“Stevie Nicks was by all accounts very keen to have the song featured within the show,” music supervisor Sarah Bridge tells us.
Stevie Nicks has had quite a year. On top of the viral resurgence of Fleetwood Mac‘s “Dreams,” her celebrated arrival to TikTok, and her new song with Miley Cyrus, the rock icon’s hit song “Edge of Seventeen” is also featured in the newest season of The Crown.
The coming-of-age anthem soundtracks a blissful montage in Season 4, Episode 3, featuring Lady Diana Spencer (played by Emma Corrin) after she gets engaged to Prince Charles. She and her roommates squeal with joy over the news, then dress up for a night out dancing. The 19-year-old Diana and princess-to-be is on top of the world.
“This is the happiest moment we see Diana in the show and we discussed early on the idea of having a song to run across this montage of Diana celebrating with her friends, heading out on the town and to transition the song to play in the nightclub,” The Crown‘s music supervisor Sarah Bridge tells BAZAAR.com.
Nicks’s 1981 hit was one of the first songs sent to director Benjamin Caron before filming the scene, “and he immediately came back saying he loved it,” Bridge recalls.
“Aside from personally being a huge Stevie Nicks fan, I felt that the song captured the spirit of the euphoric happiness that Diana was feeling in this moment,” she adds. “Her life was changing forever and she was full of hope and happiness—her dreams were coming true.”
“Edge of Seventeen” was Bridge’s number-one choice for the montage, “and Stevie was by all accounts very keen to have the song featured within the show,” she says.
The track appears again for the end credits of that episode, but only featuring Nicks’s bare-bones vocals. “We were sent the stems [the individual musical elements of a track] for editing purposes and once we received, were listening to the raw beauty of the a cappella. This led to us trying it over the end which felt both beautiful and haunting,” she says.
“The idea of featuring Stevie’s isolated vocals over the end titles felt very significant and connected to the place where Diana found herself at the end of the episode.”
“Edge of Seventeen” is just one of many ’80s jams in this season of The Crown, especially in the moments featuring Diana. “Call Me” by Blondie plays as she answers the phone; “Girls on Film” by Duran Duran plays while she skates through Buckingham Palace; and Elton John’s wistful “Song for Guy” plays when she’s dancing alone.
“Season 4 was a very exciting prospect musically. In part due to us stepping into the ‘80s and of course due to the stories depicted in Peter Morgan’s phenomenal writing,” Bridge says.
“Peter and I spoke very early on (at script level) to discuss his vision for an increase in source music throughout this season, at which point we collaboratively discussed scenes and ways in which we could embed music within the script and consequently throughout the filming. Some of the songs were chosen in the early stages of pre-production and others came later once into the edit.”
The song choices were “naturally influenced” by the characters and storyline, Bridge explains, and this season “focuses heavily on a young Lady Diana and the vast transitions she went through at a very early age.”
She adds, “We witness both her incredible strength of character grow throughout the season intermixed with visions of her vulnerability, loneliness and longing to belong, to be loved.”
“I think one of the most prominent moments that exemplify this is the use of ‘Song For Guy’ by Elton John in Episode 3. A scene in which Diana is feeling utterly alone and despairing, she is losing herself in dance and music—it is a bittersweet moment of sadness and empowerment. We explored several ideas for this sequence but the chosen song just captured all of the emotional energy and movement of her performance.”
Bridge “certainly did a lot of research” on the late princess’s musical taste and favorite artists. “Duran Duran was known to be one of her favorite bands,” she says.
“Working on a period piece is always a fun and explorative journey. Alongside the research, the role of the music supervisor is to explore creative ideas that heighten the narrative at play, that complement the characters and tonally lift the film. We go on an incredibly emotional journey with Diana and sought to score this both with Martin Phipps’s original music and songs that felt true to her character.”
Erica Gonzales / Harper’s Bazaar / Sunday, November 22, 2020