The Stevie Nicks classic she was never sure of

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks was never one to half-arse any of her songs. Any amount of laziness would have actively undermined what she was trying to say half the time. Half of her songbook is about events taken straight out of her soul. She had already proven herself as a hitmaker while recording songs with Fleetwood Mac, such as “Landslide” and “Rhiannon.” However, she wasn’t sure if she was the right person to record Tom Petty’s classic, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.”

Granted, it’s not as though Nicks and Petty in particular were at odds. She had fallen in love with the Heartbreakers’ sound by the time she recorded her first solo album, Bella Donna. She repeatedly told Petty that she would have gladly dropped everything to go on tour with them.

Petty was content to pursue his career, but Nicks found the best substitute for him when she decided to go solo: she hired Petty’s producer. When she made her solo debut, she brought in Jimmy Iovine. They intended to create a sound that combined her signature style with the heartland sound Petty had crafted. It all appeared to be going well, but Iovine gestured for Petty to write her a song as well.

Petty wanted to write something that would fit Nick’s style more than the other big hits he had released, such as “Refugee,” and he came up with “Insider.” Although the song was excellent, it might have been a bit too good to give away. As a result, Petty retracted his offer and substituted the song “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.”

Nicks told Rolling Stone that even though this was the subdued blues song she had been searching for, she was still unsure. “When they showed it to me, I was like, ‘Is this the right thing to do? There are only 11 songs available, and I won’t be getting mine. And in frank and brutal terms, Tom and Jimmy both told me, ‘You don’t have a single on this record. And here’s a single for you.’”

Nicks couldn’t argue with them either. The song became her first significant solo hit and paved the way for her to collaborate with Petty on “I Will Run To You,” the second album. Nicks would soon rejoin Fleetwood Mac. However, Petty’s songs started to have a greater impact than what she accomplished with her previous group.

Although “Dreams” and “Sara” are still popular songs to sing along to, how many people in the modern world expect Stevie Nicks to perform songs like “Edge of Seventeen” or “Stand Back” when they see her? Petty opened the door for Nicks’s career, and despite her reluctance, she was nevertheless able to establish herself as one of the select few artists who could pull off being a solo act and a band member at the same time.

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