Stevie Nicks

Edge of Seventeen

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Historically, in literature and art, a white dove is used to represent purity, freedom, and divinity. Sometimes the bird symbolizes an angel or harbinger of peace and comfort, and other similar connotations. On "Edge of Seventeen," by Stevie Nicks, former co-singer of the legendary Fleetwood Mac, her "white-winged dove," which dominates the chorus, signifies all of these things, and more. According to contemporary music's reputed "gypsy," this driving '80s rock anthem was inspired by John Lennon and her late uncle Jonathan William. The death of both men, and its effects on Nicks and the people close to her, are poetically documented in the song. The term "edge of seventeen" is used to describe the innocence and angst often associated with the teenage years, as experience by Nicks, her uncle's son, and Jimmy Iovine, Lennon's friend, protégé, and producer of "Edge of Seventeen." Syncopated music that pulses with a sense of urgency and Nicks' powerful vocal performance further magnify the intensity of "Edge of Seventeen." Nicks is successful in capturing the stark aspects of that age and applying them to adult situations. Her words and music bring listeners right back to their most vulnerable times. Whether audiences are aware of the song's true meaning is inconsequential, because it does what music is supposed to -- touch people. "Edge of Seventeen," as much of Nicks' recordings, is an outlet or tool offered to listeners to be applied and interpreted however they see fit. Beyond its success as a song, in terms of content, structure, and performance, "Edge of Seventeen" will be remembered as one of the preeminent recordings that helped define the early '80s. To date, "Edge of Seventeen" can still be heard on classic rock and adult contemporary radio stations. It is a vital piece of work that marks one of Stevie Nicks' most winning solo career moments.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Bella Donna 1981 Modern 5:28
Timespace: The Best of Stevie Nicks 1991 Modern 5:27
Only Love: 1980-1984 1995
Various Artists
Rhino / JCI Associated Labels 4:10
80's Love Songs [Coyote/Essex] 1997
Various Artists
Essex
School of Rock [Original Soundtrack] 2003
Original Soundtrack
Atlantic 5:26
Crystal Visions: The Very Best of Stevie Nicks 2007 Reprise 9:14
Atlantic Records: The Time Capsule 2009
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Atlantic 5:28
On Yasgur's Farm 2017 Good Ship Funke 13:27
Stand Back: 1981-2017 2019 Atlantic / Rhino 4:33
100 Greatest Breakfast Songs
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100 Greatest Classic Rock Songs
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Mum
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Rhino 5:29