This song is about a father-daughter relationship. Stevie wrote it on the guitar in about five minutes in Aspen, Colorado. She was surrounded by mountains and thinking, "Wow, all this snow could just come tumbling down around me and there is nothing I can do about it." When she feels like this she just goes to a room and writes her thoughts down so she can read it and ponder what she has written.
Nicks said of this song: "My dad did have something to do with it, but he absolutely thinks that he was the whole complete reason it was ever written. I guess it was about September 1974, I was home at my dad and Mom's house in Phoenix, and my father said, 'You know, you really put a lot of time into this [her singing career], maybe you should give this six more months, and if you want to go back to school, we'll pay for it. Basically you can do whatever you want and we'll pay for it - I have wonderful parents, and I went, 'cool, I can do that.' Lindsey and I went up to Aspen, and we went to somebody's incredible house, and they had a piano, and I had my guitar with me, and I went into their living room, looking out over the incredible Aspen skyway, and I wrote 'Landslide.' Three months later, Mick Fleetwood called. On New Year's Eve, 1974, called and asked us to join Fleetwood Mac. So it was three months, I still had three more months to go to beat my six month goal that my dad gave me."
Suggestion credit: Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington - USA, for above 2
Nicks wrote this the night before her dad, who was the president of Greyhound Bus Lines, was operated on at the Mayo Clinic.
Suggestion credit: Todd - Atlanta, GA
Lindsey and Stevie were recording as a duo using the name Buckingham-Nicks before they were asked to join Fleetwood Mac. They had already released an album and were planning to include this on their next one. When Stevie wrote "Landslide" and "Rhiannon," Lindsey was on the road with the Everly Brothers backing them up on guitar.
Reflecting on this song in 2014, Nicks told the New York Times: "I wrote 'Landslide' in 1973, when I was 27, and I did already feel old in a lot of ways. I'd been working as a waitress and a cleaning lady for years. I was tired."
Drummer and founding member Mick Fleetwood was sure this album would be a hit, but was worried that Warner Brothers Records wouldn't promote it properly. He went to the head of the label and insisted that they either give it a big push or let another record company have it. Warner Brothers promoted it heavily and the album went to #1 in the US.
The song has changed meaning as the band has aged, but it remained a part of their setlist throughout their career. "When Stevie wrote that, she was probably 25 or 24," Lindey Buckingham told Rolling Stone in 2013. "She wasn't exactly 'getting older.' Now, that line certainly resonates with a far deeper perspective."
This is one of Fleetwood Mac's most enduring songs, but it was merely an album cut, as Fleetwood Mac's label Reprise didn't issue it as a single (The first UK single from the album was "Warm Ways," the first in America was "Over My Head"). The song garnered consistent airplay across a range of formats, however, and became a staple of their setlists.
In 1998, a live version from the album The Dance was issued in America, marking the first time Fleetwood Mac released the song as a single. This version made #51.
The song picked up steam in the '90s with a number of notable cover versions in that decade and stretching into the '00s. These include versions by:
Smashing Pumpkins, who recorded it for their 1994 album Pisces Iscariot and included it in their 2001 Greatest Hits album. This was the first rendition of the song to chart, reaching #30 US.
Tori Amos, who recorded it on January 31, 1996 and included it on her In The Springtime Of Her Voodoo album. She often performed the song at her concerts.
Venice, a Southern California band and a favorite of Stevie Nicks, included it on their 1999 album Spin Art.
Former New Kid On The Block Joey McIntyre, who recorded it for his 2002 album One Too Many: Live From New York.
The Dixie Chicks took the song in a new direction by adding a mandolin to the mix on their 2002 album Home. They had a huge hit with the song, taking it to #7 US. As a token of appreciation from the Chicks to Nicks, they gave her a bowl decorated with the lyrics to the song.
The Dixie Chicks performed their version at the Grammy awards in 2003. They won three awards that year, including Best Country Album.
The Glee Cast recorded this song with Gwyneth Paltrow. The tune featured in the "Sexy" episode of the Fox TV series on March 8, 2011, in which Naya Rivera's character Santana Lopez chose "Landslide" to express her true feelings for Heather Morris' Brittany Pierce. The following week it debuted at #23 on the US chart.
When Fleetwood Mac regrouped for The Dance tour in 1997, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham performed the song alone on stage, often getting teary-eyed toward the end. These emotional performances were repeated on subsequent tours, as fans were always eager to see the ex-lovers share a poignant moment, which could range in intensity to anodyne hand-holding to passionate soul-gazing. Nicks insists those are real emotions on display. She told Rolling Stone: "You can go onstage and have a bit of a love affair, and when you go back to your separate dressing rooms, it's over. But while you're on the stage, it's real."
This song was used in a very memorable Budweiser commercial that debuted during the Super Bowl in 2013. The spot showed one of their famous Clydesdale's being raised from birth and then leaving home to join the Budweiser team. When his former owner travels to Chicago to see him, the horse breaks away for a reunion. The commercial looked like it was going to take a comic twist, but was actually quite sentimental and somehow worked.
Brian from Joshua, TxLike someone stated their 13 yr relation left. My wife was a Stevie Nicks fiend. We grew up in the 70's so we enjoyed Stevie. I lost my wife after nearly 36 years last year and I'm here to tell you this song really hits home. It is hard to change because I had built my life around Janet. I think sometimes you just don't know how much a song is really true about your life until something changes it unexpectedly. God I Miss Her.
Camille from Toronto, OhMatthew for Tampa, FL, sorry about the passing of your wife...it's unfair.
Esskayess from Dallas, TxBy far the most beautiful song Nicks ever created and one of the few where she sounds tender, not brassy and "wicked."
Kimberly from Landing, NjMY LOVE ... mirror in the sky, images move as we turn the corner. Children change everyday for what they believe n want. LISTEN, WE ALL NEED TO LISTEN LIKE OUR CHILDREN LEARN. Never lose our self . live love learn.
Again and Again.
Caitlyn from Royersford, PaThe Smashing Pumpkins version is the best in my opinion. Billy brought it to another level.
Yang Yang from Lyon, BahamasI have heard that Stevie wrote this both for her father and that she was awed by the mountians surrounding her, jordans shoes basketball yet she felt betrayed that Lindsey was leaving her. I have also encountered the interpretation that this is a song of recognizing that her relationship with him was coming to an end...but, on a different note, I also strongly enforce the point that covering songs is just plain lazy. I asked my about Landslide, jordans basketball shoes sale and she said "Oh, that Dixie Chicks song?" The creative ones are being denied the necessary credit for their work in this modern age! They deserve more! OK, I'll stop ranting now.
Wess from Moorhead, Mnthis is her most bueatiful song................brings tears to my eyes evertime i here it ....rock on people
Michael from Irvne, CaStevie has avoided saying the specific meaning of Landslide because it has meant so much to her fans for different reasons. She wrote the song in Colorado before her success when things were uncertain about her music career and then relationship with Lindsey Buckingham. She often dedicates the song to her father because he loves the song and she is very close to him. However, the line in the song "I've been afraid of changing because I've built my life around you" wouldn't likely be about her dad because kids don't often build their life around thier parent(s), making at least that part of the song about someone she was in love with. Stevie confirms this finally when on the Fleetwood Mac dvd Live In Boston she says specifically that the song was in fact written about Lindsey!
Tom from El Paso, Txback in 1975 one of my older siblings bought the white Fleetwood Mac album. I had heard Rhiannon on the radio and was rocked.But when I heard the songs Crystal,then Landslide,I knew Fleetwood was to be my favorite band and Stevie my favorite singer/songwriter.I am a Fleetwood-Stevie encyclopedia.Bill of Plano,TX states that Landslide was on the Buckingham-Nicks album,but I think he is referring to the song Crystal.John Mcvie wanted Crystal to be on the new album.Christines piano at the end is beautiful.Stevie wrote Rhiannon and Landslide on the same night in Aspen. Tom, El Paso,Tx
Scott from Kings Park, NyHer live version is my favorite......great song.
Adrian from Crossville, TnThis was the first song Stevie wrote on the guitar
Marissa from Akron, OhThis is a wonderful song. It's also a great song for me because I just started college and I'm really scared, everything in my life is changing so fast and so much. And I just broke up with my first "real" boyfriend, and the part "I've been afraid of changing 'cause I built my life around you" really speaks to me too. This is one of the theme songs to my life... to the not-so-happy parts anyway.
Corey from Greenfield, InGreat song from a great band!
Olivia from Chicago, Ildear jade from sterling heights MI im sorry about your dad
Olivia from Chicago, IlTHE DANCE version of this kicks some serious butt
Francesca from Fallon, NvThis song helped me get through a difficult period in my life. My husband of 13 years took off with a much-younger chickie babe, and I was totally devastated.
He was so much a part of who I was that I was lost without him:
Well, I've been afraid of changing 'Cause I've built my life around you But time makes you bolder Even children get older And I'm getting older too
..helped me pick up the pieces of me-without-him and find a way to move forward.
Diane from Orlando, FlI always loved this song and though I think that Stevie Nicks does it best, I am glad that the newer versions have brought this song out of the shadows. For me the lyrics speak of the difficulty of growing up and how you aren't even sure at times who you are. This leaves you feeling like a landslide can bring you, or your vision of yourself, tumbling down any time.
Heather from Los Angeles, CaTo Scott in Columbus. Frankly,I like the Dixie Chicks and their cover of the song. As to the DC's "commercial theatrics" this is the group that paid big-time monetarily and in reputation for coming out against the war in Iraq. Country music stations were yanking all their songs off the air. Don't hear too many other singers putting theirs on the line like they did. I think they understand the song as well as you. "Jerkwads"? Hardly. As to my own interpretation of the song....I don't have one.
Sherilyn from Eugene, OrRead the comments about the song. It states it was written for or about her father. This one of my favorite songs. Songs are sung differently by different artists because of the way they feel the song. Songs are like books, no one reads them quite the same way. Everyone has and is entitled to their own opinion. Personally, I like both versions. The only time a band usually copies or sings a song is with permission...It is called copyright infringement if they don't.
Devi from Houston, Txall of this and YEt, I relate this song to cocaine. I do not have experience with it but i strongly believed it so.
Leslie Ann from Port Of Spain, Trinidad And Tobagowow this song makes me cry..but in a good way,its so tranquil but yet so powerful
Ann from Charlotte, NcThis is probably in my top 10 favorite songs. I have a deep singing voice much like Stevie and while it is hard for me to sing some songs this one is perfect. I've always heard that it was about her Father and I know when she performs it she references him, but whatever it is about it is a really beautiful song with a lot of power and emotion.
Renee from Bloomington, MnI personally like the Dixie Chicks version. The key is easier for me to sing along to :) Stevie Nicks has a deeper singing voice than I do.
Jeff from Atlanta, GaI luv this song.. one of the first I learned to fingerpick. This vitriol towards cover version is inane and unwarranted. Jazz composers have their pieces covered all of the time. Classical composers do as well. It seems only in pop music do people take great umbrage at some ditty that they knew one way being re-made.. or re-interpreted.. people.. thats art..
Matthew from Tampa, FlI fell in love with this piece of music after my wife died of cancer at a early age. The lyrics "I've been afraid of changing because I built my life around you" were perfect for a couple that had their future ahead of them, only to be ripped away. It is a song about changes in your life, major changes, and moving forward and seeing the future as it could be. Seeing the "reflections on the snow" could be a reference to our memories, don't dwell on them. Move on with life.
Camille from Toronto, OhLook, about the Dixie Chicks...they all seem to have great relationships with their dads. Natatlie Maines' dad was instrumental (no pun intended) in helping them become successful, and Emily & Marty Erwin remember their dad telling them that rather than be a cheerleader and cheer for someone else, do something that would have other people cheering for THEM...hence they developed their musical gifts.
In the 70s, the "Rumours" albumn was one I was constantly playing. I never knew what those "Landslide" lyrics meant, even after the Dixie Chicks sang it. Never really cared much for the song regardless of who sang it. But now, having read how Stevie Nicks' dad inspired some of it, I can understand the Chicks wanting to record it. The three of them have always considered family to be very important; their parents, siblings, children. So it really makes sense to me that they recorded it.
Jimoh from The Bronx Ny, NyThe Dixie Chicks performed "Landslide" along with Stevie Nicks at a VH-1 Save The Music benefit concert a couple of years ago. Seems to me that if Stevie had a problem with the Chicks' version, she wouldn't have agreed for them to perform it with her, no? :)
Donna from Round Rock, TxThis is one of the best songs
Leah from Chicago, IlI've always loved this song.. but when my dad died when I was 16.. it really held a lot of meaning to me. It's one of my favorite songs ever.
Brandon from Winterville, Nci always thought t he song was about your ego, and things that can happen sometimes to destroy it. like you feel on top of the world and something happens to remind you that we're all just human.
Anna from Chicago, IlThis song totally reminds me of my previous cocaine addiction, I know that's not what she said it's about, but that's how I interpret it in my own way. In the end after listening, it makes me smile and feel proud that I overcame this huge obstacle of mine.
Chris from Berkeley, CaI wish people would stop bashing singers that cover classic songs, using their own unique expression. Every version of the same song is not meant to deliver the same message. Try to listen to the different interpretations instead of judging. That's what truly honors the song, and thus, Stevie Nicks. Unless you feel that bashing one person is necessary to honor another.
Holliee from Waterloo, Canadai've read that she wrote this song in a bathroom in colorado, looking out a huge window viewing the mountains. she says that her bathroom is her sanctuary and that the acoustics in there are the best for writing music and singing.
Orangebeaker from Edinburgh, ScotlandThe Smashing Pumpkins cover of this song is superb, well worth checking out.
Matt from Haddon Hieghts, NjThis song is amazing i can still remember wen i was like 5 i went to see her at the Tweeter Center and she didnt sing landslide. the whole crowd was sctreaming and some booing and some yelling and we were all so dissapointed. That just shows u the greatness of this song(those stupid dixie chicks)
Bill from Plano, TxThis was written before Stevie & Linsey joined F. Mac. I have an album called "Buckingham/Nicks" that Landslide appears on. I was released prior to them joining F. Mac.
Eloise from London, EnglandBy the way, don't think Gold Dust woman has a listing on Songfacts yet, but I'm with all the people here who say it's about Stevie's coke addiction. I mean "Rock on Gold Dust woman, take your silver spoon and dig your grave..." what else is that about? In the 70's when Stevie was first doing coke, people weren't using mirrors to nake a line; you had a tiny silver spoon (often worn on a chain round your neck) and you'd scoop up the coke and snort it.
Eloise from London, EnglandI am so glad I found this website. You guys posting here are the only people I've come across who appreciate, as I do, the brilliance of this beautiful song. Scott from OH and Patrick from IA, you are so right- that Dixies cover sucks the big one. If any song ever warranted being sung gently and by one voice, it's this. I love all the lyrics but for me, "Mirror in the sky, what is love? Can the child within my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changing ocean tides, can I handle the seasons of my life - I don't know" are full of that beautiful yearning that Stevie does so well.
Scott from Columbus, OhThe Dixie chicks just F'cked this song up entirely...the whole point was the fact that it was written in solo secrecy....A woman who was facing the dangers of a complete avalanche while standing on the side of a mountain and cosidering the progressive loss of love. Wether it be between he and her father or her and Lindsay B. it was meant to be an intimate song...and the dixie F-cks singing it was complete Bull S-IT, it pains me to think anyone finds solice or meaning their version....This song was meant as a one person scream in the solitude of the mountains....not the commercial theatrics of three spinoff jerkwads singing about feeling they have no clue exist. Just my opinion, but this song deserves the intimacy of solitude.
Patrick from Humboldt, IaThis song was written beautifully. My favorite line is "I've been afraid of changing because I built my life around you." Also Gold Dust Woman was written about Stevie's Cocaine addiction. And I want to scream every time I hear the dixie chicks sing it.
Allen from London, EnglandLandslide's lyrics were particularly poignant to me, during a very difficult stage of my life. It inspired me to take a new direction in my life, by leaving people and places I knew and thought I loved in pursuit of happiness and a life in which I could be genuinely true to myself. With hindsight, I still have no regrets in all that I left behind, as I did find the happiness I was seeking after all the changes I made.
Cheyenne, from Mt. Airy, United Statesi love this song!I know that Stevie Nicks wrote the song for her dad or whatever;but I have a different view of this song.I think its more of building your whole world around something and then watching it crush to the ground , like a landslide.And that whole thing that has came down, its makes you take a second glance on whatever it is that you've built your whole life around.
Priscilla from Lonelytown, TnI also think Fleetwood Mac did this song better than The Dixie Chicks. Don't you hate when someone tries to do a better job on a song when it just can't be done.
Murphy from Lawrence, KsI have heard that Stevie wrote this both for her father and that she was awed by the mountians surrounding her, yet she felt betrayed that Lindsey was leaving her. I have also encountered the interpretation that this is a song of recognizing that her relationship with him was coming to an end...but, on a different note, I also strongly enforce the point that covering songs is just plain lazy. I asked my about Landslide, and she said "Oh, that Dixie Chicks song?" The creative ones are being denied the necessary credit for their work in this modern age! They deserve more! OK, I'll stop ranting now.
Lauren from Denver, CoOk first of all Gold Dust Woman is not about drugs but that's another song. Second, Landslide was written for both Lindsey and for what Stevie said about giving her career 6 more months before giving up. So it's a little about her father too, her career and Lindsey. No breakup song here.
Mariel from Clearwater, Flshe also performed this song at the Stormy Weather benefit in 2002, backed by an orchestra for a truly breathtaking performance. she opened it with "daddy, one more time, this is for you..." though she has stated numerous times that the song was not written specifically for her father as stated above.
Mariel from Clearwater, Fllindsey left her in aspen to tour with the Everly Brothers, and it was then that she wrote the song when they were still very much a couple. she had indeed decided to limit the time she would spend searching for a music career, and in turn, she would be leaving lindsey behind as well. in the 'Live in Boston' footage, she dedicates the song to lindsey: "he taught me how to play the guitar that i used to write this song, he inspired this song, and i wrote this song about him..."
Sar from Iron, Mnother bands shouldn't get credit for the work of another artist, i greatly dislike covers, especially today when a lot of young people don't recognize it as a cover song.
Chris from Santa Barbara, CaThere are some inconsistancies in some of the facts here. Above it says that Lindsey was on the road when this song was written, but also that he was with her in Aspen. Either way, I believe they were seeing each other at the time, so it could not have been written as a break up song, as suggested below.
Sequoia from London, EnglandLandslide isn't about cocaine, but another song she wrote for Fleetwood Mac, Gold Dust Woman, is.
Jade from Sterling Heights, MiThis was my dad's favorite song, I sang it as his funeral.
John from Holland, MiI was always under the impression that this was about cocaine. huh, maybe not
Patrick from Conyers, GaOn the album "The Dance," jsut as the intro is playing, Stevie is heard saying "This is for you, Daddy."
Ryan from Tucson, AzIve noticed lately that bands lately need to come up their own music instead of covering songs from other bands, be creative for gods sake ppl, there are so many things wrong with music now a days, and some thngs that are right, but copying music, even if it is legal, isnt right.
Rachel from Waurika, Okstevie nicks wrote this for the other guy inthe band after they had broken up or something or other anyway from what i heard he wrote her one to.