1985 Talk to Me video screen capture

Talk to Me

Stevie Nicks - Talk To Me (Official Music Video)

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Stevie Nicks Talk to Me
“Talk to Me” – UK single cover

“Talk to Me” is Track 7 on Rock a Little (1985), Stevie Nicks‘ third solo album. It follows “Imperial Hotel” and precedes “The Nightmare” in the album track order.

Released as the album’s lead single, “Talk to Me” reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on Billboard Album Tracks. An official music video accompanied the release of “Talk to Me.” Two versions of the video, each edited differently, aired on MTV.

About ‘Talk to Me’

Songwriter Chas Sandford, who had co-written John Waite’s No. 1 single “Missing You,” wrote “Talk to Me.”

“[‘Talk to Me’] was a hard song to sing, but I had loved ‘Missing You’ (co-written by Chas with John Waite), and I loved the words to ‘Talk to Me.” It took a long time to finish it though because I couldn’t quite get the right feeling on it…until one night. Jim Keltner came in to do some drum overdubs, and then he stayed to be an audience to push me a little, to make me get a great vocal. So I had someone to sing to, and I got the vocal. I put some tambourine on it, and it was finished, forevermore. That was one of my unforgettable moments.” (Stevie Nicks, 1991)

Three Versions

There are three official versions of “Talk to Me”:

  1. Album Version 1 (4:08/4:10). This version is the most familiar and appears on the most pressings of Rock a Little (1985).
  2. Album Version 2 (4:13). This version is similar to Album Version 1 but is mixed differently. The vocals and timpani drums in the chorus are emphasized. Album Version 2 appears on Stand Back: 1981-2014 (R1 587604/603497852468).
  3. Alternate Version (4:15) This version has a different vocal and musical arrangement. It appears on the Time/Life Music compilation Sounds of the Eighties: 1986 (R988-04, Warner Special Products ‎– OPCD-2730).
Stevie Nicks ~ Talk To Me (Time/Life Sounds Of The Eighties Version)

YouTube

Use of Timpani

The album version of “Talk to Me” is distinctive for the use of timpani, or kettledrums, which are usually found in classical orchestras. The thunderous sound of timpani introduces the song and plays throughout the chorus.

Talk to Me timpani
Timpani or kettledrums (Tiia Monto)

‘Talk to Me’ Lyrics

I can see we’re thinkin’ ’bout the same things
Yes, I see your expression when the phone rings
We both know there’s something happenin’ here

There’s no sense in dancing ’round the subject
A wound gets worse when it’s treated with neglect
Well, don’t turn now
There’s nothing here to fear

You can talk to me
Talk to me
You can talk to me
You can set your secrets free, baby

Dusty words lying under carpets
Seldom heard, well, must you keep your secrets
Locked inside, hidden deep from view

Was it all that hard, is it all that tough?
Now, I’ve shown you all my cards
Well, isn’t that enough
You can hide your hurt, but there’s something you can do

You can talk to me
You can talk to me
When you’re down now
You can talk to me
T-t-talk to me

Though we lay face to face and cheek to cheek
Our voices stray from the common ground where they could meet
The walls run high to veil a swelling tear

Oh, let the walls burn down
Set your secrets free
You can break their bounds
‘Cause you’re safe with me
You can lose your doubt
‘Cause you’ll find no danger here

You can talk to me
Talk to me
When you’re down now
You can talk to me
You can set your secrets free, baby

Well, I can see that expression when the phone rings
And I can see that we’re thinkin’ ’bout the same things
Is it all that hard
Ss it all that tough
Well, I know you’ve taken all that there is
Isn’t that enough?

Well, I can see you baby
I can see you runnin’
Well, I can see you baby
Well I can see you runnin’
Talk to me

(Chas Sandford) 1985 Fallwater Music

About Songwriter Chas Sandford

Chas Sandford has received 12 ASCAP “Most Performed Songs” awards, including the multi-platinum hit “Missing You,” recorded by John Waite, “What Kind of Man Would I Be” by Chicago, and “Talk To Me” by Stevie Nicks. In addition to his writing, he is an acclaimed artist and guitarist, as well as a producer, engineer, and recording studio owner. (Brentwood Home Page)

Musicians

Sharon Celani Background vocals
Jim Keltner Drum overdubs
Lori (Perry) Nicks Background vocals
Stevie Nicks Lead vocals
Greg Phillinganes Timpani (kettledrums)
Chas Sandford Drum machine, mirage synthesizer, bass, and electric 6 & 12 string guitars
Barney Wilens Saxophone

Production Credits

Chas Sandford and Gabe Veltri Recording Engineers
Chas Sandford, Don Smith, and Shelly Yakus Mixers
Chas Sandford and Jimmy Iovine Producers
Chas Sanford and George Black Arrangers
Gabe Veltri Vocal overdubs

Release History

Chart Performance

Chart Peak
Billboard Hot 100 4
Billboard Album Rock Tracks 1
Billboard Adult Contemporary 14
Billboard Pop Singles (Year-end) 57
Australian Kent Music Report 22
Canadian RPM Top Singles 6
German Singles 28
UK Singles 68

References

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

Nicks, S. (1991). [Liner notes]. In Timespace [CD]. Los Angeles: Modern Records.

Whitburn, J. (2008). Joel Whitburn presents rock tracks 1981-2008. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research, Inc.

< Imperial Hotel | Talk to Me | The Nightmare >