Bella Donna (album)

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Bella Donna
Bella Donna (album).jpg
Studio album by Stevie Nicks
Released July 27, 1981
Recorded Autumn 1980 – Spring 1981
Genre Pop rock, adult contemporary, country rock, soft rock
Length 41:55
Label Modern, Atco
Producer Jimmy Iovine and Tom Petty
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
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[2]

Bella Donna is the debut studio album by American singer, songwriter and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks. Released on July 27, 1981, the album reached number one on the U.S. Billboard charts in September of that year. Bella Donna was awarded Platinum status by the RIAA on October 7, 1981, less than three months after its release, and has since been 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 solo 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), the iconic "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 famed 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.


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.[6] Among the earliest songs recorded during the autumn 1980 sessions were "Blue Lamp", "Outside the Rain", and "How Still My Love."[citation needed]

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.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Bella Donna"   Stevie Nicks Stevie Nicks 5:21
2. "Kind Of Woman"   Stevie Nicks Stevie Nicks, Benmont Tench 3:12
3. "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) Tom Petty Michael Campbell 4:06
4. "Think About It"   Stevie Nicks Stevie Nicks, Roy Bittan 3:35
5. "After the Glitter Fades"   Stevie Nicks Stevie Nicks 3:31
6. "Edge of Seventeen"   Stevie Nicks Stevie Nicks 5:28
7. "How Still My Love"   Stevie Nicks Stevie Nicks 3:54
8. "Leather and Lace" (with Don Henley) Stevie Nicks Stevie Nicks 3:44
9. "Outside the Rain"   Stevie Nicks Stevie Nicks 4:18
10. "The Highwayman"   Stevie Nicks Stevie Nicks 4:48


The Band[edit]

Additional Musicians[edit]


  • Herbert W. Worthington[7][8]


  • 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 27, 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 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 were shown on the TV special and released to VHS. To date, the show has never been released on DVD or CD, although two tracks ("Edge of Seventeen" and "Gold And Braid") can be found on the 1998 boxset The Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks. Only "Gold Dust Woman", "Gold And Braid", "I Need to Know", "Outside The Rain", "Dreams", "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around", "Sara", "Edge of Seventeen" and "Rhiannon" were included on the VHS release. "Bella Donna", "Angel", "Blue Lamp", "Leather And Lace", "Think About It", "After The Glitter Fades" and "How Still My Love" were recorded and received audio broadcast on radio but were not televised, and as such have never been officially released.

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.

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[edit]

  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"
  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"

Tour dates[edit]

  • November 27 – Houston, Texas, The Summit Arena
  • November 28 – Houston, Texas, The Summit Arena
  • November 29 – Dallas, Texas, Reunion Arena
  • 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 Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[20] 2× Platinum 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[21] 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. ^ Howe, Zoë. Stevie Nicks: Visions Dreams & Rumours, page 206.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Herbert W. Worthington
  9. ^ Bella Donna at AllMusic
  10. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  11. ^ "RPM – Library and Archives Canada". RPM. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c " - Stevie Nicks - Bella Donna". Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  13. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  14. ^ "Chart Stats - Stevie Nicks - Bella Donna". Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  15. ^ Bella Donna (album) at AllMusic
  16. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1981". RPM. December 26, 1981. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Top 100 Albums '82". RPM. December 25, 1982. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Billboard.BIZ: Top Pop Albums of 1982". Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1983". December 31, 1983. Archived from the original on December 31, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna". Music Canada. 
  21. ^ "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]

Preceded by
4 by Foreigner
Billboard 200 number-one album
September 5–11, 1981
Succeeded by
Escape by Journey
Preceded by
Hitwave '81 by Various artists
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
September 21–27, 1981
Succeeded by
Tattoo You by The Rolling Stones