Beauty and the Beast (Stevie Nicks song)

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"Beauty and the Beast"
Song by Stevie Nicks
from the album The Wild Heart
A-side "Whole Lotta Trouble (released in 1989)"
Released June 10, 1983
Format 12-inch vinyl
Recorded 1983
Genre Soft rock
Length 6:02
Label Modern Records
Songwriter(s) Stevie Nicks
Producer(s) Jimmy Iovine

"Beauty and the Beast" is a song by the American singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks. It is the final track on her second album The Wild Heart, released in 1983. It was later released in a live version from Nicks 1986 Rock a Little tour as a B-side to the UK single "Whole Lotta Trouble" in October 1989. It also appears on two compilations: Timespace – The Best of Stevie Nicks, released in 1991, and the boxset, Enchanted, released in 1998.[1] A new studio version appears on her album, The Soundstage Sessions, released in 2009.

Inspiration and Interpretations[edit]

The song receives its titles and initial inspiration from French filmmaker Jean Cocteau's 1946 film Beauty and the Beast, one of Stevie Nicks' favorite classic films.[2] Nicks explains the importance of the song to her, both during live performances and in various interviews, as one that encompasses her whole life and represents how everyone is either a beauty or a beast, usually both [3][4][5] On its re-release in Timespace – The Best of Stevie Nicks (1991), she dedicates the song to Vincent and Catherine, of the late 80's television show, "Beauty and the Beast."[3]

Studio session[edit]

"Beauty and the Beast" was recorded during a single three hour session in Gordon Perry's recording studio. It is recorded with a full string orchestra and grand piano. During the recording session, Stevie Nicks and her back-up vocalists wore long black gowns and served champagne to the visiting musicians.[6]

Personnel (1983 studio version)[edit]

Main performers

  • Stevie Nicks – vocals
  • Sharon Celani – backup vocals
  • Lori Perry – backup vocals

String section

  • Paul Buckmaster – arranger & conductor
  • Roy Bittan – piano
  • Gene Bianco – harp
  • Jesse Levine – viola
  • Julien Barber – viola
  • Theodore Israel – viola
  • Harry Zaratzian – viola
  • Jesse Levy – cello
  • Frederick Zlotkin – cello
  • Seymour Barab – cello
  • Jon Abramowitz – cello
  • Marvin Morgenstern – violin
  • Herbert Sorkin – violin
  • John Pintavalle – violin
  • Max Ellen – violin
  • Regis Eandiorio – violin
  • Harry Glickman – violin
  • Peter Dimitriades – violin
  • Paul Winter – violin
  • Matthew Raimondi – violin
  • Harry Cykman – violin
  • Raymond Kunicki – violin
  • Lewis Eley – violin
  • Ruth Waterman – violin
  • Paul Gershman – violin

Personnel (2009 studio version)[edit]

Main performers

  • Stevie Nicks - vocals, producer
  • Sharon Celani - backup vocals
  • Lori Nicks - backup vocals
  • Jana Anderson - backup vocals

String section

  • Eric Roth - conductor
  • Janice MacDonald - flute
  • Deb Stevenson - oboe
  • Greg Flint - horn
  • Christine Worthing - horn
  • Guillaume Combet - violin
  • Jennifer Cappelli - violin
  • Carmen Llop-Kassinger - violin
  • Christine Keiko Abe - violin
  • Carol Cook - viola
  • Jocelyn Davis-Beck - cello
  • Eddie Bayers - drums
  • Michael Rhodes - bass
  • Joe Thomas - keyboards

Live performance[edit]

During her 2006 and 2007 tours, Stevie Nicks performed "Beauty and the Beast" as her encore. For this number, she changed into a black dress and styled her hair into an up-do to resemble Belle from the 1946 film. Footage from the film played in the background as well while she performed. Due to issues obtain copyrights for the 1946 film, a performance of the song was cut from the final edit of her 2009 Live in Chicago DVD. Instead, a new studio version recorded in Nashville in January 2008 appears on the accompanying album, The Soundstage Sessions.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Beauty and the Beast at The Nicks Fix
  2. ^ Derringer, Lix (March 1982). Time Magazine interview with Stevie Nicks
  3. ^ a b Nicks, Stevie (1991). Timespace Linear Notes.
  4. ^ Nicks, Stevie (1983). Wild Heart Press Notes
  5. ^ Derringer, Liz (March 1982). Time Magazine interview with Stevie Nicks
  6. ^ Nicks, Stevie (1983). Wild Heart Press Notes.