Spin #84 : Bella Donna : Stevie Nicks
SUNDAY DROP - SPIN #84
Welcome to our 84th Sunday drop from the R'nR with Rylo collection! There has been an awful lot going on behind the scenes here at R'nR and we almost ran out of time this week for the Sunday Spin. Thankfully we found sometime together with my wife and children to spin the debut album, 'Bella Donna' by the very talented Stevie Nicks. Probably an album that most of you already have and that is a good thing, as you will be able to spin along with us today.
I could honestly say that I believed the bird on the front cover of this album was either a dove or parrot. How many of you had to have a double take and confirm that it was actually a Cockatoo? I guess you just assume because of the song 'Edge of Seventeen', Nicks is singing about a "white winged dove", that the bird must be a dove. I also learnt that the title of this album is the poisonous ingredient often added by witches to a cauldron containing potion or brew.
This album has a very positive rating online and I was able to purchase this pressing as part of the Vinyl Me, Please record of the month subscription a few years ago. I'm looking at the album jacket in my hands and VMP have done an amazing job with it. The record was pressed on 180g blue and black 'Galaxy' vinyl at Sterling Sound by Ryan Smith. I'll try and take a picture of what it looks like when held up against a light and I feel the colours match the artwork well. There was also an added photograph of Stevie Nicks doing some ballet in the same white dress.
Image: Stevie Nicks
For this spin, we have decided to spin it in our loungeroom because the sun is too hot for the front room. I did get to spin this one throughout the week at different moments, so I will include those also.
It's time to #dropthestylus on this '80s album!
I was lucky enough to not have to travel for work this week and found some time to spin this record a couple of times. Our son was excited to work with me at our workstation and was drawing on some paper - I think that it was tattoos and animals. He heard the sounds of 'BELLA DONNA' come through the Marshall Woburn II speaker and started dancing while he sat. Even though it is a very piano driven number, he enjoyed the slowness and harmonious vocals by Nicks and her backing team of Lori Perry and Sharon Celani. He wasn't feeling well earlier in the week and anytime that he isn't himself, makes Night Kat Kiz and I upset. I think it's a bit of growing and exhaustion from school to be honest.
Our son and I both watched the record spinning on the turntable and he looked at me with a big smile on his face. It is a really nice opening song that eases the listener into the world of Nicks. The guitar work of Waddy Wachtel is so distinct when listening to her work and the drumming of Russ Kunkel - best name. It must have been scary for Nicks choosing to temporarily leave Fleetwood Mac in order to work on her solo album. What we now know is that she would go on to become the most successful female solo artist who originally started out in famous bands. Nicks took a chance and it paid off for her. "Come in out of the darkness, Bella Donna".
I was trying to throw a few of you off on Friday night by talking about a newer band that I'd come across called, 'Crypta'. They are a death metal band from Brazil and although they are too heavy for Night Kat Kiz, I loved them upon first listen.
Night Kat Kiz got to have a very nice moment with our daughter this week. They set up some of her plush toy friends (Wolfie and Bingo) and had a tea party. She even made some coffee and cakes for all of them and wore her very pretty 'Bluey' dress and pink bucket hat. I remember when she wasn't feeling too well a couple of months ago, I set up a tea party in her room to have with her and it made her smile a lot. Her smile is getting bigger these days and she is chatting a lot more. Both of our babies are growing up so fast!
The record keeps on spinning and the sounds of 'KIND OF WOMAN' begin to fill the room. It looks as though this one was written a number of years prior but was held for her solo work, rather than being released on a Fleetwood Mac album. I love the smokiness in her voice and we are currently watching our daughter doing her form of interpretive dance to this song. She is only two years old but I will show her the dancing of Kate Bush or Stevie Nicks when she is older - it's a mixture of all of that currently. 'KIND OF WOMAN' is a great song and I would have picked it as my favourite, if there wasn't so many great tracks.
I'm not exactly sure how Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks met to collaborate on 'STOP DRAGGIN' MY HEART AROUND'. It was pretty much Tom Petty and his band with Stevie Nicks and it is such a good song that fits well on the album, as the first real rock song. I was also dancing to this one with our daughter in the kitchen during the week, as I could Bluetooth the turntable to the speaker in the corner. She wouldn't let me just bop around with her on the ground and she made me pick her up and dance like a waltz. Imagine when she is in her teens and how pushy she well be!
Have you all seen the television show, 'The Mole'? Night Kat Kiz and I found the newer version of it on Netflix recently and started piecing together who it could be. I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't seen it yet but it was pretty good. Until we realised that the subscription was finishing up and we still had 5-6 episodes to cram in. We recently stopped our subscription to save on money and our son somehow re-subscribed through the television with a simple click of the remote. When the subscription ended this time, we had to make sure the app was removed so it couldn't happen again. This next song title made me 'THINK ABOUT IT' and I can hear the strength and confidence in Nicks voice as she sings, "And the heart says danger, And the heart says whatever. It is that you want from me. I am just one small part .... of Forever". I'll have to find the kids tambourine in their rooms and show them how to play along with Nicks as she sings this one.
There is so much to do around the house and it sometimes is dependent on the weather. I just keep reminding myself that it's endless and there is always something to do or spend time and money on. We are taking the time out of a busy schedule to listen to music and capture these moments. 'AFTER THE GLITTER FADES' is a song about an artist who is thinking about the future, once her career has finished. Lovely and sad song that really brings the country/blues roots to this album. I love the pedal steel guitar of Dugmore and the Organ playing by Tench particularly on this song. I like that this song is used as the closer of the first act or Side A. It has those melancholy moments and would be sad to hear Nicks sing this at her last show when she does indeed decide to hang up the tambourine. "For me it's the only life that I've ever known, and love is only one fine star away. Even though the living is sometimes laced with lies. It's alright. The feeling remains even after the glitter fades". Side A comes to an end and it's time to flip the LP over to Side B. While you're standing up, boil the ketta and make another cuppa. In case this is your first time here for the R'nR with Rylo blog, I tend to use words that our children so nicely say - Ketta = Kettle.
What a big song to lead off Side B with! 'EDGE OF SEVENTEEN' starts coming through the speakers and it has the right level of guitar riffing, bass and vocals to hit the spot. Does anyone know someone who doesn't know this song? (children not included). I am reminded of the movie 'School of Rock' when this song comes on and the scene where Joan Cusack is singing with Jack Black in order for him to take the kids on a field trip. Cusack is so in love with Nicks and this song that she agrees to anything. For some reason when I hear this track, it also makes me think of the first time that I heard - 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' by Bonnie Tyler. I must have been 14 years old at a mates party and stopped to listen to that song - incredible. With 'EDGE OF SEVENTEEN' though, it was inspired by Tom Petty's first wife originally and the twang in her accent as she said "Age of Seventeen". It was then written as a dedication to her uncle and John Lennon (killed in 1980), who she lost within the same week of each other.
'HOW STILL MY LOVE' carries the sadness and strength of the previous song, but having its own identity with different harmonies and drumming of Kunkel - I just wanted to say his name again. I will have to get into a couple more of her solo efforts and albums of Fleetwood Mac. I have a couple of them but nowhere near as many as I should. I'll also have to get a Tom Petty record as I.....hate to admit....that I don't have any of his albums. The soft sounds of next track 'LEATHER AND LACE' starts coming through the speakers now and it also has Don Henley from 'The Eagles' on it. I have a couple of their albums and really enjoy their sound. Nicks wrote this song in 1975 around the time she broke up with Lindsey Buckingham and started dating Henley. Regarded as one of the most successful love songs and would later be sung together at Nicks' induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I like the lyrics of, "Lovers forever, face to face. My city or mountains, Stay with me stay. I need you to love me, I need you today. Give to me your leather, Take from me ....my lace".
Our son has been listening very well at his karate lessons and managed to get two lessons in this week. I took a photo of him with his guards up and in his uniform - it made me feel proud and also made me feel old. I remember doing karate with my sister growing up and to watch him out on the dojo mats makes me feel as though I'm watching myself. He was very happy after class (and exhausted). We managed to have a quiet weekend where our son and daughter played outside a fair bit or relaxed with a movie in the loungin (their word for out lounge room). It was pretty hot and they are getting better at playing together. We managed to see some ducks at the duck pond and having snacks in the shade.
Our daughter is starting to move on from the cot and interested in the bed now. It won't be long before she moves into her very own bed and I still remember how excited her brother was when he came home to find his big boy bed. 'OUTSIDE THE RAIN' is up next and is a favourite of Nicks' to perform live. I'm not sure of the backstory or who it is about, possibly Mick Fleetwood. "Outside the rain and the heart skips a beat. So you're lonely, Creature of the night. It's been almost a week. Can you love me lonely". I didn't realise but Tom Petty was also on guitar for this track.
If there was a song on the album that could have been sung by Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan, then the final track called 'THE HIGHWAYMAN' would be that song. Don Henley was on drums for this track and is another one written about their love. Probably the best lyrics are on this track and I'll include a few of them here as it really paints the picture as the song plays. It's about a woman being in love with the Highwayman, who was based on an old poem about someone who would rob from the rich and give to the poor. She described Henley as that person always out on the road and was an easy one to write. "Alas he was the highwayman, the one that comes and goes. And only the highway-woman keeps up with the likes of those. And she in all her magic, with hands as quick as light. Took him to be a challenge and went into the night. And he in all his glory, was far ahead of her. But she was never sorry for wishes that would burn. Enter competition, She chases beneath the moon. Her horse is like a dragonfly, She is just a fool". Our daughter has her hair flowing like a little Stevie Nicks and similar hair colour. She does more interpretive dances as the stylus comes to the end on the album.
I want to congratulate my lovely wife, who finished her current studies this week. She has been working so hard, finding time to study around being a mum of two little gremlins too. Even though there were some very hard moments, I am so very proud of her achievements. She should also be very proud of herself. What comes next is exciting and we are building towards the future. We just have to keep reminding ourselves to have good moments all together and keep smiling. I hope that you enjoyed our Spin #84 this week and you all found time to relax with a good book or some music. I'm going to rest up my back now because I actually bowled over a baby gate in the night, but I will talk about that another time. Keep an eye out for our MWSP next week and get involved if you know the answer.
"At last......My Love has come along. My lonely days are over, and life is like a song" - Etta James
Until our next Spin, be Kind to your local postman/woman and be Kind to your Wax!
JIMMY IOVINE AND TOM PETTY
MODERN / ATCO (REPRESS BY VMP)
SPEED PLAYED AT
33 1/3 RPM
THE WILD HEART (1983)
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR (1989)
STOP DRAGGIN' MY HEART AROUND
RATING OUT OF 5
WHAT'S INSIDE THE RECORD SLEEVE
1 X BLUE/BLACK MARBLED LP THAT SHINES AMAZINGLY WHEN HELD UPTO LIGHT. LYRIC SLIP AND FOIL STAMPED WITH 'VINYL ME PLEASE. ESSENTIALS' ON THE BACK
"Just like the white winged dove, sings a song, sounds like she's singing....whoo...whoo....whoo" ~ Edge of Seventeen - Side B
LP / SIDE
KIND OF WOMAN
STOP DRAGGIN' MY HEARD AROUND
THINK ABOUT IT
AFTER THE GLITTER FADES
EDGE OF SEVENTEEN
HOW STILL MY LOVE
LEATHER AND LACE
OUTSIDE THE RAIN
Stevie Nicks on stage in the early '80s