“It was a lot of fun,” Nicks told CMT Hot 20 Countdown ’s Katie Cook at the taping Los Angeles taping of CMT Crossroads: Stevie Nicks and Lady Antebellum.
After paring down the list of song possibilities, Nicks and Lady Antebellum finally concentrated on 10 titles evenly split between some of the two acts’ most popular material. The concert special features songs from Nicks’ solo career and Fleetwood Mac, including “Edge of Seventeen,” “Landslide,” “Rhiannon” and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” as well as Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” “Love Don’t Live Here” and “Golden.”
Although all of the material was familiar, the biggest challenge was learning how to blend together to perform each other’s music.
“It was a lot of hours of preparation to get those five songs,” Nicks said of tackling Lady Antebellum’s hits. “It’s a lot of work to learn very intricate harmonies and sing them like you’ve been singing them forever. It’s hard. It’s not an easy thing … but I think we did great.”
Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley agreed.
“She says five songs, and we’re sitting here thinking that the five songs that were a piece of cake for her were the songs that were hard for us,” he said.
“My songs were easier,” Nicks insisted.
“No, you’re songs are very intricate,” Kelley said. “I got lost in the moment a couple of times. I will say there are a couple of times — the viewers won’t see because they’ll edit it out — when we had to start a song over just because I got lost in the moment and didn’t look at the screen and remember it wasn’t my time to sing.”
Like many musicians of his generation, Kelley was particularly influenced by Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Released in 1977, the album has sold more than 19 million copies and is one of the top-selling albums of all time.
“My family had this collection of old records,” he said. “Obviously, Rumours was in there. It wasn’t that old of a record, but it was the best record of all of them that we had. I literally became obsessed with it. I mean, we had all these different little records. Out of all of them, as a 10-year-old, I knew this was it. This was the Holy Grail. When I listen to it, I go, ’That’s a record — from start to finish.'”
“Really, I don’t think that our music is all that different,” Nicks added. “I really think that when you listened to Rumours, you weren’t thinking this was a super-exact rock record. That record had a lot of country flavor, a lot of pop flavor. That record could have led us anywhere.
“I’m glad that was probably a really good influence on you for what you guys did because it has all different elements in that record. It’s kind of a perfect little record.”