Leather and lace: how Stevie Nicks created a new musical language

Leather and lace: how Stevie Nicks created a new musical language

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A career-spanning box set documents the Fleetwood Mac singer’s influence as a solo artist, starting with her 1981 debut Bella Donna and its beguilingly witchy, feminine energy

The original vinyl insert of Bella Donna features just one photo of Stevie Nicks. Wearing a black dress with sheer lace sleeves, she peers over her right shoulder squarely at the camera, with a look that’s defiant yet a tad bashful. Next to Nicks are her two co-vocalists on the album, Sharon Celani and Lori Perry. The former sits stiffly on a formal antique couch, studiously looking at the floor; the latter perches on piece of ridiculously ornate wooden furniture, her arm slung over one knee.

The sisterhood evident in the photo and on the sleeve info (the vocalists are prominently credited, directly below Nicks) isn’t merely an aesthetic choice. It’s a reflection of the striking feminine energy underpinning the music on the 1981 disc, which topped the US and Australian album charts and launched the Fleetwood Mac member’s solo career. In the liner notes of a deluxe 2016 reissue, Nicks recalled that the Bella Donna sessions started with her, Celani and Perry in the living room of a rented oceanside home, working out harmonies and singing together while the album’s musical director, Benmont Tench (keyboardist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), added accompaniment.

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By |2019-04-17T11:56:19-04:00April 17th, 2019|Music|

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