Heart was one of the leading hard rock bands of the 1970s and one of
the few bands that survived the transition into 1980s pop. While the band
may have been formed in the 1960s, it was the talents of sisters Ann and
Nancy Wilson that made it famous.
Originally created in 1963 by Steve Fossen, Roger Fisher and Mike
Flicker, the band eventually known as Heart went through several early
name changes. Gigging under the names "The Army" and "White Heart," the
three buddies-cum-musicians settled on Heart in the early 1970s. Shortly
afterward, the Seattle based trio recruited the vocal talents of Ann
Wilson, the daughter of a Marine Corps captain, and (later) her sister
Nancy. The two had been raised in San Francisco and Taiwan before their
family had settled in Washington.
With most of the songs based on early whimsical work by Ann,
Dreamboat Annie was released. The album saw radio play through
the popular singles "Crazy on You" and "Magic Man," but the rest of the
record bore little resemblance to these rock anthems, resulting in poor
sales and a niche audience.
Meanwhile, things were heating up inside the band as Mike Flicker and
Ann became romantically involved. Not to be outdone by her sister, Nancy
started a relationship with Roger. The dynamic later split up the
founding members leaving the Wilsons with creative control of Heart.
In the early 1980s, the band had trouble staying on the charts and on
the airwaves as band members turned over quickly. After a flopped 1983
album Passionworks, Heart was dropped from their contract with
Portrait and signed by Capitol Records.
The new label brought about changes in the form of the self-titled
record Heart, which finally brought the Wilson sisters to the
spotlight. The band became known as a feminine vehicle and the videos
that followed brought a romantic air to the band's music -- as opposed to
the angry, heavy-hitting rock from earlier discs.
Heart struck gold (and platinum </joke>) with their singles "What About Love?," "These
Dreams," "Alone" and "All I Want to Do Is Make Love to You." The end of
the eighties was a lucrative time for the band as they rode their fame
through four successful albums.
In the nineties, however, with the change to less flamboyant music, the
band saw much less success as a whole and instead Ann and Nancy focused on
their solo careers and their families. The two released several joint
records under the name The Lovemongers.
Currently, Ann and Nancy are touring with John Paul Jones and several
other classic rock giants performing Beatles covers mixed with their own
Heart is also the name of the band's 1985 album which
the Wilson sisters to a new audience of listeners: the MTV generation.
spending a year on sabbatical working on their image, Heart knew they were
having trouble connecting with the current music scene. They came up with
plan to go "mainstream" with new looks, a revised sound, and formulaic
to boot. Heart ended up as the band's best selling album, but it
didn't add much to the band's repertoire. Several tracks (e.g. "What
Love?") became eighties pop mainstays, but these melodic anthems didn't
with the band's prior AOR approach.
- If Looks Could Kill (3:42)
- What About Love? (3:41)
- Never (4:07)
- These Dreams (4:15)
- The Wolf (4:03)
- All Eyes (3:55)
- Nobody Home (4:07)
- Nothin' at All (4:13)
- What He Don't Know (3:41)
- Shell Shock (3:42)
I have a huge crush on Ann Wilson and got
to see her perform live in the summer of 2001 at Music
Midtown in Atlanta. It was great.