Song of the Day #3,806: ‘Leather and Lace’ – Stevie Nicks with Don Henley

Stevie Nicks had already enjoyed extraordinary success with Fleetwood Mac when she released her solo debut, Bella Donna, in 1981.

Nicks was on a hell of a roll at this point in her career. She joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975 (along with her writing and life partner Lindsay Buckingham) and anchored the band’s two most popular and acclaimed albums, including 1977’s Rumours, one of the top-selling albums of all-time.

1979 saw the release of Tusk, a spottier but still successful album, after which Nicks went to work on her first solo album.

Bella Donna was a major hit, propelled by the classic ‘Edge of Seventeen’ and a pair of duets with rock legends Tom Petty (‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’) and Don Henley (today’s SOTD, ‘Leather and Lace’). But every song on this album is great, with Nicks in peak vocal form delivering some of the best melodies she’s ever written.

The album’s production, by Tom Petty and Jimmy Iovine, is subtle, giving the songs an organic California rock sound that still feels fresh today. If I were a bit more familiar with Bella Donna, it would have found a spot high in my personal top five of 1981.

One bit of gossip related to today’s song. Nicks and Henley had a brief affair several years earlier and she wound up pregnant with his child. She opted for an abortion and later wrote the song ‘Sara’ about that unborn baby. The two remained friends and Henley delivered one of his finest vocal performances on this beautiful love song.

[Verse 1: Stevie Nicks]
Is love so fragile and the heart so hollow
Shatter with words impossible to follow
You’re saying I’m fragile, try not to be
I search only for something I can’t see
I have my own life
And I am stronger than you know

[Verse 2: Stevie Nicks]
But I carry this feeling
When you walked into my house
That you won’t be walking out the door
Still I carry this feeling
When you walked into my house
That you won’t be walking out the door

[Chorus: Stevie Nicks]
Lovers forever, face to face
My city, your mountains
Stay with me, stay
I need you to love me
I need you today
Give to me your leather
Take from me my lace

[Verse 3: Don Henley]
You in the moonlight
With your sleepy eyes
Could you ever love a man like me
And you were right
When I walked into your house
I knew I’d never want to leave

[Verse 4: Don Henley]
Sometimes I’m a strong man
Sometimes cold and scared
And sometimes I cry
But that time I saw you
I knew with you to light my nights
Somehow I’d get by

[Chorus: Stevie Nicks & Don Henley]
Lovers forever, face to face
My city, your mountains
Stay with me, stay
I need you to love me
I need you today
Give to me your leather
Take from me my lace

Lovers forever, face to face
My city, your mountains
Stay with me, stay
I need you to love me
I need you today
Give to me your leather
Take from me my lace

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,806: ‘Leather and Lace’ – Stevie Nicks with Don Henley

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    On the Howard Stern Show last year, Jimmy Iovine spoke about dating and working with Nicks on this album, including an amusing anecdote about hiding her in his basement whenever Tom Petty came over so that his relationship with Petty would not be impacted by his dating Nicks. Here’s a clip:

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