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Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide”

| May 26, 2013 | 26 Comments

The story behind “Landslide” as told by Stevie Nicks:

It was written in 1973 at a point where Lindsey [Buckingham] and I had driven to Aspen for him to rehearse for two weeks with Don Everly. Lindsey was going to take Phil’s place. So they rehearsed and left, and I made a choice to stay in Aspen. I figured I’d stay there and one of my girlfriends was there. We stayed there for almost three months while Lindsey was on the road, and this is right after the Buckingham Nicks record had been dropped. And it was horrifying to Lindsey and I because we had a taste of the big time, we recorded in a big studio, we met famous people, we made what we consider to be a brilliant record and nobody liked it (laughs). I had been a waitress and a cleaning lady, and I didn’t mind any of this. I was perfectly delighted to work and support us so that Lindsey could produce and work and fix our songs and make our music. But I had gotten to a point where it was like, “I’m not happy. I am tired. But I don’t know if we can do any better than this. If nobody likes this, then what are we going to do?”

So during that two months I made a decision to continue. “Landslide” was the decision. [Sings] “When you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills”—it’s the only time in my life that I’ve lived in the snow. But looking up at those Rocky Mountains and going, “Okay, we can do it. I’m sure we can do it.” In one of my journal entries, it says, “I took Lindsey and said, We’re going to the top!” And that’s what we did. Within a year, Mick Fleetwood called us, and we were in Fleetwood Mac making $800 a week apiece (laughs). Washing $100 bills through the laundry. It was hysterical. It was like we were rich overnight.

From Performing Songwriter Issue 69, May 2003

Stevie Nicks is also interviewed in Issue 102, June 2007

The Hi-Res PDF of the Stevie Nicks Interview From Issue 102

Category: Behind The Song

Comments (26)

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  1. Brenda Wilson says:

    Stevie Nicks speaks to my heart… my soul. Her voice, lyrics of her songs… just everything about her. I saw her at Bourbon & Beyond festival in Louisville last month. Tears rolled down my face. Her “story” and everything about her touches me. Seeing her again made this 62 year old Nana cut loose and sway with delight. ❤️

  2. Zita Cambra says:

    Amazing to think she was in the precipitous of giving up or thinking we would not LOVE her music. Still stops me in my tracks. LOVE.

  3. Patricia Pigeon says:

    I am so glad to see that so many others think of their Dad’s when they hear this song. I picked this song years before my father died to play at his funeral. It was the song we chose to play while a video of his life played. It never fails to make me remember him. I absolutely love this song!

  4. Cmarie says:

    See, most of you would hear this and connect it with your fathers in love, but to me it makes me cry because he destroyed our connection. He took it down… and his wife would play this song on car trips before we stopped seeing each other…

  5. ML says:

    Interesting that several comments speak to how this song connects them to their dad. It does for me, too. I always think of him when I hear this song as he weathered my many attempts, in my fanciful youth, to sing this song just like Stevie. Only my dad thought I could sing – clearly we both have no ear for music – but his undying love and encouragement is what I think of when I hear this song. Stevie does it best – her poems, lyrics and songs have been guideposts in my life.

  6. Suzan says:

    I have always loved this song, my Dad brought me up on what is now referred to as classic rock. As the years went by I heard all kinds of music. Then one day watching a movie with my Mom I hear the song “Wind beneath my wings” and I said someday when I get married that will be the song I dance with my Dad too. And that song played at every wedding I attended until my own. I wanted something so very special for my Dad & I to dance to. Then it hit me, I had heard a live version of Landside where Stevie says “This one’s for you Daddy” and I knew exactly what song I would dance with my Dad too. She may have wrote the song for Lindsey but I have read many interviews with Stevie talking about the song & she says there were other influences that went into it. For me it doesn’t matter why because it has always been the perfect song for my Dad & I. It played in my childhood home, at my wedding 16 years ago & even now as we both are getting older.

  7. debbie says:

    i have “Buckingham Nicks ” album!

  8. Zachary Uram says:

    What a great song! Love Fleetwood Mac and especially Stevie Nicks!

  9. Terry Firehorse Silva says:

    Landslide is my life song…has been from the first time I heard it…

  10. Mo Hoyal says:

    Why did they leave “Drownding” as in “drownding in the sea of love”? Didn’t anyone care the proper word is drowning? These writers are too intelligent to let something like this land-slide, pun intended! Curious! If I were the producer, ha, ha, easy to say, this would not have been released as it was.

  11. Scott says:

    I recall loving this song in the 70’s. I was discussing this song later in 1984 with a childhood friend of mine and how it spoke to both us. He was killed instantly 3 weeks later during a mishap while piloting his F 15. A great guy. I played this song 2 days ago while dancing with my daughter at her wedding. Tears were pouring freely as Landslide played thinking of the new life my daughter is beginning and the painful loss of my buddy long ago. Gone now, but never forgotten.

    • V. Laguna says:

      I just came across this tonight. About 2 weeks before your daughters wedding, was the last time I heard my grandmother sing Happy Birthday to me.
      I was very close to her, took the loss hard. Landslide has been a favorite of mine since the first time I heard it in high school. THE SONG OF A MILLION MEANINGS-PLAYING TO MILLIONS OF HEARTS !! I feel you & where your coming from. My son and his partner are adopting, my nieces & nephews are graduating college and my moustache is now graying. Thank you Stevie for such a beautiful song !!!!

      • Karen says:

        Your commit was so sweet. Songs, music in general to me always can take us to what ever part of our lives was during that time, good or bad… But even the bad is always good with music of any kind.
        Now as I’m enjoying life after “50” so much fun, mostly with music like this!! And so many, great memories!!

  12. Linda Tulley says:

    Christine McVie Back with Fleetwood Mac! Now they do a recording for sure. I just know it. It was on the news today. 3/27/2014

  13. steve bisp bristol uk says:

    if you flag in your life or feel disillusioned or discontent then get some real life emotion and passion back in you by listening to stevie and singing to your hearts content

  14. Paula Browning says:

    I am disappointed as I heard somewhere that Stevie Nicks wrote this song for her dad and I have been loving it ever since. It’s still one of my favorites.

    • Terry Firehorse Silva says:

      Her nickname for Lindsay was “Daddy”… So when they recorded it live, during a reunion, she said “this one’s for you, Daddy”…

  15. Ed "Skip" Skipper says:

    Without a doubt, Fleetwood Mac was one of the most influential groups for me in my music over the years. I still remember when Lindsey was going to be “sitting in” and taking the place of Phil Everly (way back when – I was on Okinawa at the time). I never could figure that one out??) No matter, the genius of their music, in both arrangement, singing and playing still holds dear to me to this day. Thanks for all the wonderful sounds (and memories)

  16. Robert Kolenz says:

    Heard this song in the movie Jack Frost which was shot in or near Aspen,Co.. Love the song she has a great voice.

  17. Chris says:

    I thought it was written in California on a beach from an earlier article. Who was the guy who actually wrote the song part of it?

    • Austin says:

      She is credited with writing the music too, but Lindsay Buckingham brought it to life with his amazing playing, in my opinion

  18. Ellie Cerasuolo says:

    I love Stevie Nicks and if you ever need a back up singer that can harmonize to you…call me! I have loved your music since I was in my teens…now much older. LOL

    I have almost given up on my music more than once (play guitar and sing) but when I get depressed, I listen to landslide and it brings me back up! I haven’t had your kind of luck, fate has it I had 3 children. So if you ever, ever, need a good back up singer…call me!

  19. Rhea Thurman says:

    Fleetwood Mac got me through the 70’s and high school. I loved them then and still do. Loved the story about Landslide.

  20. John Daly says:

    I love all bands that are versatile. And Fleetwood Mac is the ultimate! Stevie Nicks is awesome with her Mystical writing. Yes, I’m greatly inspired in MY writing also from this great band!

  21. I love listening to Landslide. I also enjoyed reading how the song got written. I similarely have many stories about what how most of my songs were written. Thanks ahain>

  22. Fleetwood Mac Was an important influence in the process of writing my music. It is on my Ipod Nano, which I plug into my Kenwood car stereo. I very rarely listen to the radio. I started writing and composing in 1970. Thanks for all the great music.

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