimpses in Stevie Nicks’ songwriting prowess where she could draw from her own life experiences as well as tell mystical stories in her unique, magical way.
This incredibly powerful song was the kickstart of Stevie Nicks’ solo career. And what a way to start! Hypnotic and almighty, this is Nicks at her domineering best.
Nicks stated that Jimmy Lovine, who previously worked with Tom Petty, wanted to produce a “girl Tom Petty record.” Nicks found this extremely exciting and started getting to work immediately. And, that was how Edge of Seventeen began.
Although this wasn’t her first solo release, Edge of Seventeen was somewhat different from her earlier singles Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around and Leather and Lace. Those saw Nicks sing as part of a duet with Tom Petty and Don Henley.
This song was pure Stevie Nicks. It was what Stevie Nicks fans wanted for so long and what a treasure it has become.
Edge of Seventeen is our number one because not only is it a perfect pop record but it was the first time Stevie Nicks knew she could do it on her own.
It was the beginning of her solo career and showed the world that she was far more than Fleetwood Mac and could write incredible songs without Lindsey Buckingham by her side.