Stevie Nicks

Imperial Hotel


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“Imperial Hotel” is Track 5 on Rock a Little (1985), Stevie Nicks‘ third solo album. It follows “I Sing for the Things” and precedes “Some Become Strangers” in the tracking order.

About ‘Imperial Hotel’

Stevie Nicks has never publicly talked about “Imperial Hotel.” In the Rock a Little album credits, Stevie dedicated the song to Benmont Tench, the keyboardist for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

In travel, there are several hotels called The Imperial Hotel or The Hotel Imperial, including The Imperial, a five-star luxury hotel in Vienna, Austria. It’s unclear which hotel is the subject of Stevie’s “Imperial Hotel.”

‘Imperial Hotel’ Lyrics

He says to her, “Why do you do it?”
She says to him, “Why do you stay?”
Then they say unspoken words to explain it
He says, “Baby, I hate to see you this way
I hate to see you, I hate to see you cry”

Well, you can get her
But you can’t keep her
And you can’t catch her fall

She will call you
When she needs you
You know where she lives
The Imperial

She sits across the table the same glass table
Cries to her friend, “Why am I so alone?”
He says, “Wo baby, baby, baby, baby
This is the path you have chosen”
She probably goes under another name
Well, that’s a good idea

So, you can get her
But you can’t keep her
And you can’t catch her fall

Well, she will call you
When she needs you
You know where she lives
The Imperial Hotel

Who’s there?
Where has she gone?
But, I think she just went home

Sits across the table same glass table
And she cries to her friend, “Why am I so alone?”
He says, “Wo, wo, baby oh, my baby
You have to know you have to know”

She knows in her heart
That he will stand by her
Anywhere don’t cry, baby

I can save you
Don’t cry baby, I can save you
She’s at the Imperial Hotel
Don’t cry baby, I can save you

(Stevie Nicks/Michael Campbell) 1985 © Welsh Witch Music (BMI)/Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Wild Gator Music (ASCAP)/Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Musicians

Michael Campbell Guitar
Sharon Celani Background vocals
Steve Jordan Drums
Marilyn Martin Background vocals
Lori Nicks Background vocals
Stevie Nicks Lead vocals
Benmont Tench Organ

Production Credits

Gabe Veltri Recording Engineer, Village Recorder
Shelly Yakus Mixer
Jimmy Iovine Producer
Record One Overdubs
Stevie Nicks Imperial Hotel
Australian-only vinyl release of “Imperial Hotel”

Chart Performance

“Imperial Hotel” was a vinyl single in Australia, where it reached No. 99 on the Kent Music Report in October 1986. “I Can’t Wait” (Dub Mix) was the b-side.

Release History

  • Rock a Little (1985)
  • “Imperial Hotel”/”I Can’t Mix” (Dub Mix) (1986) – 7″ vinyl single, Australia

References

Nicks, S. (1985). [Liner notes]. In Rock a Little [CD]. Los Angeles: Modern Records.

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