Friday, August 19, 2022

Song of the Day: 'Edge of Seventeen' by Stevie Nicks

Day 15 of my series of Songs That Peaked at No. 11: Something tells me this bothers me more than it does Stevie Nicks, but it seems pretty unseemly to me that the Fleetwood Mac chanteuse's debut solo LP shot to No. 1 on Billboard albums charts, but the first single that actually featured her, well, solo was the first to not reach the Top 10. "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" with Tom Petty peaked at No. 3, followed by "Leather and Lace" with Don Henley at No. 6. Then "Edge of Seventeen" came out and landed just outside the lines. (You may recall Stevie got screwed with her first Fleetwood Mac single, "Rhiannon," which also peaked at No. 11) 

According to Nicks, the title came from a conversation she had with Tom Petty's first wife, Jane, about the couple's first meeting. Jane said they met "at the age of seventeen", but Jane's strong Southern accent made it sound like "edge of seventeen" to Nicks. She liked the sound of the phrase so much that she told Jane she would write a song for it and give her credit for the inspiration.

When this song came out I thought it was exhilarating -- kind of a Wall of Sound effect courtesy of Stevie's powerful vocals -- and figured it would become her signature solo song. But it didn't take long for "Stand Back" to supplant it, a No. 5 hit in 1983 that she gave a 50% writing credit to Prince even though to this day I don't hear the "Little Red Corvette" connection. 

Fun footnote: The live version on the B-side reached No. 26 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Bella Donna album was the soundtrack of my second year of college. Edge of Seventeen is one of her best. I remember it getting heavy airplay on rock stations well before it was released as a single. I wonder if that contributed to it having a bit less steam left for its Hot 100 chart run. That and the single being a truncated version, though I know they needed to do that to get more Top 40 radio airplay. "Kind of Woman" and "Outside The Rain" were my favorite non-single album tracks.