I Can't Wait (Stevie Nicks song)

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"I Can't Wait"
Stevie Nicks - I Can't Wait.jpg
Single by Stevie Nicks
from the album Rock a Little
B-side "Rock a Little (Go Ahead Lily)"
"The Nightmare"
Released December 1985 (Australia)
January 1986 (UK and Ireland)
February 1986 (North America)
Recorded 1984–85
Length 4:36
Label Modern
Stevie Nicks singles chronology
"Talk to Me"
"I Can't Wait"
"Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You?"

"Talk to Me"
"I Can't Wait"
"Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You?"

"I Can't Wait" is a song by American singer Stevie Nicks from her third solo studio album Rock a Little (1985). Written by Nicks, Rick Nowels and Eric Pressly, the song was released as the album's lead single in Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and as the second single in the United States and Germany.

"I Can't Wait" first charted in Australia, debuting on the Kent Music Report chart on 13 January 1986,[1] peaking at #20 in February.[2] The single first entered the UK chart on 25 January 1986, peaking at #54 in early February; her first single to chart there since 1981's "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around".[3] "I Can't Wait" spent a solitary week on the Irish chart at #29 on 23 January 1986.[4] In New Zealand, the single entered the chart on 16 February 1986, peaking at #39 the following week.[5] The song peaked inside the US top 20 at #16 for two weeks and is one of only four of Nicks' singles to enter the US Dance charts peaking inside the top 30.[6] In Germany, "I Can't Wait" entered the chart in early May 1986, peaking at #58 two weeks later.[7]

The single's American chart run coincided with that of a Nu Shooz song also titled "I Can't Wait".

"I Can't Wait" was re-issued as a single in the UK and Europe in October 1991, to promote the "Timespace: The Best of Stevie Nicks" compilation album. The single peaked marginally higher in the UK on this release, at #47 in November 1991.[3]

The song can be also heard on the fictitious radio station "Los Santos Rock Radio" of the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V and on the Swiffer commercial.


The song was recorded in 1985 at The Village Recorder in Hollywood, CA and was written by Nicks and co-writers Rick Nowels and Eric Pressly. The song was produced by Nowels and Jimmy Iovine, who had worked with Nicks since her Bella Donna album but later left the Rock a Little project.

Nicks explained the song in depth in the liner notes of her 1991 release Timespace: The Best of Stevie Nicks:[8]

"To understand this song, you sort of have to let yourself go a little crazy. Love is blind, it never works out, but you just have to have it. I think this was about the most exciting song that I had ever heard. My friend, Rick, whom I had known since I was 18 and he was 13, brought over this track with this incredible percussion thing, and gave it to me asking me if I would listen to it and consider writing a song for it. I listened to the song once, and pretended not to be that knocked out, but the second Rick left, I ran in my little recording studio and wrote 'I Can't Wait.' It took all night, and I think it is all about how electric I felt about this music. And that night, that SATURDAY night, Rick and I went into a BIG studio and recorded it. I sang it only once, and have never sung it since in the studio. Some vocals are magic and simply not able to beat. So I let go of it, as new to me as it was; but you know, now when I hear it on the radio, this incredible feeling comes over me, like something really incredible is about to happen."

Music video[edit]

The promotional music video for the song was directed by Marty Callner. The video features Nicks, her brother Christopher, Sharon Celani & Lori Perry Nicks (Nicks longtime back-up singers), choreographer Brad Jeffries & a cheeky Mick Fleetwood on a stage and on a set of stairs. Nicks also performs parts by herself in a small room which could be a prison cell. Nicks is primarily dressed in black and sings the song in front of a microphone and during parts has a tambourine, this all goes back to Nicks' trademark image of her performances of songs such as "Rhiannon" with her band Fleetwood Mac.

Nicks says that she did drugs on the set of all her videos of the era however, regarding the video for "I Can't Wait" she said in I Want My MTV:[9]

"I look at that video, I look at my eyes, and I say to myself, 'Could you have laid off the pot, the coke, and the tequila for three days, so you could have looked a little better? It just makes me want to go back into that video and stab myself."

An earlier, alternative edit of the music video aired in Australia,[10] due to the single's earlier release there.

Live performances[edit]

"I Can't Wait" was performed for the first time on the Rock a Little tour in 1986 and this was the only tour to feature the song.[11]


An extended mix of the song was released towards the end of 1985 in most territories such as the US, UK and Germany. The extended mix also included the standard version of the song and the Rock a Little album track "Rock a Little (Go Ahead Lily)". The 7 inch single release simply featured the standard version and "Rock a Little (Go Ahead Lily)".[12] A 1986 release in the US featured a b-side "The Nightmare", the release was called The Nightmare extended mix.[13]

The highly sought after 5-track US 12-inch release of "I Can't Wait", in one of the most iconic picture sleeves of Nick's career, includes:

Side A

  1. "I Can't Wait" (Rock Mix) — 5:57
  2. "I Can't Wait" (Dance Mix) — 6:20

Side B

  1. "The Nightmare" (Special Extended Vocal Remix) — 6:38
  2. "I Can't Wait" (Dub Dance Mix) — 4:23
  3. "I Can't Wait" (Dub Rock Mix) — 5:46

Rock Mix by Chris Lord-Alge Dub Rock Mix by Steve Thompson Dance Mix and Dub Dance Mix by Michael Barbiero

The song appears in original form on the aforementioned 1991 Timespace album as well as the 2007 Greatest Hits album Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks. It was re-released off of Timespace in the UK, reaching #47 in the charts.


Chart (1986) Peak
U.S. Billboard Album Rock Tracks 6
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 16
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs 26
Australia (Kent Music Report)[2] 20
Irish Singles Chart[4] 29
New Zealand (RIANZ)[5] 39
German Singles Chart[7] 58
UK Singles Chart (1986)[3] 54
UK Singles Chart (1991 re-release)[3] 47


  1. ^ "Kent Music Report - No 600 - 13 January 1986". Kent Music Report. Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  2. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 217. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between 1983 and 19 June 1988.
  3. ^ a b c d "Official Charts > Stevie Nicks". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  4. ^ a b "The Irish Charts - All There Is To Know". Fireball Media. Archived from the original on 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2015-09-24.  N.B. user needs to enter Stevie Nicks in the Search By Artist box to display chart history
  5. ^ a b "charts.org.nz > Stevie Nicks 'I Can't Wait' (song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  6. ^ allmusic.com
  7. ^ a b "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Stevie Nicks > I Can't Wait". offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  8. ^ I Can't Wait - songfacts.com
  9. ^ Songfacts
  10. ^ "Stevie Nicks - I Cant Wait (1st video edit)". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-11-08. 
  11. ^ Rock a Little tour on Setlist.fm
  12. ^ I Can't Wait - discogs.com
  13. ^ Nicks Fix.com

External links[edit]