The one record Stevie Nicks thought she was written out of

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Stevie Nicks always poured her heart and soul into any project bearing her name. In Fleetwood Mac, known for its democratic approach, it was clear when Nicks commanded the room, even if she was just adding harmonies to Christine McVie or Lindsey Buckingham’s songs. Despite the band’s issues over the years, Nicks felt the least connected to their iconic 1980s album, Tango in the Night.

By then, balancing the members’ solo careers was already a challenge. Nicks had launched successful solo hits, and Buckingham had his own string of successes. The band struggled to get everyone together, and personal issues added to the strain. Nicks, dealing with her own problems, entered rehab just before the album sessions began.

Songs like “Welcome to the Room…Sara” and “Seven Wonders” stand out as some of Fleetwood Mac’s best, but McVie truly shined. Buckingham and Nicks had their moments, but McVie consistently delivered hit after hit, and this album was no different with tracks like “Everywhere” and “Little Lies.”

Returning from rehab, Nicks felt sidelined in the album’s creation. She missed the democratic feel of earlier projects and expressed her frustration to Mick Fleetwood, saying in Gold Dust Woman, “It’s not even like I’m on this record. I can’t hear myself at all. Maybe I wasn’t in the studio that much. You know how sick I was. How is it going to look when the record comes out, and I might have to tell Rolling Stone that I didn’t work on the record?”

Nicks had a point. Though she appeared on the record, her backing vocals, particularly on “Everywhere,” were more felt than heard, blending more with McVie’s smoky voice than standing out with her usual distinct style. This was a sign of the band’s turmoil during this period.

Even after adding her vocals to “Everywhere,” Nicks struggled to finalize many songs. “Little Lies,” however, managed to showcase the entire band in the chorus, creating an illusion of unity. Despite these efforts, Tango in the Night marked a turning point. The album’s release saw the band unraveling further, eventually leading to Buckingham’s departure and highlighting the underlying discord among the members.

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