While writing “Landslide,” Stevie Nicks most likely did not anticipate the impact that it would have upon endless generations of young people who were desperate to understand the endless changes in the transition into adulthood. At 25, she was going through these growing pains, having to decide if she wanted to pursue a singing career with then boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham, or give it up and go back to school. While visiting Aspen in 1973, she looked to the mountains and thought about all of the monumental decisions that could all come crashing down on her. Through all of her contemplation came a profound piece of writing that shows how being young can sometimes make you feel so incredibly old. Every move makes her feel the weight of the world. This is most apparent as Nicks asks “can I sail through the changing ocean tide/ can I handle the seasons of my life?” Everything is in flux, and she can’t find a place where she can hang on. Her imagery of endless mountain climbing and self examination offers a deep sense of this lost feeling, as if she is in a losing fight with all of these large natural forces.
Coming of age is always hard, but it seems especially difficult in a hypercompetitive world where it’s easy to compare yourself to everyone on social media who seems like they’re doing so much better than you. Everything just feels too fast. It feels shameful to share this insecurity, even though everyone is seemingly going through this. Maybe growing up in our particular time feels unique, but songs like “Landslide” remind us that this is not a new phenomenon. Everyone we look to as an authority or source of wisdom has once felt this uneasiness and have gotten through to the other side.
43 years later, Stevie Nicks recognizes “Landslide” as a young song, and sees how it deeply resonates with those who are now understanding the truths within it. Many people dismiss what they created or listened to or thought about when they were young, but Stevie embraces it and recognizes how profound her words feel to those experiencing it. She understands the way the lyrics hit a certain feeling that seems so isolating and brings it to a more universal level. “Landslide” will always remain important because it offers comfort to anyone feeling as though they are not in control, and allows them to feel this over its melancholy sound.