Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Leather and Lace

Written and first recorded (as a demo) by Stevie Nicks with Don Henley (ca. 1980).
Hit version by Stevie Nicks & Don Henley (US #6/MOR #10/CAN #12 1981).

From Songfacts, Stevie Nicks recalls:

‘I wrote this song because Waylon Jennings called me up and asked me to write a song called ‘Leather and Lace.’ It was to be a duet for him and his then-wife (Jessi Colter), and I worked very hard trying to explain what it was like to be in love with someone in the same business, and how to approach dealing with each other. It’s probably the hardest thing in the world to do because it falls out of your hands and into the hands of the world, which tends to want you to not be able to handle it.

‘When it was finally finished, Don and I made a very simple demo of it – he sang it with me, and it was truly wonderful. And then I found out that Waylon and Jessi were breaking up, and Waylon wanted to just sing it by himself. After all the work I had put into the philosophy of 2 people dealing with this problem, I told Waylon that only 4 people in this world could sing this song: he and his wife, or myself and Don Henley.

‘Don and I had been going out for quite awhile, and, bless his heart, he did sing it with me, and again, as fate would have it, it became one of the most special love songs that I would ever write… and remains that, even today, after all these years. All in all, it was an unforgettable experience, as was he. Blame it on my wild heart.’

“Although intended as the title track for the Jennings/Colter album, ‘Leather and Lace’ was never recorded by the country duo. Instead, ‘Leather and Lace’ became one of Nicks’ first hits away from Fleetwood Mac and Henley’s first hit away from the Eagles.”

Stevie Nicks & Don Henley, “Leather and Lace” (1981):

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