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Published on May 21, 2010
"Stand Back" is a song by Stevie Nicks from her 1983 album The Wild Heart. It was released as a single on May 19, 1983, and went to number five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the U.S. Top Rock Tracks chart. It was a major success, and still receives substantial airplay to this day.
The song has been a staple in Nicks' live shows since its pre-album debut at the US Festival in May 1983, and it has also been included in Fleetwood Mac tour setlists since 1987.
The main intro of the song features an Oberheim OB-Xa synthesizer. The synth-bass is played on a Roland Jupiter 8. On the Rock A little tour, the Oberheim is replaced with a Yamaha DX7. There were two mixes prepared for the song; the generally more well known Album Version (4:48) and the edited Single Version (4:18). Differences between the two are somewhat subtle, but the Single Mix tends to have more of a "collapsed" or "mono" sound to it and the electronic drum programs are mixed, rather dry and flattened, especially in the song's intro bars; whereas the drum tracks on the Album mix are accentuated by a generous amount of reverb effect and harder compression. Acoustic drums were given a more backseat role on Stand Back. There is a further 'polished' version of the track, with crisper percussion and louder foreground synth, featured on Nicks' 1991 best of compilation Timespace, remixed by Chris Lord-Alge, and running at 4:59.
In the UK, the single was given Nicks' first 12-inch release, featuring a different glossy picture sleeve and the inclusion of a third track, "Wild Heart" (album version), whilst a very limited 12-inch extended DJ promo was released on vinyl in the US in 1983, featuring longer instrumental and vocal sections and clocking in at 7:56.
A 12-inch promotional single was also released to US radio stations in 1983, featuring a full-colour sleeve, but playing the standard 4:48 album version (in mono and stereo) on both sides. The wider grooves, however, allowed for a deeper bass sound.