Gold Dust Woman

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"Gold Dust Woman"
Song by Fleetwood Mac
from the album Rumours
A-side"You Make Loving Fun" (US)
"Don't Stop" (UK)
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Stevie Nicks
Producer(s)Fleetwood Mac,
Richard Dashut and
Ken Caillat
Music video
"Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac)" on YouTube
Music video
"Gold Dust Woman (Hole) from soundtrack of The Crow: City of Angels" on YouTube

"Gold Dust Woman" is a song from the best-selling Fleetwood Mac album Rumours (1977). The song was written and sung by Stevie Nicks and released as a B-side to the "Don't Stop" single (in the UK) and the "You Make Loving Fun" single (in the US).

The 2004 two-disc special edition release of Rumours includes two demos of "Gold Dust Woman". One demo features vocal melody and lyrics in the coda which would later be developed into the stand-alone single "If You Ever Did Believe" in 1997, which Nicks recorded with Sheryl Crow as part of the early sessions for her 2001 Trouble in Shangri-La album. However, the track, "If You Ever Did Believe" was instead chosen as the theme song for the 1998 Warner Bros. film Practical Magic, starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, and is only available on the film's soundtrack album.


The take chosen for release on the 1977 Rumours album was reportedly recorded at 4 a.m., after a long night of attempts in the studio. Just before and during the final take, Stevie Nicks had wrapped her head (though not mouth) with a black scarf, veiling her senses to tap memories and emotions.[1] Many unusual instruments were used in the recording, including an electric harpsichord with a jet phaser, which was marked with tape so Mick Fleetwood could play the right notes.[2] To accentuate Nicks's vocals, Fleetwood broke sheets of glass.[2] According to producer Ken Caillat "He [Fleetwood] was wearing goggles and coveralls — it was pretty funny. He just went mad, bashing glass with this big hammer. He tried to do it on cue, but it was difficult. Eventually, we said, 'Just break the glass,' and we fit it all in."[2]

The song's title, "Gold Dust Woman", comes from Gold Dust Lane, a street in Wickenburg, Arizona where Nicks spent time as a child.[3]

Slant Magazine critic Barry Walsh described the song as finding Nicks "at her folky (not flaky) best with one of her most poignant character studies".[4]


When asked about the song in an interview with Courtney Love for Spin in October 1997, Nicks confirmed that "gold dust" was in fact a metaphor for cocaine.

Everybody was doing a little bit--you know, we never bought it or anything, it was just around--and I think I had a real serious flash of what this stuff could be, of what it could do to you...And I really imagined that it could overtake everything, never thinking a million years that it would overtake me. I must have met a couple of people that I thought did too much coke and I must have been impressed by that. Because I made it into a whole story.[5]

In an interview for VH1's Classic Album series, Nicks offered further insight into the song's meaning:

"Gold Dust Woman" was my kind of symbolic look at somebody going through a bad relationship, doing a lot of drugs, and trying to make it. Trying to live. Trying to get through it.[6]


Cover versions[edit]

A cover version by the American alternative rock band Hole was released on Geffen Records in 1996 as their ninth CD single. It was also featured on the soundtrack to The Crow: City of Angels and was produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars.

Chart (1996)
(Hole version)
Australia (ARIA)[7] 87
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 31

A cover version by Waylon Jennings was released on the Waylon and Willie album in 1978.


  1. ^ Cath Carroll (2004-10-01). Never Break the Chain: Fleetwood Mac and the Making of Rumours (The Vinyl Frontier series): Cath Carroll: 9781556525452: Books. ISBN 1556525451.
  2. ^ a b c Bosso, Joe. "Fleetwood Mac's classic album Rumours track-by-track". MusicRadar. Future plc. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  3. ^ "Gold Dust Woman". STEVIE NICKS INFO. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
  4. ^ Walsh, Barry. "Fleetwood Mac Rumours". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2015-06-14.
  5. ^ "Stevie Nicks: Blonde on Blonde". Spin Magazine. October 1997. Retrieved May 8, 2017 – via
  6. ^ "Gold Dust Woman". Retrieved 2021-03-31.
  7. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.

External links[edit]