ROCK A LITTLE (1985)

Stevie Nicks Rock a Little album coverRock a Little is Stevie Nicks‘ third solo album, following The Wild Heart (1983). It features the hit singles “Talk to Me” and “I Can’t Wait,” as well as Stevie’s heartfelt ballad “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You.”

Background

Stevie Nicks began recording Rock a Little in 1984. Following the commercial success of Bella Donna (1981) and The Wild Heart (1983), Stevie initially worked with returning producer Jimmy Iovine. But due to rising creative and personal tensions between them, Jimmy left the project before completing the album. Stevie patched together the rest of the album with other producers, namely Rick Nowels, who helped produce the remaining tracks. The album took more than a year to complete.

With an emphasis on synthesizers and programmed drums, Rock a Little followed some of the music trends of the time. (Stevie would continue to apply some of these trends to her fourth album The Other Side of the Mirror in 1989.)

Despite receiving mixed reviews from music critics and selling significantly less than Bella Donna and The Wild Heart, Rock a Little firmly established Stevie Nicks as one of rock music’s top recording artists of the decade. 

Stevie Nicks Sharon Celani Lori Nicks
Stevie Nicks with background vocalist Sharon Celani and Lori Nicks

Dedication

Stevie dedicated Rock a Little to three groups of people: Her musical teachers (singers and players), veterans of the Vietnam War, and Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh. The dedication included lyrics from “Thousand Days,” a song rehearsed for Rock a Little and later recorded during the early Street Angel sessions (1992-1993).

And I,
like some kind of Time/Life edition
tradition, competition~
Being the only things that I really have
to remember~
The great singers, and the great, great players


This music is dedicated to the great singers~
and the great, great players (my teachers)~
And to those who have survived the Viet Nam War~
“No, we do not forget you…”


And, thank you, Joe

Release

Modern Records released Rock a Little on November 18, 1985. The album debuted at No. 12 on Billboard’s Hot 200 Albums and produced the singles “Talk to Me” (4), “I Can’t Wait” (16), “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You” (60), and the Australia-issued “Imperial Hotel” (99). To help promote the album, Stevie filmed music videos for “Talk to Me” and “I Can’t Wait,” which aired regularly on MTV.

Songs

  1. I Can’t Wait (4:35)
  2. Rock a Little (Go Ahead Lily)* (3:39)
  3. Sister Honey (3:52)
  4. I Sing for the Things (3:45)
  5. Some Become Strangers (3:29)
  6. Imperial Hotel (2:53)
  7. Talk to Me^ (4:12)
  8. The Nightmare (5:08)
  9. If I Were You (4:31)
  10. No Spoken Word (4:12)
  11. Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You (4:35)

^An alternate version of “Talk to Me” appears on Time/Life’s Sounds of the Eighties: 1986 compilation.
* An alternate version of “Rock a Little (Go Ahead Lily) appears on the Australasian/European single release of “I Can’t Wait.”

Other Released Songs

  • One More Big Time Rock and Roll Star (b-side of the Talk to Me single)
  • Battle of the Dragon (from American Anthem: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • Reconsider Me (duet with Don Henley, from Enchanted: The Works of Stevie Nicks)
  • Mirror Mirror (original album title, b-side of Blue Denim 1994 single)

Accolades & Sales

For the 29th Annual Grammy Awards, Stevie Nicks earned a nomination in the category of Best Rock Female Vocalist for “Talk to Me.”  The award went to Tina Turner for “Back Where You Started.”

The RIAA has certified Rock a Little platinum for the shipment of one million units to retailers.

Charts

Talk to Me

Billboard Charts Peak
Pop Singles 4
Adult Contemporary 14
Album Rock Tracks 1

I Can’t Wait

Billboard Charts Peak
Pop Singles 16
Dance 26
Album Rock Tracks 6

Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You

Billboard Chart Peak
Pop Singles 60

Imperial Hotel

Released only in Australia

Kent Music Report Peak
Pop 99

Official Music Videos

Talk to Me

Stevie Nicks - Talk To Me (Official Music Video)

YouTube

I Can’t Wait

Stevie Nicks - I Can't Wait (Official Music Video)

YouTube