Written on her wedding day, “Stand Back” was inspired by Prince’s “Little Red Corvette,” which Nicks and her new husband heard driving to Santa Barbara. Reaching #5 on the charts, the song remains a staple of classic rock radio. It is Nicks’ favorite song to perform, as she noted in liner notes to her greatest hits album Timespace:
“Stand Back” has always been my favorite song onstage because when it starts, it has an energy that comes from somewhere unknown and it seems to have no timespace. I’ve never quite understood this sound, but I have NEVER questioned it.
Inspired by Prince, Nicks called him to tell him about the song, later recounting how he contributed to the work:
Prince did come into the studio the night I called him and told him about the song, and he played incredible synthesizer on it. And then he just walked out of my life, and I didn’t see him for a long time. It was extraordinary.
Nicks is the sole credited writer for the song, but says the song “belongs to” Prince because his work inspired and shaped it so emphatically.
The two never got to perform the song together, a regret Nicks carries to this day.
Written in Bm with a tempo of 115 bpm (slower than the 123 bpm of “Little Red Corvette”), the song struts at its heart, recounting an imaginary argument Nicks dreamed up in order to derive the lyrics and title.
The video below isn’t what the one initially conceptualized and attempted. Nicks tried making an elaborate story video, recalling this disastrous effort later for the book “I Want My MTV”:
I tried to act, which was horrific. We used a house in Beverly Hills that we accidentally set on fire. I almost got killed riding a horse.
A separate crew shot this iconic solo performance video quickly after that effort failed, and it was a resounding success.