Stevie Nicks is as Embedded in Rock and Roll as the Guitar Riff and the Drum Solo

Music would not be the same without Stevie Nicks. It’s as simple as that. Her voice is so iconic that, even if you’re not a dedicated Stevie fan, you absolutely still know the crystal clear tone of her singing. She is as embedded in rock and roll as the guitar riff and the drum solo.

Some of Inspirer’s staff gathered together and discussed Stevie Nicks & the affect certain songs from her discography have had on us. From “Landslide” to “Moonlight” — Stevie’s poetic lyrics are profound in nature and evoke very different emotions and memories from all walks of life.

For me, Stevie Nicks is a sound that immediately evokes a time and a place that can never be replicated. She is rain-soaked farmland awash in tents and lean-tos, potluck suppers, and dance halls. Her music punctuated my upbringing among gentle seekers in the southern reaches of Maine and carried me into adulthood knowing there were women making waves where none had before. I know I am not alone when I say that Stevie Nicks’ music has been so intertwined in the soundtrack of my life, it’s hard to imagine its absence. It is music as basic sustenance, as vital to our well-being as air and water. As a grateful fan, and on behalf of many, many others, I wish her a very happy birthday.  — Julia, Staff Writer

“Landslide”

It feels a little cliché to choose “Landslide,” but truthfully, that’s my favorite. I remember sitting in the passenger seat of my mother’s blue Shadow convertible, both of us singing “Landslide” at the top of our lungs. “She’s got the greatest voice in Rock and Roll history!” my mom would say, without fail, every time. It’s one of those songs that everyone can relate to; that just hits you right in the heart space. It also makes you realize what an extraordinary storyteller Stevie Nicks is. She can convey a complex human experience in the space of 3 minutes and 19 seconds. That’s a beautiful thing. When I started playing banjo in my mid-twenties, it was the first song I insisted on learning. I wanted to play it for my mother. I was so proud when I first performed it for her, and she was completely delighted. Not long after, she suffered a severe stroke and died after a fierce, 7-week fight. During that hard time in the hospital, I sat by her side and sang “Landslide” to soothe her. That song still gets me to this day. It essentially encapsulates my entire relationship with my mother, and how it felt to lose her at an age when I was still so unsure of myself. I’ll always cherish it (and Stevie!) for “getting me” at a time when few of my peers could. — Chelsea, Contributor

“Moonlight” 

Anything off of In Your Dreams tears me up, but especially “Moonlight.” My grandmother had died not long before the album’s release, so I’m always taken back to where I was during that time of my life. She was my everything. Everyone loved her, even Stevie herself. The song says exactly what I was feeling. It’s a song about great loss and trying to regain your identity through the pain. At least that’s what it means to me. From the opening line, I’m drawn in, “Some call her strange, lady from the mountains.” If that’s not me wrapped up in a single lyric, I don’t know what is. “She’s lonely, lost, she’s disconnected.” That’s exactly how I felt after her death. While the whole song is intense, it’s when she gets to the bridge where I really feel it. “Strange, she laid on the floor in silent pain. Strange, she sat in a chair for months just staring.” Again, me. Every show I saw on this tour, I cried during this song. It will always hold the top spot in my heart. –Ashley, Co-Founder & Managing Editor

“Gypsy”

“Gypsy” allows me to feel a lot of emotions, but really it’s just about authenticity for me. As a survivor of sexual assault and a decade of mental health issues linked to it, I’m finding myself once again going back to who I was before this darkness. When she sings “I have no fear, I have only love” I think “this is it”, my true self. The whimsical, free spirit with so much love to give and with an approach to a life governed by fearlessness. I read an article once, an interview with Stevie, explaining the lyrics and talking about being very lucky to have 1 true friend in this lifetime (lightning strikes), and I have that person too. Stevie had Robyn and I have a Wendy. A beautiful woman and mentor who has saved me–much like Stevie herself has for me and generations of girls through her music. I thank the universe for Stevie Nicks, and I thank the universe for all strong women she has inspired. If not for them I might not be here today. — Cortney, Contributor

“Rhiannon” (Fleetwood Mac Live)

Sometimes a favorite song is also about the performance. That is the case for me with “Rhiannon,” specifically the breathtaking performance from the Fleetwood Mac Live album. I have this track on all of my motivation playlists because I completely get lost in the vocals. I feel like I can accomplish anything when I am rocking out to this song. — Annie, Staff Photographer

“Beautiful Child”

This coming of age song affects me in so many ways– to me it reminds me of the battle inside of myself that I face quite frequently when it comes to actualizing my dreams as an adult. It completely wrecks me and is easily my favorite song of Stevie’s because of the lyrical genius. –Desarae, Founder & Editor-in-Chief

“Everybody Loves You”

It’s hard for me to listen to this song and not have it feel immensely personal. For a long time, I felt like one of those people who just waited on the outside of everything, kind of unnoticed. I had maybe three close friends, but other than that I was pretty solitary. After a while, it got to a point where being in that position was really, really lonely. This song, for me, is like a call to action to branch out and not rely solely on myself for everything. No matter how well liked you are, nobody can navigate life alone, and I think that’s maybe what this song is getting at. It’s also just so beautiful vocally that it’s definitely become one of my favorites over the years. — Liz, Intern

“Silver Springs”

I’ve always existed in that space between feeling too much and feeling nothing at all. Stevie’s really damn good at taking a song and switching it up halfway through so it becomes bigger than itself, a bit like my heart. Whichever side of the emotional scales I’m weighing down on, “Silver Springs” heartbreak makes that imbalance even greater. Which is what good music does. “Time casts a spell on you but you won’t forget me.” Some days, I hope my “you” didn’t. I will, as the song says, follow them down ‘til the sound of my heart will haunt them. Other days, I no longer care. —Em, Contributor

“Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You”

When I wasn’t in love, this song made me want to be in love. And when I was in love, this song perfectly captured everything I’ve ever felt. When we truly love someone, we see the best in them, even when they only see the worst in themselves. It’s about gladly giving that someone everything yet demanding nothing in return. Only that they love you. And it’s about recognizing the light in that person, even in their darkest hour, and believing in their ability to brighten up the world. “And the rain comes down there’s no pain and there’s no doubt. It was easy to say I believed in you every day. If not for me, then do it for the world.” There isn’t one Stevie Nicks love song that I can think of that didn’t make me feel something, but hearing this song gives me chills. Every time. I feel like Stevie Nicks has literally looked into my soul and pulled out every word, every sentence, I’ve ever felt for someone and put it in a song. It’s the perfect love song. — Keldine, Staff Writer

“Doing the Best That I Can”

In my distress…well I wanted someone to blame me
In my devastation…I wanted so to change
In my way…disaster was the only thing that I could depend on…

This is one of those songs that made me realize that I don’t admire Stevie as this sort of superhuman ideal I’ve built up in my head and put on a pedestal – I admire Stevie as a woman who has made mistakes — as a woman who has allowed herself to be vulnerable and go through rough patches and hard times without becoming cynical or bitter.
“The Other Side of the Mirror” is a pretty heavy album, and it took me growing up and going through some adult problems before I developed an immense appreciation for it. “Doing the Best That I Can” is not a song I turn to lightly. It’s not something I put on to sing along to during my daily commute (I have “Gold and Braid” for that).  It’s not a feel-good song, but it’s a song that I need to hear from time to time. It’s a song that hurts. It’s a song that plays the part of a friend dealing out some harsh life truths. It’s a song that has a way of grounding me and reminding of where I am in the moment and where I want to be, and that no matter how bad things seem, there’s a way to come out on the other side. It might take time, but no matter what you achieve in your life, you’re only human, and you can only do the best that you can. –– Lily, Associate Editor

We’ve created a special playlist, chalk full of our favorites as well as underappreciated tracks, to celebrate her 69th birthday.


 

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Desarae, editor-in-chief & founder of Inspirer, is a music writer and software engineer residing in Los Angeles, CA. Prior to launching Inspirer, she spent 3 years as a feature and festival contributor for YahooTv! Inspirer is published by Desarae Gabrielle and Ashley McFaul and is circulated by Curtis Circulation internationally in both specialty and wholesale markets.
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