Before Stevie Nicks became an integral part of the renowned band Fleetwood Mac, she had endured a fair share of turmoil in her career.
Her earlier collaborations with Lindsey Buckingham had seen minimal commercial success, leaving her at a crucial crossroads. She felt the pressure of time, believing that if she didn’t grasp success soon, her dream of becoming a superstar musician might elude her forever.
In 1974, Stevie was dropped by Polydor Records. Her future in the music industry looked uncertain, prompting concern from her parents.
They suggested that if her musical pursuits didn’t pan out in the next six months, she should consider a return to a conventional life, perhaps even to college. They offered to financially support any path she chose, hoping to assuage her anxieties about her artistic future.
Feeling the weight of this decision, Stevie and Buckingham decided to relocate to Aspen, Colorado, a tranquil refuge that stood in stark contrast to their uncertain future. It was during this tumultuous period that the inspiration for “Landslide,” a classic Fleetwood Mac song, was born.
Stevie remembered a conversation she had with her parents during a visit to their home in Phoenix, in September 1974.
The poignant memory of her father suggested she give her singing career another six months before considering alternate paths was a catalyst for her.
Stevie, realizing that her aspirations might be on borrowed time, began experimenting with her guitar, and within five minutes, the lyrics for “Landslide” flowed out effortlessly.
She later revealed to Redbeard on the radio show ‘In the Studio’: “‘Landslide’ I wrote on the guitar, and it’s another one that I wrote in about five minutes. But see, when I’m really thinking about something.
I mean when something’s really bothering me, again, the best thing that I can do is go to the music room, or to the office, where I can write.”
Stevie had a whimsical talent for translating her personal turmoil into soul-stirring melodies. Her ability to convey complex emotions through her lyrics is perhaps why so many people, including her own family and friends, believed that “Landslide” was about them.
The song, born out of a pivotal moment in her life, seemingly echoed the sentiments of anyone going through significant life changes.
In her 1998 VH1 Storytellers, she commented, “The thing about ‘Landslide’ is that everybody seems to think I wrote it about them. Everybody in my family, all my friends, everybody…and my dad, he had something to do with it, but he absolutely believes it was the reason the track was born.”
As fate would have it, three months after writing ‘Landslide’, an opportunity that would solidify her place in the music industry presented itself. Mick Fleetwood invited Stevie to join Fleetwood Mac, effectively quelling any immediate worries about her future.
With her inclusion, the band quickly gained momentum and within three years of the release of their phenomenally successful album ‘Rumours’, Fleetwood Mac became one of the most talked-about bands on the planet.
The brief period of uncertainty ultimately led to a path of unparalleled success, forever ingrained in the lyrics of “Landslide.”