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May 26, 2023

Outtakes From Stevie Nicks’ “Bella Donna” Album Cover

Bella Donna is Stevie Nicks’ first album. This is the album that introduced the world to Stevie Nicks as a solo artist. Released on July 27, 1981, the album reached number one on the US Billboard 200 in September of that year. Bella Donna was awarded platinum status by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on October 7, 1981, less than three months after its release, and in 1990 was certified quadruple-platinum for four million copies shipped. Bella Donna spent nearly three years on the Billboard 200, from July 1981 to June 1984.

The celestial album cover features Stevie Nicks wearing a long white gown with a shawl draped around her. This is reminiscent of her gypsy look. She is wearing high heeled boots. A white cockatoo is perched on her hand. Her hair is flowing down her back. She looks as if she is staring right at you. She is demanding everyone to take notice. Her plan worked because you can’t take your eyes off her. This is another far away shot. If you look at the bottom left, you will see a tambourine, a crystal ball and three roses.

The background of the picture is dark. The color of her dress, the cockatoo and roses sets off the darkness. The white lettering of her name and album title also sets off the darkness. The album cover is simple without being boring. She proved that you don’t need special effects for an album cover to make a statement. This is a stunning photo of the singer in the prime of her career. She can give models a run for their money.

Bella Donna would mark the beginning of Nicks’ trend of calling upon her many musician friends and connections to fully realize her sparse demo recordings. Along with friends Tom Petty and Don Henley, Nicks brought in session musician Waddy Wachtel, Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band pianist Roy Bittan, and Stax session man Donald “Duck” Dunn of Booker T. & the MGs. The album marked the first recording featuring Nicks’ backing vocalists, Sharon Celani and Lori Perry, who still record and tour with Nicks today. The album was also included in the “Greatest of All Time Billboard 200 Albums” chart.


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