Stevie Nicks: an impromptu “Wild Heart”

UPDATE: As Wikipedia notes, this is actually the first time the song was performed, and the other singer is Nicks’s soon-to-be sister in law, Lori Perry-Nicks. And the entry adds this:

The famous video was recorded during a Rolling Stone photo shoot in 1981. It starts with Nicks singing a rendition of Love In Store, a song by Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie. The video ends with a version of McVie’s “Wish You Were Here”. The video has been viewed over a million times on YouTube. The backing music was written by Lindsey Buckingham found in a demo which can also be found on YouTube.


Here’s some music to end the week.

Steve Nicks and Fleetwood Mac were national treasures, far, far above the autotuned pap that passes for rock music today. (Get off of my lawn!). There was an excellent article about Nicks in the November 28, 2016 issue of the New Yorker: “What the heart says: the resurgent appeal of Stevie Nicks“, by Amanda Petrusich. Toward the end you can read this (but read the whole piece, too):

The artist Justin Vernon, of the band Bon Iver, uses a brief sample of “Wild Heart” (a track from “The Wild Heart”) on the group’s new album, “22, A Million.” Nicks’s voice is sped up, pitch-altered, and barely discernible as human—just a high, grousing “wah-wah,” deployed intermittently. Vernon pinched it from a popular YouTube video of Nicks, in which she sits on a stool having her makeup done, wearing a white dress with spaghetti straps. She begins to sing. Soon, someone is messing with a piano; one of her backup singers joins in with a harmony. The makeup artist gamely tries to continue with her work, before giving up. While the studio recording of “Wild Heart” is saturated, almost wet, this version is all air, all joy.

What affects me most about the video is how profoundly Nicks appears to love singing. Her voice has an undulating, galloping quality. It is as if, once it’s started up, there’s no slowing down, no stopping; the car is careering down a mountain, with no brakes. You can see on her face how good it feels just to let go.

I found that video, apparently a spontaneous outburst from a Rolling Stone photo session. Here it is:

What a voice!


  1. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted March 3, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    This is a lovely song. I first heard it like this covered by Abe Vigoda, a nothing-much-ey psych band from the noughties.
    Her songs are very amenable to cover versions I think, maybe because underneath some of the gauzy production values the melodic structure is sometimes so strong.

  2. Posted March 3, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    “Get off my lawn!” LOL!!! I almost spewed my coffee when I got to this part.

  3. darrelle
    Posted March 3, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I agree, they are national treasures! Fleetwood Mac packed a lot of talent into one band. They had hits with material written by all the different band members and with lead vocals by at least three of them.

    A mystical moment that still moves me emotionally when I recall it was watching concert footage of Fleetwood Mac performing Gold Dust Woman very late one night in the very early ’80s. I was young, a little drunk, the performance completely drew me in, and then it blew my mind.

  4. jeffery
    Posted March 3, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I don’t care at all for the “Abe Vigoda” version- I want STEVIE! I first stumbled across this grainy little vid years ago, and have ever since (in vain) searched for one of her performing it on stage- she wrote it, didn’t she? I’ve always been in love with her throaty voice….

  5. Posted March 3, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Awesome. I though she was sat on the radiator for a bit, which would have made it even more incongruous.

    She has written some great songs, but for my money when Lindsey Buckingham gets his paws on them, they become that little bit better.

  6. rickflick
    Posted March 3, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Stripped bare of the performance aspect, it’s very sincere.

  7. Posted March 3, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    “Don’t blame it on me: blame it on my warthog”!

  8. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted March 3, 2017 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    She has a very distinctive voice, quite unlike anyone else’s that I can think of.


  9. HaggisForBrains
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 4:12 am | Permalink


  10. Melissa thomas
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Loved this video!!!wild heart video just goes to show ya that STEVIE NICKS music is like a fine WINE,,,, IT gets so much better as time passes😍😋

  11. Andy
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I love that clip. The first time someone pointed me at it on YouTube, I think I listened to it about a dozen times. I ended up buying a best-of Fleetwood Mac album that went on fairly heavy rotation.
    I like most Stevie Nicks stuff. The Southpark Episode featuring Landslide is just fantastic. Although I have to admit I prefer the Dixie Chicks cover of that song…

  12. Posted March 4, 2017 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    I love this video because she clearly loves singing impromptu. She’s amazing.

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  1. […] via Stevie Nicks: an impromptu “Wild Heart” — Why Evolution Is True […]

  2. […] before an audience in Burbank made into a live “greatest hits” album. Reader darrelle, in a comment on this site, said that watching Fleetwood Mac perform this song live “completely drew me in, […]

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