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In May, Vinyl Me, Please Essentials members will receive a brand new reissue of Stevie Nicks’ Bella Donna, coming on 180g blue and black galaxy vinyl, and remastered AAA from the original master tapes by Ryan Smith from Sterling Sound. The album was Stevie Nicks’ solo debut after years in Fleetwood Mac and Buckingham/Nicks, and features the still-sensational singles “Edge of Seventeen” and “Stop Dragging My Heart Around.” Read below for more details on why we picked this release.
VMP: This one has been in the works for a minute. Talk me through how we picked this as our Essentials Record of the Month.
Alexandra Berenson, Head of A&R: We were discussing doing Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk and, for whatever reason, that wasn’t going to be a possibility. We thought about doing maybe a different Fleetwood Mac title, but more and more, we were like, “but what about Stevie’s solo albums?” I think everybody has this mythical idea of Stevie Nicks but, frankly, I hadn’t spent much time with the music. A lot of people on our team (and the label) freaked out and got really excited, so I listened to Bella Donna and realized that I knew all of these songs, and didn’t know they were all on this record!
The more I thought about it, the more interesting this feature became: this was Stevie Nicks’ first solo record, she wrote it while Fleetwood was recording Tusk. It really felt like an opportunity for Stevie to really come into herself and make music that was entirely her own, which is not something I think she was really able to do while making music with Fleetwood Mac. She got a bunch of her friends together — Tom Petty, Don Henley, and all these amazing musicians — and put together what I think is an essential record. I mean, I’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who hears the beginning of “Edge of Seventeen” and doesn’t start getting goosebumps… even if you only know that song because of its amazing feature in School of Rock!
I mean, we got lucky: We had access to the original analog tapes, and we felt there was a space to do a beautiful deluxe version of this album that feels like a collector’s piece and really does this record’s legacy justice. I’m really grateful that they gave us the opportunity to do it!
This one looks amazing.
Yeah, it's really beautiful. The vinyl is a beautiful 180-gram blue and black galaxy color variant. The jacket is a high-gloss tipon with foiling on the cover, the tracklist, and the quote on the back of the jacket. Bella Donna was remastered from the original analog tapes: triple-A, cut by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound.