What are Stevie Nicks’ 5 Biggest Hits?

Stevie Nicks did her share of hitmaking with Fleetwood Mac, as you can make quite the playlist based on the songs she fronted with that band. But we’re focusing here on her solo career, which she managed to sustain even while still recording with the Mac.

Videos by American Songwriter

Chances are you’ll remember many of these songs well. Let’s find out which Stevie Nicks’ songs did the best on the Billboard pop charts.

5. “Edge of Seventeen” (No. 11 in 1982)

Nicks’ first two hits from her 1981 album Bella Donna (both of which are yet to come on this list) were duets. Well, if anybody ever doubted whether she could be the sole name on the 45 and sell, this strikingly ambitious track answered those doubters and then some. The title came from a misheard phrase uttered by Tom Petty’s first wife Jane (she was actually saying “age of seventeen,” referring to when she and Petty met.) There’s nothing but greatness on the credits list (Roy Bittan, Benmont Tench, Waddy Wachtel, etc.), but Nicks’ fierce performance is what ultimately sells it the most.

4. “Leather and Lace” (No. 6 in 1981)

Nicks was initially going to give this song away. Good thing she held on to it. She and Don Henley already shared a somewhat tumultuous history by that point, which sort of gives the song an extra-added vibe of authenticity. Give them credit for upending expectations with the harmonies, as Henley takes the high parts while Nicks delivers the bluesy main melody. The pair also fit their talents seamlessly into the country vibes of the music (it was originally meant for Waylon Jennings). It was a decade where love-song duets reigned, and “Leather and Lace” helped to start that ball rolling.

3. “Stand Back” (No. 5 in 1983)

Nicks’ first single off her 1983 album Wild Heart is a force of nature, grabbing you by the lapels right from the beginning and demanding your attention until it’s complete. There are conflicting reports about just how much Prince had to do with the sessions for the song and the synths in particular. We’ll admit those opening chords do set an incredible tone. But none of that matters if Nicks doesn’t then rise to the occasion with a staggeringly great vocal performance. The lyrics waver between vulnerable and vengeful, but the vocals definitely tip it towards the latter.

2. “Talk to Me” (No. 4 in 1985)

We feel like, quality-wise, this is the weakest song of the five on this list. It’s OK as a kind of mid-tempo number with a solid enough chorus. But it lacks the idiosyncrasy of Nicks’ writing, and that seems to rub off on her vocal performance, which doesn’t scale to its usual heights. But hey, producer Jimmy Iovine was right in identifying it as a hit, and by putting it out as the first single, Nicks ensured her 1985 album Rock a Little would get a nice boost. Still, we think the follow-up single from that album, “I Can’t Wait,” was much more representative of Nicks at her finest.

1. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (No. 3 in 1981)

Tom Petty was always a bit ambivalent about how this track ended up in Nicks’ hands without him really giving the A-OK. (From all accounts, it’s likely producer Jimmy Iovine had more to do with that than Nicks.) Still, it’s hard to argue with the finished product. It’s a killer Heartbreakers’ performance, highlighted by some of Mike Campbell’s toughest guitar work and the insinuating organ of Benmont Tench. And it just works better as a duet, as it turns the lyrics into two people shouting their grievances at each other without listening in return, which is the basis for so many breakups.

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Leave a Reply

3 Eternal Songs by The Beach Boys that Have Stood the Test of Time

Daryl Hall Looking Forward to Solo Career After Rift With John Oates

Daryl Hall Excited To Be “Free” After John Oates Feud, Says He’s Been a Solo Artist His Whole Life