THE FIRST TIME I can remember hearing Stevie Nicks: I’m five or six, sitting on the brown carpet in my parents’ living room listening to a Fleetwood Mac record.
Her voice sounded different than the music I was used to—The Beatles, The Supremes, Raffi—and I stopped whatever I was doing to listen. Like any ’80s kid, it was a small moment in time between episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and being sent outside to play, but it’s one that stuck with me.
It took over a decade for me to come back to that hauntingly husky voice in the same time-stopping way again. Somehow, I had never heard Landslide and when I did it was just the song my recently dumped 17-year-old self needed: “Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love? Can the child within my heart rise above?” Teaaaars. Tears and release and this… landslide that was my life.
Now that another decade has passed, I still find magic in Stevie’s voice and words when my love life hits the fan. Get your iPhone out or see if you can’t hunt down a record (100x better)… there’s a Stevie Nicks song for (almost) every relationship woe:
Wild Heart — For the Lady Who Can’t/Won’t Settle
You’re always the one who’s leaving when things get to be too much, too boring, too difficult. That or you’ve been burned too many times to risk opening or giving your heart away again. This was my jam for two straight years of being single in the city, refusing dates and throwing out flowers, but secretly feeling a little sad about the whole thing.
This version from the Rolling Stones photo session is godd**n gut-wrenching.
Where is the reason?
Don’t blame it on me,
Blame it on my wild heart
Beautiful Child — For Those Times When Nothing Seems Worse than Unrequited Love
We’ve all fallen for the person we can’t have — they’re too old or young, they’re dating your good friend, they just want to “be friends” or any of the other crap scenarios life throws our way. It’s a pain like no other.
Here’s Stevie singing it solo.
Your eyes say yes
But you don’t say yes
I wish that you were mine
You say it will be harder in the morning
I wait for you to say, just go
Your hands, held mine so few hours
And I’m not a child anymore
I’m not a child anymore
Landslide — For When the Heart Gets Broken
Whether it’s the first time or the seventh time you’re going through a breakup, this song says everything. A decade ago I related to pleading with the sky, now the part about building your life around someone is what pulls at my heartstrings. It asks and answers all the questions you’re grappling with in the aftermath of a breakup at any age. Best when put on repeat.
Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older and I’m getting older too
Storm — For Remembering That after the Rain Comes Sunshine
The relationship is over, maybe has been over for months or even years, and you’re finally seeing the light again. This is the song you put on while you have one last quiet breakdown goodbye with a glass of red wine. You’re doing fine. You’ve always been a storm.
The demo version will really drag out the hiccuping sobs.
Every night you do not come
Your softness fades away
Did I ever really care that much?
Is there anything left to say?
Every hour of fear I spend
My body tries to cry
Living through each empty night
A deadly calm inside
So I try to say goodbye, my friend
I’d like to leave you with something warm
But never have I been a blue calm sea
I have always been a storm
Go Your Own Way –– For When You’re Over It
So, this is Fleetwood Mac, but it’s too good of a moving-on anthem (with Stevie’s backing vocals) to not include. Put it on blast, tell that dude/dudette you both need to go your own way, and then do proceed to do so.
Isn’t the right thing to do
How can I ever change things that I feel?
If I could
Baby I’d give you my world
How can I
When you won’t take it from me?
You can go your own way
Nothing like crying your eyes out to a good song. And, hey! If Stevie Nicks can have a public breakup with Lindsey Buckingham and come out on the other side, you can, too.