Recently, the television provoked me into doing some research on one-hit wonders. As I live in the States, perusing the ‘80s portion of The UK One Hit Wonders Site was an interesting read.
I noticed that Thomas Dolby and Tom Tom Club each only had one hit in the UK (as is the case here in the US). However, in the UK, those lone hits were Hyperactive and Wordy Rappinghood, respectively – neither being the songs that were hits here (that would be She Blinded Me With Science and Genius Of Love).
But, perhaps the thing that puzzled me most was Stevie Nicks.
According to this site, Stevie Nicks is a one-hit wonder in the UK.
Such a thing seemed unfathomable. There were few female artists in the early ‘80s who had more music on the radio here in the States. Nicks’ first two solo albums, Bella Donna and The Wild Heart were massive.
One of the rock stations I listened to at the time would even play the hell out of something like Violet And Blue, a song from the Against All Odds soundtrack, simply because it was by Nicks.
In the UK, her only hit was in 1989 with Rooms On Fire (it’s not a bad song, but it came well after her solo career had peaked in the US).
Why had the UK proven to be impervious to the charms of Ms. Nicks?
Was it all the twirling?
Was it the shawls and lace?
Was it that she sang a song glorifying a Welsh witch?
It’s not like Fleetwood Mac was a footnote act and for many fans – especially those who wouldn’t know Peter Green if he was taking potshots at them with an air rifle – she was the soul of the band.
Apparently, few of those fans reside in the UK.
Stevie Nicks – After The Glitter Fades
Bella Donna was inescapable when it came out in ’81 with songs like Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, Leather And Lace, and Edge Of Seventeen constantly on the radio.
I preferred the lesser-known After The Glitter Fades which was more low-key and intimate than Bella Donna’s other hits.
Stevie Nicks – If Anyone Falls
Leading off with the song Stand Back, Nicks’ follow-up to Bella Donna, The Wild Heart, picked up where the former left off in 1983. Despite my relative indifference to Bella Donna, I purchased a copy of The Wild Heart and, start to finish, I still think it’s her best solo album (of course, I’ve only heard a handful of songs from her more recent releases).
If Anyone Falls, though, would likely be my favorite track by Nicks as a solo artist (with Fleetwood Mac it would undoubtedly be Sara).
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers with Stevie Nicks – Needles And Pins
Nicks’ first solo hit, Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, found her accompanied by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. The Wild Heart included a similar union with the song I Will Run To You.
However, I prefer their cover of a hit by The Searchers (co-written by Sonny Bono) which appeared on Petty’s album Pack Up The Plantation: Live!
Stevie Nicks – Rooms On Fire
Rock A Little, Nicks’ third solo effort, was the last studio album of hers which I owned (I did snag a promo copy of her Enchanted box set from a label rep). I thought it really suffered from the slick, glossy production which was the norm in the mid-‘80s.
There would be a four-year gap until Nicks’ next solo release in 1989 with The Other Side Of The Mirror (apparently it was inspired by Alice In Wonderland) which gave Stevie her only UK hit with Rooms On Fire.