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Stevie Nicks - Stand Back (Ellen 2011)

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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Stand Back on Wikipedia
"Stand Back"
Single by Stevie Nicks
from the album The Wild Heart
ReleasedMay 19, 1983
Format7-inch, 12-inch
RecordedStudio 55, Los Angeles, CA
GenrePop rock, synthpop
Writer(s)Stevie Nicks
Producer(s)Jimmy Iovine
Stevie Nicks singles chronology

"Stand Back" is a song by Stevie Nicks from her 1983 album The Wild Heart. It was released as the first single for the album on May 19, 1983, and went to number five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the U.S. Top Rock Tracks chart in August of that year. The song still receives substantial airplay to this day.

The song has been a staple in Nicks' live shows since its pre-album debut at the US Festival in May 1983, and it has also been included in Fleetwood Mac tour set lists since 1987.

The main intro of the song features an Oberheim OB-Xa synthesizer. The synth-bass is played on a Roland Jupiter 8. On the Rock a Little tour, the Oberheim is replaced with a Yamaha DX7. There were two mixes made of the song; the generally more well known album version (4:48) and the edited single version (4:18). Differences between the two are somewhat subtle, but the single mix tends to have more of a "collapsed" or "mono" sound to it and the electronic drum programs are mixed, rather dry and flattened, especially in the song's intro bars; whereas the drum tracks on the album mix are accentuated by a generous amount of reverb effect and harder compression. Acoustic drums were given a more backseat role on "Stand Back". There is a further 'polished' version of the track, with crisper percussion and louder foreground synth, featured on Nicks' 1991 best-of compilation Timespace, remixed by Chris Lord-Alge, and running at 4:59.

In the UK, the single was given Nicks' first 12-inch release, featuring a different glossy picture sleeve and the inclusion of a third track, "Wild Heart" (album version), whilst a very limited 12-inch extended DJ promo was released on vinyl in the US in 1983, featuring longer instrumental and vocal sections and clocking in at 7:56.

A 12-inch promotional single was also released to US radio stations in 1983, featuring a full-colour sleeve, but playing the standard 4:48 album version (in mono and stereo) on both sides. The wider grooves, however, allowed for a deeper bass sound.


  • 1 Origin of the song
  • 2 Music video
  • 3 Personnel
  • 4 Production
  • 5 Re-releases
    • 5.1 Cover versions
    • 5.2 Crystal Visions
    • 5.3 Live in Chicago
  • 6 Performances with Fleetwood Mac
  • 7 Chart performance
  • 8 Notes and references

Origin of the song

Nicks has often told the story of how she wrote the song. She wrote it shortly after she was married to Kim Anderson. The newlyweds were driving up to San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara when Prince's song "Little Red Corvette" came on the radio. Nicks started humming along to the melody, especially inspired by the lush synthesizers of the song, and "Stand Back" was born. They stopped and got a tape recorder and she recorded the demo in the honeymoon suite that night. Later, when Nicks went into the studio to record the song, she called Prince and told him the story of how she wrote the song to his melody. He came to the studio that night and played synthesizers on it, although his contribution is uncredited on the album. Then, she says, "he just got up and left as if the whole thing happened in a dream."[1]

Music video

There are two versions of the video.

The first, which was never aired and is referred to as the "Scarlett Version", was directed by Brian Grant and features Nicks in a very expensive re-creation of aspects of Gone with the Wind. Stevie herself nixed the video—according to Grant, she felt she looked fat.[2] This version can now be found (with Nicks commentary) on the DVD supplement of her 2007 collection Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks.

The second, or 'official', version was directed by choreographer Jeffrey Hornaday and shows Nicks performing the song in front of a microphone in a dimly lit room surrounded by walls and mirrors made of glass. The emphasis in this version is dance, and interspersed throughout are choreographed sequences of dancers (in a subtle homage to the 1980 film Fame) who join Nicks on the soundstage toward the end.


  • Stevie Nicks – vocals
  • David Williams – guitar
  • Sandy Stewart – synthesizer
  • Bobbye Hall – percussion
  • Waddy Wachtel – guitar
  • Ian Wallace – percussion
  • Russ Kunkel – drum overdubs
  • Steve Lukather – guitar
  • Marvin Caruso – drums
  • David Bluefield – OB-Xa synthesizer and DMX drum machine programming
  • Sharon Celani – background vocals
  • Lori Perry-Nicks – background vocals
  • Prince – synthesizer (uncredited)


  • Jimmy Iovine – producer
  • Shelly Yakus – engineer
  • Chris Lord-Alge – mixer

Cover versions

Notable covers include Linus Loves and Sam Obernik's 2003 version, which was a moderate club hit. Stereo Soundclash, Pure Polly Esther, Sky Ferreira and Rod Stewart also performed versions. Halloween, Alaska also recorded a version on their 2013 album of covers "Liberties."

Crystal Visions

"Stand Back – Remixes"
Single by Stevie Nicks
from the album Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks
ReleasedMay 29, 2007 (digital download)
August 28, 2007 (CD single)
RecordedStudio 55, Los Angeles, CA
Producer(s)Jimmy Iovine
Stevie Nicks singles chronology

The song was also later remixed and released again as a single on August 28, 2007 to promote the compilation album Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks. This time the single went to number 2 on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart and number 1 on the U.S. Hot Dance Single Sales chart.

Live in Chicago

The most recent live performance of the song in Nicks' solo shows is captured in the 2009 CD release The Soundstage Sessions, where Nicks chose the track as the opening number to her show, rather than placing it towards the climactic end of the setlist as per previous tours.

Performances with Fleetwood Mac

Nicks began performing "Stand Back" with Fleetwood Mac on the band's 1987-88 tour. It is included on the Fleetwood Mac live concert video Tango In The Night (recorded in December 1987) and a (slightly extended) audio version from the same show is included in the 4-disc boxed set 25 Years – The Chain. Since then, the song has been performed on every Fleetwood Mac tour Nicks has been a part of, including the Behind the Mask tour in 1990, The Dance reunion tour in 1997, the Say You Will tour in 2003-04 (it is featured in the 2004 CD/DVD set Fleetwood Mac: Live in Boston), the 2009 Unleashed Tour, as well as the band's 2013 World Tour.

Notes and references

  1. ^
  2. ^ Marks, Craig; Tannenbaum, Rob (2011). I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. New York, NY: Dutton. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-525-95230-5. 
  • Timespace – The Best of Stevie Nicks, liner notes
  • Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks, liner notes and commentary

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