The next song on my countdown is another duet (like song #14) but this one features a female/male collaboration by two of rock music’s most notable voices. My pick at #8, a song which reached #6 on the Hot 100 Chart in 1982, is “Leather & Lace“.
The song was written by legendary singer/songwriter/Fleetwood Mac band member Stevie Nicks who recorded it with one of her old flames, Don Henley of the Eagles. Nicks originally wrote the song for country superstar Waylon Jennings and his wife Jesse Colter’s 1981 album. Despite naming it after the song, the husband & wife duo ended up leaving it off the record (I know, right???).
So Nicks added it to her debut solo album, “Bella Donna”, which was released the same year. The song was the second single after “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around“, another duet recorded with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
“Leather & Lace” is like many of Nicks’ songs: well written and well performed. But the biggest appeal of it for me is how grown up and unschmaltzy the lyrics are. I love how direct they are, and how in their beautiful honesty you hear the story of love between adults, first from the perspective of the strong self-assured woman:
“I have my own life and I am stronger
Than you know
But I carry this feeling
When you walked into my house
That you won’t be walking out the door”
To the open and honest standpoint of the male putting it out there without fear of being shot down or belittled (OK yes, it is written by a woman but come on, Ladies, which one of us would not melt if a man ever said (or sang) these words to us):
“And you were right
When I walked into your house
I knew I’d never want to leave
Sometimes I’m a strong man
Sometimes cold and scared
And sometimes I cry”
To both parties acknowledging their desires and differences not as obstacles, but rather as things to be shared:
“I need you to love me
I need you today
Give to me your leather
Take from me my lace”
If there was ever a song perfect enough to celebrate that all important moment when a couple crosses over from “we” to “us”, I believe it is this one.
BONUS: If you want a good laugh, check out Will Ferrell and Dave Grohl’s version here.
TRIVIA: Do you know what happened 51 years ago today? The Beatles arrived in America for the first time.