Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Wilson’

In 1985, Heart was on the verge of a MASSIVE comeback. Their 1985 self-titled comeback album went to #1 on the US Billboard 200 charts. The album itself yielded such hits as What About Love, Never, If Looks Could Kill, Nothin’ At All, and the ever-popular smash These Dreams.

The b-side to What About Love is Heart of Darkness. Unfortunately, it sounds like every other song on their 1985 album – which is probably why it wasn’t included on the album. It’s a bland piece of production. Heart is a better band than this song. It doesn’t show off the high vocal range of Ann Wilson nor does it show off Nancy’s mad guitar skills. It sounds simply like another hyper-produced song from the 80’s.

Don’t bother in finding this b-side.


Cover of "Private Audition"

Heart is rock & roll’s most enduring band – there’s no doubt about it. However, even rock music’s most famous sisters have

their bad moments. 1982’s Private Audition is one of their moments.

Private Audition simply does not measure up to what we have come to love about Heart. Rather it seems like Heart has seen better days with their previous albums such as their classics: Dreamboat Annie, Dog & Butterfly and plenty more.

What makes Private Audition terrible is that it is, at times, an almost-total deviation of the style and essence that has made Heart legendary. In fact,l this deviation only works for them once and that is on This Man Is Mine. Furthermore, none of the songs showcase the powerhouse vocals of lead singer Ann Wilson, nor the mad guitar skills of her sister Nancy.

This is perhaps Heart’s worst album they have made. Thankfully most Heartmongers, including the Wilson sisters themselves, have all but forgotten this turkey of an album.  Soon after the album’s release, the sisters got rid of band members Steve Fossen and Mike DeRosier.

The verdict: buy any other album by Heart, but not this one.



Spare Heart wows the audience with both authentication and skill

Spare Heart – A Tribute to the band Heart and Love It To Death performances at The Concert Pub North on FM 1960 in Houston, TX were filled with songs the fans love and deep tracks from the artists’ respective catalogs. It was one rockin’ night!

Spare Heart kicked off the evening with a rousing and loud rendition of Even It Up from Heart’s 1980 classic Bebe Le Strange followed up by the ever-angry rocker Heartless, which was highlighted by the driving rhythm section headed by John Hill on drums and Sean Harrold on bass.

The cover of the power-ballad cover of Alone, which, like the actual recording, kicks into high gear around the chorus. Things only got better with the nicely done keyboard playing of Jeff Ball. It served as a nice complement to the smash hit These Dreams – a beautiful rendition done by the “Nancy Wilson” of the group, Staci Butler. However, this version was a bit more acoustic sounding, which made it sound organic.

Things were kicked back into high-gear with the driving guitar forces of Staci Butler and Mike Lambert on Crazy On You, which was quite possibly the fan favorite of the night.

One of the greatest things about Spare Heartis that they do both the “greatest hits” and some Heart’s deep tracks such as How Can I Refuse, which was beautifully executed by lead vocalist and the “Ann Wilson” of the band, Linda Lambert.

Shortly thereafter,  Love It To Death – The Alice Cooper Tribute show took the stage.

The highlight of Love It To Death – The Alice Cooper Tribute show’s set was none other than No More Mr. Nice Guy. Many in the audience enjoyed the song. Some even sang along.

One of the best things about Love It To Death – The Alice Cooper Tribute show is the fact that they are authentic: lead singer Paul Byron, when in makeup and other trademarks of Alice Cooper, looks strikingly close to the real Alice Cooper. He adds authentication to the performance by doing what Cooper may do during live performances. Such as when he performs Billion Dollar Baby, he throws out fake $1 billion dollar bills containing the band logo. The audience was highly entertained.

Overall, it was a nice precursor to kick off the Halloween season.

Till Saturday, due to my busy schedule and the fact that I have to pay off a speeding ticket, I am rerunning all my posts about Heart in honor of their nomination into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Saturday I will be covering the Spare Heart – a tribute to Heart concert at the Concert Pub North near Spring, TX. so be on the lookout for that review.
Heart is one of those bands that has had many incarnations but still has the constant two frontrunners in the form of sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson. They are the female counterparts of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. However, their reasons for the original lineup change is because of their original romantic entanglements with former drummer Mike DeRosier and Roger Fisher.

Heart’s 1985 self-titled album is proof that that the lineup change that occurred with the previous album, Passionworks, and signing on with record label powerhouse Capitol Records, worked.

Heart’s self titled album is nothing short of great. While it stays true to Heart’s somewhat angry hard-rockin’ musical roots with songs such as The Wolf and If Looks Could Kill, one of the best changes is that there are some hard-rockin’ love songs. On Never, Ann cries “We can’t go on just running away/ If we wait any longer we will surely never get away/ Anything you want – we can make it happen/ Stand up and turn around – never let them shoot us down.” She continues with this passion on All Eyes.

One surprise is that, for a change, guitarist Nancy Wilson gets to sing lead vocals for the first time ever on a Heart album. She has a beautiful voice on the smash single These Dreams. The lyrics of the song describe the fantasy world a person enters when faced with a real-life difficult issue. This song was dedicated to a close friend of Nancy Wilson, Sharon Hess, who died of leukemia shortly before the song was made.

One track though, falls flat. Nobody Home sounds like it wants to be a hybrid power-pop ballad meets the signature sound of Heart. It doesn’t work for the band. Shell Shock sounds like an overdone hard-rock song. It even has corny and cliche love song lyrics that do not fit into the repertoire of Heart.

Caveats aside, the album is a welcomed return to both great music and the radio for Heart.

Some days you just need to stick it to the man! This is a day that is like that for the Wild Heart for reasons unspecified.

So here it is folks: the 10 best songs that bring out the rebel in the wild heart – or at least the angry side! Even more funnier is the fact that some of these have been used in film!

1) We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister. One thing that Twisted Sister did best was portraying rebellion of any kind. However their specialty was teenage rebellion. This rang true in their classic videos on MTV when they cast Mark Metcalf (best known for his role as the sadistic asshole that is ROTC leader Lt. Doug Niedermeyer in the John Landis classic National Lampoon’s Animal House. I must say this has to be a sequel to Animal House – even though it says at the end that Niedermeyer was shot by his own troops in Vietnam. Sadly I guess he survived. 

2) Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears. If you have ever seen the film Real Genius with a very young (and handsome) Val Kilmer, you will know that this is the song that’s played at the end of the film. The film itself is about a group of Pacific Tech student scientists who are tricked into building a tracking device for a weapon. When they find out they were tricked, they exact a little revenge on the dean of students, Dr. Jerry Hathaway. Needless to say that due to his misdeeds (and felonies), he got what he deserved! On a more personal note, I had two of these in college. One was (I kid you not) a campus minister with the Baptist Student Ministry. Anyways, she would always act extremely rude to me and some of my friends. When I finally got the nerve to leave her group because of her sorry ass, she basically went from bad to worse: I joined another Christian group on campus and she tried to kick them out of the room (which the BSM owned) in the chapel at UH. She also asked friends of mine to leave the free lunch (which was open to the entire campus) that the BSM hosted just because my friend wanted another piece of pizza which they were throwing in the trash – why waste it? Thankfully she is no longer at that campus (they moved her to the UH Downtown campus) so its safe to say “good riddance” to her. The other one tried to falsely accuse me of something just to have me removed.

3) I Wanna Rock – Twisted Sister.  If you ever had a mean teacher like this in highschool you can totally relate to this!! I did. She was my highschool algebra teacher

4) Invincible – Pat Benatar. According to Pat Benatar’s autobiography Between A Heart & A Rock Place, this was filmed shortly after the birth of her first child. In other words, her record label back then, Chrysalis, didn’t give her any sort of maternity leave because they were absolutely against her and her husband/guitarist Neil Giraldo having a baby. They thought it would ruin her sexy-rocker persona. One can only imagine that the bite in her vocals maybe was aimed at those snakes at Chrysalis.

5) You Better Run – Pat Benatar.

6) Land of Confusion – Genesis. Probably one of the most creative yet creepiest music videos ever made. The video drew much criticism for showing then-US president Ronald Reagan as stupid and out of touch with the rest of the world. The video came from the hit British television show Spitting Image. The funny thing is that some of the stuff rings true today especially when it comes to how the US dollar is pretty much in the toilet, the terrible state of the US economy

7) Volunteers – Jefferson Airplane. Lead singer Grace Slick definetly lived up to this song. She was friends with the likes of Abbie Hoffman and once tried to spike then-President Richard Nixon’s tea with 600 micrograms of LSD.

8) Crazy On You – Heart. Suprisingly enough, this is actually a protest song! According to the Wilson sisters, this is a song that was written in response to the war in Vietnam. At the time of writing, their boyfriends were draft-dogers living in Canada.

9) Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who. This was probably one of the best performances the Who ever did. It was after the horrible events of September 11, 2001 where 3 hijacked commercial airlines hit Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and a field in Shanksville, PA – the latter was thought to be headed towards the White House. This was part of the Concert For New York City at Madison Square Garden. In some ways, this was the Who, as British citizens, were maybe saying “we are with you. Kill those terrorist bastards!” The Who themselves have said that this was one of their best performances to date. 10 years later we caught and killed the mastermind behind all of  the terror: Osama Bin Ladin.

10) Kerosene – Miranda Lambert. Word to the wise: don’t mess with Miranda Lambert! 

Cover of Bebe Le Strange (Exp)

Heart is one of the greatest and most enduring hard rock acts to ever come out of the influence of Led Zepplin. They prove they have learned well from the hard rock masters on their 1980 release Bebe Le Strange.

With Bebe Le Strange, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, drummer Mike DeRosier, Howard Leese and Steve Fossen decide to abandon the occasional soft rock that made the “butterfly” portion of their previous album, 1979’s Dog and Butterfly. Instead, they crank up both guitarists Steve Fossen’s and Nancy Wilson’s amps, distort them, and let them go to town. They do this well on such songs as Bebe Le Strange & Rockin’ Heaven Down.

However, the Wilson sisters kick things into overdrive with the hit single Even It Up – which could quite easily be showing the already bare cracks within the band – romantic ones at that. According to VH1’s Behind the Music Remastered, both Ann and Nancy Wilson were romantically involved with manager Mike Fisher and guitarist Roger Fisher – Mike’s brother. Mike started cheating on Ann and Nancy started falling in love with drummer Mike DeRosier while still dating Fisher. Needless to say, shortly after the release of 1984’s Private Audition, these men left the band because nobody messes with the Wilson sisters. Needless to say, all of the drama leading up to that seems to be channeled very nicely into that track.

Overall, I would 100% recommend this album for any Heart fan.

Additionally, if you happen to live in the Houston area, Heart will be performing with british rockers Def Leppard at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion on Friday night at 7pm. Tickets are still available at Ticketmaster. I highly recommend you attend this because it is a show that is not to be missed.

Joss Stone was one of the most successful Brit...

Image via Wikipedia

SuperHeavys debut album in stores today

If you haven’t heard already, Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, Joss Stone, Damien Marley and A.R. Rahman have all joined forces in a way equivalent to the Justice League to release an album.

The Wild Heart wants to know what artists would you like to see record together? Better yet, who would be your dream band members if you could construct a band?

Here is mine.

Drums: either Rick Allen (of Def Leppard) or Phil Collins (of Genesis as well as his impressive body of solo work)

Guitar – lead: Eddie Van Halen (of Van Halen)

Guitar – rhythm: Nancy Wilson (of Heart)

Keyboards: Michael W. Smith

Bass: Tina Weymouth (of Talking Heads, Gorillaz inc, and Tom Tom Club)

Lead vocals: Roger Daltry (of the Who)