Rhiannon (song)

"Rhiannon" is a song written by Stevie Nicks and originally recorded by Fleetwood Mac on their eponymous album in 1975; it was subsequently issued as a single the following year.

"Rhiannon" was voted #488 in The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine. Its US chart peak was in June 1976, when it hit #11.[3] It peaked at #46 in the UK singles chart for three weeks after re-release in February 1978.[4]

The song is always referred to as simply "Rhiannon" on Fleetwood Mac albums. The title "Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)" was used only on single versions in some countries.

Live performances of the song were sometimes prefaced with Nicks saying, "This song's about an old Welsh witch." During 1975–1980, Fleetwood Mac's live performances of "Rhiannon" took on a theatrical intensity not present on the FM-radio single. The song built to a climax in which Nicks' vocals were so impassioned that, as drummer and band co-founder Mick Fleetwood said, "her Rhiannon in those days was like an exorcism."[5]

Single by Fleetwood Mac
from the album Fleetwood Mac (The White Album)
B-side"Sugar Daddy"
ReleasedFebruary 4, 1976 (US)
Format7-inch 45 RPM
RecordedFebruary 1975
Length3:46 (single version)
Songwriter(s)Stevie Nicks
Fleetwood Mac singles chronology
"Over My Head"
"Say You Love Me"


Nicks discovered Rhiannon in the early '70s through a novel called Triad, by Mary Bartlet Leader. The novel is about a woman named Branwen, who is possessed by another woman named Rhiannon. There is mention of the Welsh legend of Rhiannon in the novel, but the characters in the novel bear little resemblance to their original Welsh namesakes (both Rhiannon and Branwen are major female characters in the medieval Welsh prose tales of the Mabinogion).[6]

After writing the song, Nicks learned that Rhiannon originated from a Welsh goddess, and was amazed that the haunting song lyrics applied to the Welsh Rhiannon as well. Nicks researched the Mabinogion story and began work on a Rhiannon project, unsure of whether it would become a movie, a musical, a cartoon, or a ballet. There are several "Rhiannon Songs" from this unfinished project including "Stay Away" and "Maker of Birds." Nicks wrote the Fleetwood Mac song "Angel" based on the Rhiannon story.[6]


Fleetwood Mac


Weekly charts

Chart (1976) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[7] 4
Australian Singles Chart 13
Dutch Singles Chart 16
UK Singles Chart 46
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 11
US Cash Box Top 100[9] 9

Year-end charts

Chart (1976) Rank
Australia[10] 100
Canada[11] 63
US Billboard Hot 100[12] 76
US Cash Box [13] 74


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[14] Silver 250,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Other versions

  • Redd Kross recorded a lo-fi version of "Rhiannon" in 1988, which was released as a 7" 45-rpm single bundled with the magazine "Away From The Pulsebeat".
  • Waylon Jennings included the song in his 1985 album, Turn the Page.
  • Hardcore Punk band Zeke also included the song in their 2000 Dirty Sanchez album.
  • The song was recorded in 1976 by Lochiel, Glenwood, and South Carvolth Schools for The Langley Schools Music Project.
  • Hole also sampled "Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)" on the song "Starbelly" from their album Pretty on the Inside from 1991.
  • Japanese artist Superfly recorded the song as a B-side of the single "Ai o Komete Hanataba o", released on February 28, 2008.
  • Taylor Swift performed with Stevie Nicks at the 2010 Grammy Awards.
  • Best Coast played the song in a live session for Sirius XMU in May 2012.
  • Vaughan Penn and the Boomers played this song during their club days in the 1980s
  • Lady Antebellum performed a duet with Stevie Nicks on the song "Rhiannon" at the 2014 ACM Awards.
  • Singer RES included the song on her 2013 EP Refried Mac.
  • Sticky Fingers included the song on Like a Version.
  • The song was covered by former Fleetwood Mac member Bob Welch on his 2006 album His Fleetwood Mac Years and Beyond, Vol. 2.

In popular culture

  • Author Glen Cook stated in an interview[15] that the title for his novel She Is the Darkness was taken from the lyrics of "Rhiannon".
  • The song made an appearance in the second episode of American Horror Story: Coven and was subsequently performed by Nicks herself in a guest appearance in the tenth episode, "The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks".


  1. ^ "ACM Awards: Lady Antebellum, Stevie Nicks Rock 'Golden' Performance". Billboard. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  2. ^ Fontenot, Robert. "Oldies Music Encyclopedia: "Soft Rock"". About.com. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  3. ^ Rock Movers & Shakers by Dafydd Rees & Luke Crampton, 1991 Billboard Books.
  4. ^ The Great Rock Discography. Martin C. Strong. Page 378. ISBN 1-84195-312-1
  5. ^ "Stevie Nicks - Behind the Music". rockalittle.com.
  6. ^ a b "Stevie Nicks on Rhiannon". inherownwords. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4128a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  8. ^ "Fleetwood Mac Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  9. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 5/29/76". tropicalglen.com.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (doc)|format= requires |url= (help). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  12. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". www.musicoutfitters.com.
  13. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1976". tropicalglen.com.
  14. ^ "British single certifications – Fleetwood Mac – Rhiannon". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 30, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Rhiannon in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  15. ^ "Glen Cook aux Utopiales 2011 : l'interview - Elbakin.net". www.elbakin.net.

External links

Joel Dickinson

Joel Dickinson (born July 7, 1979) is an American remixer, electronic music producer, recording engineer and DJ based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His officially released remix work includes many songs that have achieved Billboard Club charting status, incuding Barbra Streisand - Don't Lie To Me (from Walls) (#8), Whitney Houston - "Million Dollar Bill" (#1), Tony Moran ft. Deborah Cooper - "Heartbeat" (#4), Eddie X ft. Niki Haris - "This Time Baby" (#5), Jessica Sutta ft. Kemal - "Again" (#11), and C+C Music Factory ft. Scarlett Santana - "Rain" (#8).

Joel has worked with Junior Vasquez on a number of projects, including Junior's remix of the lead single from Whitney Houston's final album, "I Didn't Know My Own Strength (Whitney Houston song)," Whitney's "Million Dollar Bill," "X (Factory Reset Mix)," the 2018 revival of "If Madonna Calls (Brutally Proud Mix)," and many others.

Joel began creating "bedroom bootleg" mixes in 1997 after discovering an interest in DJ'ing. In 1998, he began his first DJ residency at Trikkx in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he played many of his earliest remixes and edits. He followed this residency with stints at The Saloon in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2002 and various other clubs and special events in the Twin Cities metro area, throughout the Midwest, and beyond.

In 2001, he began producing under the alias, Thee Werq'n B!tches. Under this name, Joel perhaps became best known for his remixes of gay camp classics. Some of these included: Liza Minnelli - "Cabaret (song)", Dolly Parton - "9 to 5 (Dolly Parton song)", Bette Davis - "I've Written A Letter To Daddy" (from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962 film)), and Olivia Newton-John - "Xanadu (song)". Many of these have become sensations in their own right. This was never more evident than when Joel received the highly coveted award of "Gayest Thing on the Internet" for his remix and subsequent video for Thee Werq'n B!tches ft. Faye Dunaway - "No Wire Hangers!" by VH1's Best Week Ever in 2008.In 2009, he began a very fruitful collaboration with John Michael DiSpirito and Billy Waters, two DJs and producers from NYC. This collaboration led to the founding of the remix team Audio Assembly (with Billy Waters and John Michael DiSpirito) who have produced for artists such as Taylor Dayne and Eddie X ft. Niki Harris. Joel also worked with John Michael DiSpirito under the name Hell & Keller, who have produced widely circulated bootlegs of songs by The Human League, Willow Smith, and others. Beginning in 2012, Joel joined forces with international DJ/producer/record executive Jerome Farley. This partnership has produced productions for Tony Moran, Sister Sledge, Jessica Sutta, and many others.

Rhiannon (disambiguation)

Rhiannon is a queen in Welsh mythology.

Rhiannon may also refer to:

Rhiannon (given name), a Welsh given name

"Rhiannon" (song), a 1975 Fleetwood Mac song

Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches, a 2008 video adventure game

The Song of Rhiannon, a 1972 fantasy novel by Evangeline Walton

The Sword of Rhiannon, a 1942 science fiction novel by Leigh Brackett

Rhiannon's Ride, a 2004–06 series of novels written by Kate Forsyth

16912 Rhiannon, an asteroid discovered in 1998

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