Stevie Nicks isn’t just a fantastic songwriter; she is a superlative vocalist too. Through her own solo work and, perhaps most notably, as the front for Fleetwood Mac, Nicks has crafted a career utterly drenched in authentic talent. Below, we’re checking out one of her finer performances as we bring you the isolated vocal for Fleetwood Mac song, ‘Gold Dust Woman’.
The singer, who made her name as the fulcrum of Fleetwood Mac with a plethora of dazzling costumes and swirling songs, shed further distractions from her talent and went solo in 1981. Following the departure, Nicks’ strength as a songwriter grew. With a series of sensational releases, she became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, once with Fleetwood Mac and once on her own merit. It’s a landmark that stands the test of time as a commendation on her work.
Though songs like ‘Landslide’ and ‘Rhiannon’ showcased Nicks as an extremely talented songwriter, using her beautiful singing voice, she truly ascended into her art when she delivered songs for the band. There’s something intrinsically freeing about Nicks’ vocals on all her songs that feels both ethereal yet utterly connecting; she is able to, not only touch our hearts, but do so with any words she is given. It needn’t be a song directly from Nicks’ heart to make her blood beat.
A patchwork song built out of several different pieces from different members of the band, ‘Gold Dust Woman’ remains one of the most unifying moments on the infamous album Rumours, if not a little tragic. Moving effortlessly across the seventies spectrum, the group show their mettle on this one and announce themselves as patrons of music in every form. But perhaps the biggest announcement of the song was Nicks’ fascination with cocaine.
There’s no doubt that Stevie Nicks and the rest of Fleetwood Mac soon became monster cocaine snorters. The group wrote most of the acclaimed album Rumours while snorting huge amounts of the drug. At this stage, before her snorting ended up burning a huge hole in her nose, Nicks was still enraptured by the possibilities the song offered.
‘Gold Dust Woman’, sees Nicks describe the suit of armour the drug provided her. The potential cocaine offered her as a songwriter seemed huge for NIcks, and this perception would almost end up costing her her life.
On ‘Gold Dust Woman’, Nicks brought out the most basic human emotions of the strange song to a rich and textured complexity and then covered it all in a blanket of golden-hued vocals. It meant that no matter the subject, Nicks ensured things felt peachy.
Nicks may have been singing about the death of a friend or relationship, or in this case, her love of cocaine, and you could still sweetly sing it to your lover.