Bella Donna (album)

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Bella Donna
Stevie Nicks - Bella Donna.png
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 27, 1981
RecordedAutumn 1980 – Spring 1981
Stevie Nicks chronology
Bella Donna
The Wild Heart
Singles from Bella Donna
  1. "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"
    Released: July 8, 1981
  2. "Leather and Lace"
    Released: October 6, 1981
  3. "Edge of Seventeen"
    Released: February 5, 1982
  4. "After the Glitter Fades"
    Released: 1982
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[2]

Bella Donna is the debut solo studio album by American singer and songwriter Stevie Nicks. Released on July 27, 1981, the album reached number one on the US Billboard 200 in September of that year. Bella Donna was awarded platinum status by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on October 7, 1981, less than three months after its release, and in 2004 was certified quadruple-platinum.[3] Bella Donna spent nearly three years on the Billboard 200 from July 1981 to June 1984.[4] The album has sold over 4 million copies in the US alone with approximately a million copies since 1991 in the US according to Nielsen Soundscan. It is Nicks' best-selling album to date.

The album spawned four substantial hit singles during 1981 and 1982: the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers-penned duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (#3), the Don Henley duet "Leather and Lace" (#6), her signature song "Edge of Seventeen" (#11) and country-tinged "After the Glitter Fades" (#32).[5]

Bella Donna would mark the beginning of Nicks' trend of calling upon her many musician friends and connections to fully realize her sparse demo recordings. Along with friends Tom Petty and Don Henley, Nicks brought in session musician Waddy Wachtel, Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band pianist Roy Bittan, and Stax session man Donald "Duck" Dunn of Booker T. & the MGs. Though Bella Donna's personnel list includes some 20 musicians, the album is very much Nicks' own work, with all but one of the songs on the record written by her. The album also marked the first recording featuring Nicks' backing vocalists, Sharon Celani and Lori Perry, who still record and tour with Nicks today.[6][7]

The album was also included in the "Greatest of All Time Billboard 200 Albums" chart.[8]


Nicks began work on Bella Donna in 1979, in between sessions for her third album as part of Fleetwood Mac, Tusk, released in October that year. Nicks recorded various demo versions of songs early and mid-1980 but these recordings were not used on the album. Following the end of the Tusk tour on September 1, 1980, work with a full band of other musicians commenced under producer Jimmy Iovine.[9]

Recording sessions continued until the spring of 1981 when the final songs for the album were completed: "Edge of Seventeen" and "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around". The 10-song, 42-minute album Bella Donna was released in the summer of 1981. A number of finished songs did not make it on the album, including "Blue Lamp", which was released instead on the Heavy Metal soundtrack later in 1981, and "Sleeping Angel", released on the Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack in 1982. These two songs were included on Nicks' Enchanted boxed set in 1998, along with another unused Bella Donna session song, "Gold and Braid". Three more songs from these sessions, "If You Were My Love", "Belle Fleur" and "The Dealer," were finally released on Nicks' 2014 album 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault.

On her Enchanted boxed set release in 1998, remastered versions of some Bella Donna tracks ran noticeably longer in some instances, notably "Leather And Lace".

Video footage of the album sessions can be found on the DVD portion of Nicks' 2007 retrospective release Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks.

Rhino released an expanded version of Bella Donna on November 4, 2016. This includes three discs. The first disc is the remastered original album. The second disc includes outtakes, alternative versions, demos and more. The third disc consists of live tracks from Nicks' "White Wing Dove" tour 1981, recorded at the Fox Wilshire Theatre in Los Angeles, California on December 13, 1981.

Track listing[edit]

1."Bella Donna"Stevie Nicks5:21
2."Kind of Woman"3:12
3."Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)4:04
4."Think About It"3:35
5."After the Glitter Fades"Nicks3:31
6."Edge of Seventeen"Nicks5:28
7."How Still My Love"Nicks3:54
8."Leather and Lace" (with Don Henley)Nicks3:44
9."Outside the Rain"Nicks4:19
10."The Highwayman"Nicks4:49
Bella Donna: Deluxe Edition (Rhino, 2016)
Disc One: Original Album Remastered
1."Bella Donna" 
2."Kind of Woman" 
3."Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" 
4."Think About It" 
5."After the Glitter Fades" 
6."Edge of Seventeen" 
7."How Still My Love" 
8."Leather and Lace" 
9."Outside the Rain" 
10."The Highwayman" 
Disc Two: Bonus Tracks
1."Edge Of Seventeen" (Early Take*)6:40
2."Think About It" (Alternate Version*)4:47
3."How Still My Love" (Alternate Version*)4:52
4."Leather And Lace" (Alternate Version*)4:18
5."Bella Donna" (Demo*)3:32
6."Gold And Braid" (Unreleased Version*)4:16
7."Sleeping Angel" (Alternate Version*)4:44
8."If You Were My Love" (Unreleased Version*)4:56
9."The Dealer" (Unreleased Version*)4:19
10."Blue Lamp" (from Heavy Metal Soundtrack (Asylum/Full Moon 90004, 1981))3:50
11."Sleeping Angel" (from Fast Times At Ridgemont High Soundtrack (Asylum/Full Moon 60158, 1982))4:40

(*) denotes previously unreleased

Disc Three: Live 1981
1."Gold Dust Woman"6:40
2."Gold And Braid"5:12
3."I Need To Know"2:20
4."Outside The Rain"3:59
7."After the Glitter Fades"4:05
8."Leather and Lace"4:23
9."Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"4:43
10."Bella Donna"5:56
12."How Still My Love"5:12
13."Edge of Seventeen"9:07
14."Rhiannon (includes slow piano intro)"8:44



Additional musicians

Tour Band (2016 Deluxe Edition Disc 3)

  • Stevie Nicks
  • Roy Bittan – piano
  • Sharon Celani – backing vocals
  • Bob Glaub – bass
  • Bobbye Hall – percussion
  • Russ Kunkel – drums
  • Lori Perry – backing vocals
  • Benmont Tench – keyboards & synthesizer
  • Waddy Wachtel – lead guitar



  • Produced by Jimmy Iovine & Tom Petty
  • Engineered and mixed by Shelly Yakus and Don Smith
  • Assistant engineers: Dana Latham, Tori Swenson, Niko Bolas and James Ball
  • Additional engineering by Thom Panunzio
  • Mastered by Stephen Marcussen

Tour and HBO television special[edit]

Nicks underwent a short national tour in support of the album, starting on November 28, 1981 and finishing on December 13, 1981. The final night at The Wilshire Fox Theatre in Beverly Hills was recorded by HBO for a television special and later released on VHS and Laser Disc video in many territories by CBS/Fox in 1982 as White Wing Dove – Stevie Nicks in Concert. The whole show was recorded, but only 9 tracks ("Gold Dust Woman", "Gold And Braid", "I Need to Know", an edited "Outside The Rain", "Dreams", "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around", "Sara", "Edge of Seventeen" and "Rhiannon") were shown on the TV special and released to video.

The live performance of "Leather And Lace" was, however, used as a video promo for the single release (even though it was a solo version and did not feature Don Henley), and did surface on the 1986 VHS collection I Can't Wait, which featured six of Nicks' promo-clips between 1981 and 1985. These six promos were released on DVD as a special feature to the Australian issue of Fleetwood Mac – Mirage Tour in 2007.

On the 2016 Bella Donna Deluxe Edition, 14 tracks from the show - the ten aforementioned songs as well as "Angel", "After the Glitter Fades", "Bella Donna", and "How Still My Love" - were remastered and released (Disc 3), with "Outside the Rain" being restored to its full version. Previously, only two tracks ("Edge of Seventeen" and "Gold And Braid") were found on the 1998 boxset The Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks. "Blue Lamp" and "Think About It" were recorded and received audio broadcast on radio but were not televised, and as such have never been officially released.

Nicks' 2007 retrospective Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks included the full live 1981 clip of "Edge of Seventeen" on the DVD supplement, with optional commentary from Nicks. She admits that her tears at the end of the song were due to her thoughts of having to join Fleetwood Mac in France the following day to begin recording the Mirage album, one of the key reasons why the 1981 tour was so short.

The White Wing Dove performance remains unreleased in its entirety, although it has been circulating for many years amongst fans as a bootleg.

Tour set list

  1. "Gold Dust Woman"
  2. "Think About It"
  3. "Outside The Rain"
  4. "Dreams"
  5. "Angel"
  6. "After The Glitter Fades"
  7. "Gold and Braid"
  8. "I Need to Know" (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover)
  9. "Sara"
  10. "Bella Donna"
  11. "Blue Lamp"
  12. "Leather And Lace"
  13. "How Still My Love"
  14. "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"
  15. "Edge of Seventeen"
  16. "Rhiannon" (encore)

Tour dates

  • November 28 – Houston, Texas, The Summit Arena
  • November 29 – Dallas, Texas, Reunion Arena
  • December 1 - Boulder, Colorado, Colorado University Events Center
  • December 3 – Oakland, California, Oakland Coliseum
  • December 5 – Tempe, Arizona, Compton Terrace
  • December 6 – Los Angeles, California, Wilshire Fox Theater
  • December 7 – Los Angeles, California, Wilshire Fox Theater
  • December 8 – Los Angeles, California, Wilshire Fox Theater
  • December 12 – Los Angeles, California, Wilshire Fox Theater
  • December 13 – Los Angeles, California, Wilshire Fox Theater



Single Chart (1981) Peak
"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 2
Billboard Hot 100 3
UK Singles Chart 50
Single Chart (1982) Peak
"Leather And Lace" Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 26
Billboard Hot 100 6
"Edge of Seventeen" Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 4
Billboard Hot 100 11
"After The Glitter Fades" Hot Country Songs 70
Adult Contemporary 36
Billboard Hot 100 32


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia 100,000+[22]
Canada (Music Canada)[23] 2× Platinum 200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[24] Gold 7,500^
United States (RIAA)[25] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Henderson, Alex. Bella Donna at AllMusic
  2. ^ [1] Archived July 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "American album certifications – Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  4. ^ "Stevie Nicks – Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
  5. ^ "Stevie Nicks – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-11-12.
  6. ^ Heti, Sheila. "Sisters of the Moon: Stevie Nicks and Haim".
  7. ^ "Hear Stevie Nicks' "Bella Donna" When It Was Just A Diamond In The Rough".
  8. ^ "Greatest of All Time Billboard 200 Albums : Page 1".
  9. ^ Howe, Zoë. Stevie Nicks: Visions Dreams & Rumours, page 206.
  10. ^ "Music photographer Herbert Worthington remembered on new tribute page – Stevie Nicks".
  11. ^ Herbert W. Worthington
  12. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ "RPM – Library and Archives Canada". RPM. Archived from the original on April 29, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  14. ^ a b c " - Stevie Nicks - Bella Donna". Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  15. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - ALBUM 1981".
  16. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  17. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Stevie Nicks - Bella Donna". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  18. ^ Bella Donna at AllMusic
  19. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1981". RPM. December 26, 1981. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  20. ^ "Top 100 Albums '82". RPM. December 25, 1982. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  21. ^ Bella Donna at AllMusic
  22. ^ "Major fight economics with quirky rock originals". Billboard. 12 June 1982. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna". Music Canada.
  24. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  25. ^ "American album certifications – Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]