||The HeartMongers Online
by Christopher Steeves
Change of Heart - Part I
by Richard Moran
Change of Heart - Part II
by Richard Moran
Change of Heart - Part III
by Richard Moran
by Eddie Vandenbergh
A Tribute to Heart
by Christopher Steeves
Needs to be possessed
by Sian Llewellyn
Heart - 20 Years of Rock & Roll
by Christopher Steeves
Heart -and the Media
by Jennifer Fry
by Eddie Vandenbergh
by Anita Grubuski
Ann Wilson - Female vocalist of the year
by Mark Mehler
The HeartMongers Online
It was not long ago that I was surfing the Internet with a friend of mine who asked, Are ther any sites about Heart on the Internet? It was then I had to confess, both to him and myself, that there werent any. The only Heart-related site on the World Wide Web was the Bad Animals Seattle site, and although well crafted, did not provide any information on the band itself. What a difference a year can make. Six months after my first failed attempt to find ANY site devoted to Heart, another search proved out. There was one. A single solitary site. There was hope after all. The site I had found was The HeartMongers Corner. The term HeartMongers was one I had heard before referring to a group of devoted fans who hung out on the America Online and Prodigy networks. But they were on the World Wide Web. No longer segregated, but worldwide. The HeartMongers had begun to spread out. Just how much? How fast were the HeartMongers moving out onto the Internet? Within a period of three months after finding The HeartMongers Corner, no less than three new sites had appeared on the web. Then another, and another. Today there are at least eiht sites that are run by the HeartMongers. Most of them operate out of the continental United States, one is based in Canada and three more overseas. The information these three sites provide is as similar as it is diverse. For the most part, each site devotes itself to providing information on Heart and The Lovemongers and the avtivities of these bands and their members. In addition, most sites have links to other web pages for faster transition from one to another. One site is dedicated to Nancy Wilson and her music but still retains the underlying Heart themes. The sites are frequently updated as new information becomes available. How usefull is this information? Personally, I find that some of these sites are more informative and up-to-date than Hearts Fan Club in California. Recently, two sites gave tribute to Nancy on her 42nd birthday this March and provided dates pertaining to her solo shows in Santa Monica California. Such data wouldve more than likely come out of the Fan Club too late to be any use, if it came out at all. But the HeartMonger movement goes beyond mere websites. What if a group of HeartMongers wanted to get together and discuss the two bands? Thanks to the Internet, this is now possible. Currently, there are two ways this is done. Twice a week HeartMongers, literally from all over the world, hold a chat on the IRC (Internet Relay Chat). Through the IRC people communicate in near real-time with each other via keyboard. As of this writing, there are some thirty HeartMongers who participate in thes chats, with newbies popping up all the time. There are even surprise vists by people like Sue Ennis and Kathy Cox (Frank Coxs wife). The second method of discussing Heart and The Lovemongers is through the Listserv. This e-mail based discussion group runs continuously. Through e-mail postings people can voice their opinions, ask and respond to questions by others and chat with people that share their devotion to the bands. Although this process is not real-time, it still provides very usefull information and the apportunity to correspond with other fans across the globe. There are currently over 130 people who take part in this service. It would be impossible to put an exact figure on the number of people considered to be HeartMongers. a conservatice estimate puts it somewhere between 150 and 200 people as of right now. The number of people that are discovering the movement continues to grow at nearly the same rate the web pages are appearing. Its also important to note that this is only a small fraction of the true number of HeartMongers. For it is loyality and dedication to the bands that makes someone a HeartMonger and not wheter theyre on-line. And what do the members of Heart think of the HeartMongers? Nancy herself probaly put it best when at the end of the redently released The Road Home video, she says, HeartMongers...yes!. The credits that roll by at the end of this tape also give special thanks to the HeartMongers. Ann Wilson was quoted in a recent radio interview that
are the best. The HeartMongers Online is still in its infancy. However, with half-a-dozen web sites currently in operation, the Listserv and IRC discussions now occuring at regular times, we can expect to see the movement expand rapidly as more people become involved. At the time of this writing, another web site is in preplanning stages in the United Kingdom and a web page dedicated to Sue Ennis has recently gone on-line. The Bad Animals Seattle site is still there, but the next time someone asks, Are there any sites about Heart on the Internet?, I can smile to myself as I reciterate Nancys words HeartMongers
Change of Heart - Part I
Welcome to this series of articles which will atempt to explain and illustrate the major changes Heart has gone through in the past years. This article is also accompanied by a history chart, to follow along with and help understand the transitional memberships within the band.
Evolving from the midst of dawn came the Daybreaks. This was Ann Wilson`s first professional recording. At the age of 17 she sang lead vocals and played flute on four songs which appear on two 45rpm records. Now rare and almost impossible to find they command a high finders fee when found.
As Ann and her sister Nancy grew up , the musical bond was starting to solidify between them. Shortly after Ann`s single releases the sisters produced demo songs which would eventually end up on subsequent albums such as "Here Song", which showed up on Heart´s "Magazine" album in 1978.
The year 1975 was a big one for the Wilson sisters. Ann and Nancy appeared as back-up singers on the Bordersong "Morning" album. They also started to establish a new band based in Seattle, Washington. They called it the " Army". By mid 1975 a temporary line-up of members emerged, this band consisted of Steve Fossen and Roger Fisher, both of whom worked in diverse bands in the Seattle area, and Ann and Nancy Wilson with various drummers.
As time went on, the fall of 1975 came with a new name for the band, "White Heart", consisting of the same members. Only until White Heart optained the rights from an earlier band called "Heart", based in Florida, did they change theirs to "Heart" #1. Ann is quoted as saying, "The name White Heart is too nice sounding, so we picked up the name Heart." Also in November 1975 now based in Vancouver, Canada this vocal and instrumental group still lacked a permanent drummer. Soon after Michael Derosier was added to drums the band started to click. Demo tapes were sent out to numerous recording labels, with no success until a little label called Mushroom Records wanted to sign just Ann but she refused unless the whole band was signed. When recording of the debut album started in 1975 Heart summoned Howard Leese on keyboards. Michael and Howard started as back-up session members only. This starting lineup of Steve Fossen, Roger Fisher, Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Michael Derosier and Howard Leese produced what many people say was their best album "Dreamboat Annie" 1976. When the songs "Magic Man" and "Crazy on you" became big hits and the band asked Michael Derosier and Howard Leese to stay on. At first Howard said "no" but reconsidered later.
In the next article Part 2 we will look at how a legal entanglement caused chaos within Heart´s record label and how romance doesn`t always work in a musicians world.
Change of Heart - Part II
In 1976 Heart was awarded the best Canadian band and set their sights at obtaining the same kind of success in the states. Ann is quoted as saying their success came, "by not trying to be men, sexy in an understated way. We«re appealing, but not in a pornographic way." Their success with "Dreamboat Annie" picked up great radio play and demonstrated a good mix of folky ballads and hard rock.This in turn prompted a massive tour schedule with the likes of the Beach Boys, Loggins and Messina, Jefferson Starship and B.T.O. for more than 150 concert dates. By now the band strenghtened with the new permanent drummer, Michael Derosier. The six member band lasted for six years and pro-duced four albums. With the new fol-lowing, the band went back to the U.S. as home base. While on tour in Europe in 1977 they found that diminutive mushroom records distributions system couldn«t handle demand for "Maga-zine«s" first LP issue. Much concern was also raised about money corruption "...we heard that some double dealing was going on," says Howard Leese, "...so we ended up having to leave Mushroom and stop recording altogether." So Heart signed to Portrait Records. Mushroom sued for breach of contract. Heart countered with a lawsuit over comfortable rights to re-record for a remake LP of "Magazine" in the spring of 1978. (The first issue bears a disclaimer saying in effect that Heart«s involvement may or may not be viable for the production of this album) Mushroom then declared it was about to let go rough, unfinished demo work and claimed it had commercial rights to the four tapes. As the case was being settled in a Seattle court, Potrait released "Little Queen" in July 1977. Finaly a judge settled suit out of court by suggesting "Heart had overstepped bounds in signing to Portrait, but that Heart had the right to mix the second Mushroom LP as they deemed artistically suitable." To fulfill contractual obligations Heart was obliged to return to the studio for a two week session in March of 1978 to recreate the "Magazine" project. Mushroom irrevocably released this new version of "Magazine" in the U.S.A. during April 1978. This case set important precedence for other musical artists alike and other record companies too! With the release of "Little Queen", enthusiastic followers saw the single "Barracuda" swim up the charts to #11. Much of "Little Queen"«s musical content demonstrated a good mixture and variety. Starting out with straight forward, heavy punching, rhythmic and chart busting "Barracuda" and flowering into a melodic passive ballad as "Love Alive". This kind of diversity brought "Little Queen" its own high acclaim. The rebellious attitude of "Kick it Out" portrays many of the feelings that the young culture had in those times. The title track ex-emplifies the roles Ann and Nancy play as women rockers, breaking ground in unex-plored lands and carrying that hea-vy crown. The last two songs "Cry To Me" and "Go On Cry" are also backed up by the third Wilson sister, Lynn. As a verified fact the bands« fourth album "Dog & Butterfly" brought mostly unfavourable reviews, the results of the lack of strong hard rock and an abundance of ballads, it has an oriental motif of sound and artwork. This stalled the bands« future and jeopardized Roger Fisher«s lead guitar work. Although the singles "Straight On" and "Dog & Butterfly" showed promise it wasn«t enough to become an album chart buster, barely making the Top 20. "Straight On" made it to #15 on the Charts. Roger Fishers Relationship with Nancy Wilson and Ann«s with his brother Michael produced romantic upheavals in 1979. Ann sums it up by saying, "I«m through having romantic relaionships with people in the band. It«s just too much for my head...none of us pin it all on Roger Fisher-we still love Rog like a brother. What made him leave wasn«t a personal thing, it was a musical thing." His guitar work was cherished and missed by many.
Change of Heart - Part III
Promptly following the discord departure of Roger Fisher and a brief recovery period from their social surgery, both sides showed relief and appeasement toward a amicable parting. Ann notably says, Something like this could have turned out so badly, but it really has been great. Also his brother Mike is no longer with us and were (Ann and Mike) no longer together. Those things didnt happen simultaneously, it was kind of a domino theory. In essence the entire situation had been in the wind for a long while.
Life after Roger showed a new beginning for the band and a coalescing of its members to a tighter awareness. Soon work started on their next album Bebe Le Strange. From the start an acoustic blend of blues driven by lyrical melodic vocals replaced the more reminiscent and pronounced, technically sophisticated electric cords of Rogers rock guitar work. Evidently moving from a post-zep sound to a more basic, classic rock n roll style which emphasizes rhythm guitars more often than leads.
The albums jacket itself depicts the current power structure of Heart with a large photo of Ann and Nancy on the front and on the reverse Fossen, Deroiser and Howard Leese backing up the girls. In 1980 Portrait records was absorbed into the Epic label for this album which hits US #5 as they play a 77 date US tour, with Leese and Nancy jointly offsetting Fishers guitar role. By some the album was a great success selling over a million copies, but to others it was a disappointing ballad type album caused by the external woe of Roger. All at hand the songs did not stand up on their own very well with Even It Up charting only #34.
A lot of effort went into making this album sound different than their previous albums, Ann says, We ran guitar amps into typanies, we used vacuum cleaner hoses (as resonating volumetric chambers) and tiny amps, we tried lots of weird stuff. Not only was the music different but so was the title of the album. As Ann and Nancy were out and about on the western frontier they saw a nightclub place called Jac Le Strange. This sparked a neuro-surge in both of them, being women they thought that maybe they could replace Jac with Bebe (meaning young woman) as this would typify their somewhat strange female stance as rock musicians. Although this album had moderately good sales it still didnt meet the expectations of producers and the like which openly expressed the negative effects of the spiraling enterprise.
In the mere spare time the band had, some of the members ventured into backing other bands. Some of which included Howard Leese playing guitar for the group Dixon House Band. Ann and Nancy sang some vocals for Supertramp on the Famous Last Words album. But the most intriguing album performance by Heart members was a Randy Meisner self titled record. On this record you can find yet to be member Denny Carmassi on drums, Howard Leese on guitar and backing vocals, Ann and Nancy contributing on backing vocals, with long time associate Mike Flicker as producer and Trudy Green as manager. The alliances dont stop here, as seen by the inclusion of the Tower Of Power Horns section which played with Heart on the Bebe Le Strange album and tour.
Desire walks on, a dream that won«t wander away no matter how much you toss and turn. Desire is a chaingang of emotions that keep us going on. Alas, dreams like that are never free. You may have to walk through snakes to get it right. Surely this must be the message which is drawn to the surface after having been suspended in this way of immaculate seduction. This is precisely what the new album is, some minutes of immaculate seduction. A treasure chest full of mostly Wilson songs. All that you long for, all that you crave is featured within. Ann«s singing is absolutely first-rate. Yet again she proves that she can handle anything from technicolour sounds of passion to full-throttle rock that irrevocably sweep the listener up. There are times in your life that take you by surprise, true, but when you«ve been under a full unremitting desert sun for about two years it«s so liberating to stand on your hind legs and howl. It was well worth the long wait. It«s so nice to roam Mama«s kitchen again and pick up on those familiar aromas. Those little things that you«ve learned to identify for what they are, for what is in your Heart and behind your eyes. "Desire Walks On" is like a visit from your best friend. A friend that makes you feel comfortable, because you think along similar lines. Lines of 100% pure Wilson that sound like it«s your second nature. Listening to absolute gems like "Back To Avalon", or "In Walks The Night", which touch upon the very soul of Heart, are more fun than you should be allowed to have sitting alone in a recliner. It«s a pity though, that they did not include "Cherry Blossom Road" on this fine selection of songs. Those of you who have had the privilege of seeing Heart perform this song unplugged on the new "Desire" tour will understand what I mean. Surely this would have been the "Cherry" on the sundae. It just goes to show that there«s plenty more where that came from and that«s a comforting thought. It does feel like Heart have broken out of that tired old spell and have returned to what they started off with, which is pure honest songwriting. I«m sure that if you let the wind out of some of these big songs they will sound just as great. Edgar Ellen Poe once said "Those who dream by day are cognizant of a lot more things than those who only dream by night." So watchman, what of the night?
A Tribute to Heart
This is unlike nothing you have heard before. Despite the relative newness of this, Heart«s thirteenth album, the supergroup from Seattle continues to deliver hard hitting rock and roll style we«ve come to expect. More polished than the last studio album ("Brigade"), but having a uniqueness to keep it from being called too commercial and mainstream. Comparing it to previous albums, Heart«s rhythm seems slightly al-tered, most likely due to the de-parture of basist Mark Andes in December «91. Who is current-ly playing bass remains a mystery. Shadows of "Barra-cuda" ring out in the lead off track "Black On Black". Some of the other songs have a "Dreamboat Annie" feel, such as "Back To Avalon". Like its predecessors, "Desire Walks On" encompasses all of Heart«s capabilities. From heavy power-guitar to swirling and graceful acoustic. Heart has brought back the keyboard and synthesizer sound that plagued the 1987 "Bad Animals" album, but this time it is much more subdued and used only when necessary. Vocally, the album excels. Ann Wilson«s trademark power vocals are tempered by a softer side on songs such as "The Woman In Me" and "In Walks The Night". It was a little dis-appointing to see that Nancy Wilson only has 1 1/3 lead vocals. Since her voice has really developed and strenghtened over the past five years, I was really hoping for at least two leads. The one main lead Nancy sings, "Will You Be There (In The Morning)", did however leave me breathless and is one of the real gems of the album. On the down side, I am not a big fan of remakes no matter how big the original was in the past. "Ring Them Bells", although a fair song in compa- rison to most others, isn«t really what I«ve come to expect. The song-writing team of Ann & Nancy Wilson and Sue Ennis is extremely good and I fail to see why Heart had to resort to remakes. That job should be left to the Lovemongers. For those interested in Heart trivia, "Ring Them Bells" is the first and only Heart song featuring a male lead vocalist; Alice In Chains (a big favourite of Ann Wilson and also from Seattle) vocalist Layne Staley. Actually this is also the only Heart tune that features three vocalists (Ann, Nancy and Staley). I also found the track "Rage" a little too reckless and almost obnoxious especially in the chorus. But this song does indeed re-inforce the well known fact (al-though unfortunately not uni-versally accepted) that Ann Wilson is still the best female vocalist in the business. Overall, the feel of the album remains consistent with what Heart has put out in the past and within the confines of the album itself. Continuity is remarkably smooth, however some of the first few songs tend to end rather abruptly. The brief introduction just prior to "Black On Black II" is eventually followed up and completed when the final song "Desire Walks On" plays, a nice touch for com-pleteness and continuity. It«s as if the album comes full circle by the time it finishes. Of course, for any hardcore fan, this album will be most welcome. For the relatively newer fans, or those with less of an ear for the band, it might take some by surprise expecting more of the same ("Brigade"). This album is not "Brigade" revisited. More appropriately, "Desire Walks On" is a carefully srafted hybrid of the past three studio albums before it. A tribute of Heart by Heart.
Needs to be possessed
Desire walks on, wants to be held, possessed. For any Heart fan "Desire Walks On" needs to be possessed. In my opinion this album will appeal to everyone, from the casual radio listener to the diehard fan. To tell you the truth it wasn«t entirely what I had expected, for the last year or so I have listened to the Lovemongers tapes and have been totally blown away by them. So perhaps I think I was sub-consciously expecting the new album to be reminiscent of these performances. However, I must keep reminding myself that the Lovemongers are not Heart, but a different entity with some of the same components. The opening track just has to be heard to be believed, harking back to the halycon days of "Barracuda", it growls and turns into a total Heart rocker. The original Dalbello version was great, but with some lyric changes and given certain Heart touch (anyone heard the original "Wait For An Answer"?), it transforms onto an incredible opener. I cannot wait to hear this one in concert. Although I have already likened the first to "Barracuda", the run-in of the next track is not dissimilar to the beginning of their 2nd album. An abrupt ending, (great vocal Ann!) to the acoustic "Back To Avalon", with a terrific chorus. I«ve noticed some intriguing effects on this album such as the siren on "Back To Avalon", and the scream one on "Rage" which gives a different touch to the sound of this album. Not obtrusive though, I didn«t notice them until I listened on the headphones. Next up is "The Woman In Me", familiar to all those who have heard the Lovemongers show. I am still trying to get used to this version, I find myself singing the missing backing vocals. Believe me it«s not a nice sound, but I«m willing to bet money that anyone previously familiar with the song does the same thing. Is it just my imagination, but does this track use a drum machine? Certainly something I did not expect to hear on a Heart album. Now, "Rage", the piece de resistance in my opinion with its huge Zeppelinesque riff coupled with the most awesome vocal, you can just feel that anger. I certainly didn«t expect the song to develop in that way, the lyrics are superb too. At first "In Walks The Night" seemed a little "normal" for my liking, but it«s a real grower. I felt the same about "My Crazy Head" at first, but now I really love it, a very good ending to side one. "Ring Them Bells". Again a recognizable song from our friends the Lovemongers. Terrific vocals all round, great to hear Layne Staley of Alice In Chains (do you think he«s returning the favour from "SAP" EP?) Also, there are no drums. The last time I can think of a track with no drums was "Cry To Me" from «77 (anyone disagree?) Mmm, I«m not really too sure about this next one. "Will You Be There (In The Morning)". It seems very Def Leppard, especially the chorus. This one has been chosen as the first single in the UK and I can«t help but thinking there«s been a bit of record company interference. Of course, I could be wrong. Now, "Voodoo Doll", that«s more like it, very moody, almost an Indian feel to it, dabbling with dif-ferent musical styles la Led Zep and their "Kashmir" type stuff. All the vocals at the climax are ab-solutely phenomenal. One of my favourits. "Anything Is Possible" has a great positive feel to it, and a very good melody. Although it appears to be going one way, it has some really great chord changes which alters the whole feel of it. Fab. "Desire Walks On" is an absolute gem, the acoustic beginning turning into a major kick-ass rocker. The big guitars and backwards-reverb drum thunder into it and bring the songs to life. The spoken mid-section is something a little different and a welcome addition, great funky baseline too. This is one song which I feel could go on and on, especially towards the climax when the wah-wah pedal kicks in. I can«t recall one being used so prominently on a Heart track before and it«s terrific to hear. All in all this is one hell of an album from Heart. I«m going to repeat myself now, so if you«re any sort of fan... "Desire Walks On" needs to be possessed.
Heart - 20 Years of Rock & Roll
If you«re like me and you«ve ever wanted to get a historical perspective on Heart, you were delegated to a painstakingly long process of going through past interviews, videos and Magazine articles to get the whole picture. That was until now. Enter the miracle of multimedia. Combining the power of CD technology and the historical accounts from Ann and Nancy Wilson, the new CD music show (408-626-1571) has produced "The First Multimedia Rock & Roll Story In the World" (As mentioned on the box). For IBM compatible computers. This one just happens to be on our favourite group - Heart. As excepted, this CD-Rom is a huge database and history of Heart and more specifically the life and times of Ann and Nancy. By using the various icons on the main screen ("The Stage"), all baring the resemblance of "Bad Animals" figures, the viewer can access the various sections of the program. You can listen as Ann, Nancy and Lou Wilson recount the band«s history from the early years to present day. Accompanying the audio are various pictures and video clips of Ann, Nancy and other members (past and present) of Heart. This section called "The Story" is filled with informative facts and trivia. One might expect this to begin with the birth of Ann and Nancy, but it does in fact go back even further, recounting the musical back-grounds of both Lou and John Wilson and their parents as well (Ann and Nancy«s Grandparents). The photo section contains pictures from all eras, dating back from Ann and Nancy«s Grandparents up to late 1993. More often than not, when calling up a picture from this section, there is an audio clip that the viewer can listen to. Ever wonder what Ann looked like when she was eleven or wanted to know what Nancy wore at her wedding to Cameron Crowe? All this can be found in the "photos" area of the disc. Of course no Heart history would be complete without a discography. From "Dreamboat Annie" to "Desire Walks On" and everything in between. By entering this area of the CD, one goes to "The Music Room" where the covers of all 13 albums are displayed in graphic detail. By choosing one, you can call up information on the artists, producers and songwriters. At the same time, the album«s song titles are listed alongside it«s cover, and by selecting a title, you can hear a brief excerpt as the program displays the lyrics of the song you have chosen (with the exception of five songs that couldn«t be used due to copyright restrictions). Lastly is the "Video" section and the "Timeline". Most videos from "What about Love" to "Will You Be There(In The Morning)" are represented. Unfortunately you don«t see these videos in their entirety and the size of the video "Screen" is rather small. Also included in this section are various clips from Ann and Nancy«s "Home Movies". From the "Timeline" you are given a general overview of Heart«s history under four eras "Early Years-70s-80s and 90s". A well designed section rounds out the CD-Rom, here, the viewer can call up a listing of all videos, pictures and interviews in alphabetical order, making the task of finding a par-ticular section easy. Interestingly enough, I found some interview clips in the index that could not be located elsewhere. I encourage anyone using this disc not to overlook the index, as it has it«s own hidden treasures. There«s also a "Search" function available, unfotunately the search time is exruciatingly long. Despite the thoroughness of the product, it is by no means complete. For example, there is no mention of Ann and Nancy«s solo singles. One might say you wouldn«t expect to find any because it«s a history of Heart and not solo careers, but the Lovemongers are mentioned quite a few times. Also, there is no mention of when Heart was declared a Washington State Treasure in 1989. As this was a fairly important event, I was surprised when I couldn«t find it on the disc. One cosmetic error occures when you call up the album "Desire Walks On" in "The Music Room" you cannot directly access the title track because it isn«t displayed on the screen for some reason. The same problem happens again when trying to access "America" from "Private Audition". (The new CD Music Show is promising future updates and hopefully these minor oversights will be corrected). These problems aside, "Heart-20 Years of Rock & Roll" is a solid product and a must for any true Heart fan. With it«s clever interface and wealth of information, even the most casual fans will find something of interest. Heart has always been a pioneer in the music industry and seemingly always ahead of their time. This product only reiterates this. As the CD-Rom phenomena is only beginning to expand by leaps and bounds, the wisdom to create such a product becomes obvious.
Heart -and the Media
We like touching our fans", said Ann Wilson during a show called "Intimate and Interactive" which aired March 18, 1994. "Intimate and Interactive" appears on the Canadian music channel Much Music. "American audiences tend to be jaded in many ways. It«s so saturated with everything all the time and run by the media. It«s so commercialized, more so than here (in Canada). I think it«s more pure up here. Much Music is way more creative and artistic than MTV." Nancy agreed by adding, "more variety". Being an American, I agree totally with the Wilsons. MTV, as most of you know, banned the video for "You«re the Voice" because of it«s anti-war messages. If you do see a Heart video, there«s Nancy with her breasts hanging out. It«s too bad that they had to do that in order to get their videos on TV. As for Ann, doesn«t America realize that not everyone is size 8? Ann grad- ually disappeared out of Heart videos because of her weight. I«m sorry to tell the people at MTV that not eveyone looks like a Barbie doll. So, thanks to MTV and the media hype of the "Seattle scene", Heart doesn«t want too much to do with the states. Think we« ll ever see an "Unplugged" by our favourite group? I think the Canadian appearance tells the story. And what about the album? Most fans loved it, thinking that it was the best one since "Dreamboat Annie". But the media didn«t think so, it was either the band was copying their older material and not being original, or it was thought that the band was being too commercial. Too commercial? "Heart" was being too commercial. "Desire Walks On" is the furthest from being commercial in my opinion. It«s about time the members of Heart told the press where to put their commercialism. "Desire Walks On" told them that the band«s primary job was to serve the fans. I«m pretty satisfied.
When a good friend of mine asked me how I felt about Heart´s second album, I had only to look up and see a hazy sun and a half moon together in one bluish sky. I chose to neglect the lonesome swallow that passed overhead just then.
The essence of "Little Queen" is summed up perfectly by a line from the title track, "only the finest by your skin". We sure get to hear Heart´s finest. I don´t know about your "skin", but the skill of playing and singing achieved on the album does funny things to mine. Something is sending sensation high alright. Someone is calling clearly to us in sounds that vary from smack in the face rock to the sweet wooden chanting of mandolins. From "Barracuda"´s opening line to the gypsy mood of "Little Queen"´s cover, it gives one the feeling of being on the move, on to better things, a struggle to get out of the dark and into the light. You know, when the winter cold is coming look for a fire that will keep burning. Maybe that is the true "Dream of the Archer", or the artist for that matter. Keep to the true pathway and follow it through the woods. As early as 1977, Ann sings about "slipping away with your gypsy band". Ring any bells? Release the aim and free the goal.
Even today Heart still cherish and continue to play the "Little Queen" stuff live. Songs like "Love Alive" and "Barracuda" are timeless gems indeed. "Little Queen" is definitely one of my favourite albums because of the early Heart sound I fell in love with in the beginning. You don´t need to make up something quick because the real thing still does do the trick.
If I were a swallow about to head south I´d take this album with me because it will go the distance easily. Contrary to the common belief that it´s very difficult to define art, I dare say Heart is Art!
Every album has it«s own uniqueness, but what makes some of Heart«s LP«s even more unique is the inner-groove inscriptions. Inner-groove inscriptions on Heart records appear on the earlier releases of the 1970«s. There are a few that appear on the early 1980«s releases. Some records with inscriptions are rare because they only appeared on the first pressing of the record. Below is a listing and information on all the inner-groove inscriptions that I have found in my Heart record collection. I found no personal inscription on import records. Dreamboat Annie USA LP (Mushroom 1976 original) Side one: It«s in the Wax to the Max Side two: Go for it (Magazine) Later copies only had the side two insription. Crazy on you, Dreamboat Annie USA 7" Single (Mushroom 1975) Side one: For John Side two: Wink Dreamboat Annie USA Promo 12" Single (Mushroom 1976) Stereo side: This one«s for you Ken Mono side: You too Shelly Little Queen USA LP (Potrait 1977 original) Side one: Go for it Side two: "Beauty take us" Later pressings did not have these inscriptions. Magazine USA LP (Mushroom 1977 original with disclaimer) Side two: At last Magazine, Devil Delight USA 7" Single (Mushroom 1979) Side A: We love you Shelly Side B: We love you Shelly Dog USA LP (Portrait 1978 original) Side one (Dog): "Lurvin" Side two (Butterfly): "Love from Honna Lee" These two messages were not as obvious as previous inscriptions. Thanks to one of my pen pals I was able to understand the side two inscription, which was taken from the song "Puff the Magic Dragon". Bb Le Strange USA LP (Epic 1980 original) Side one: Rock me Home Side two: Strange Euphoria Even it up, Pilot USA 7" Single (Epic 1980) Side one: "Connie" Side two: "E.O." These two inscriptions are very personal. "Connie" is the nickname for Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson and Susan Ennis. "E.O." are the initials of Ann«s dog . His full name is "Erwartung der Ovation". As you can tell from the listing most of the messages were personal. Several were quotes from songs and the rest were more mysterious. It would be great to hear from anyone who has anything to add to this subject. There is also one discrepancy that I found in my review of inner-groove insriptions. In 1982, Heart put out a discography in one of their newsletters. They noted that the 7" USA Single for "Bright Light Girl, Private Audition" (Epic) had the inscriptions"Radical Attitutes" (side one) and "Dreamfriends" (side two). I have two copies of this Single and mine do not have any inscriptions. If you have any information on this Single, it would be great to hear from you.
Ann Wilson - Female vocalist of the year
Ann Wilson was minding her own business, eating a lamb curry lunch at an east side Manhatten restaurant, when she was appraoched by a dark-skinned man in a three-piece suit. "Would you like your palm read?" he asked. "Sure," said Ann demurely. The man started intently at the creases of Ann«s left hand and let forth a 10-minute non-stop analysis of her psyche. "You are highly ambitious, versatile, practical, successful," he recited. Circus Weekly«s top female vocalist continued smiling as the palmist subtly shifted emphasis. "But you are dominieering, everywhere you go you must be in charge or you lose interest... you are never content or satisfied, you worry about getting fat, you express yourself in too many directions, you are very stubborn. You are solely responsible for all your problems," Ann«s smile slowly faded, but Howard Leese, Heart«s amiable keybaordist/guitarist, nodded in tacit agreement as the palmist finished his litany and moved on to his next customer. "That was Ann, alright," said Leese, furtively. Ann, somewhat nonplussed, confessed that much of the analysis was on target. "But some of that stuff," she added, "was downright rediculous." The idea that there is a less savory side to Heart«s lead singer may come as a surprise to a public accustomed to reading about her unfeigned innocence. Certainly, Ann«s guilelessness is no PR concoction. At heart, the 28-year-old chanteuse, who narrowly bested Linda Ronstadt in this year«s Circus Weekly poll, still seems a Seattle teenager who dreamed of rock & roll stardom while listening to old pop tunes. If the palmist«s reference to a fear of obesity struck a tender chord in Ann, it is because she was admittedly "a chubby kid." "I lost 40 pounds after I heard "Meet the Beatles," she says. Ann and sister Nancy, who shared her love of folk music but not her avoirdupois, formed a local band in the mid«60s, and later became Heart with the addition of guitarist Steve Fossen and Roger Fisher. In the past three years, Heart has recorded four LPs-Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen, Magazine, and now, Dog & Butterfly; all in Ann«s words, "hot and heavy rock" mixed with acoustic folk influences. Heart is one of rock«s most self-contained unites, disdaining the use of sessionmen, and writing nearly all of their own material. After gaining their release (through the courts) from Mushroom records, Heart signed to Portrait, a CBS associated label with the clout to take the group to new commercial heights. Ann and the rest of Heart look at the Who and the Stones as their role models; bands who "refuse to let the others past them; who work hard on the road and in the studio rather than rest on well-deserved laurels." This year Heart followed in their footsteps, spending several winter weeks in Seattle«s Sea West Studio recording Dog & Butterfly, then hitting the road for at least three legs in six months. The immediate future calls for a 35-date tour of the southeast, moving as far north as Baltimore. In March, Heart will enter the studio to cut its next LP over a two or three month period. All of which suits Ann Wilson just fine. For as the palmist so aptly put it, "no matter what you do, you always come out with flying colors. Though storms may brew, you keep cool." Ever cool and determined, Ann confirms the palmist«s vision that, prior to February, 1976, she was "living as a completely different woman." Around that time, Ann and Mike Fisher, Heart«s former manager, became a couple. Ann expresses complete shock at the Circus award. "I«m amazed, first because of the competition, and second, because I didn«t think we were so popular with your audience... I always thought our audience was the 20 to 30 year olds." Looking forward to spending an off-month of January on her 243-acre Oregon farm (with four newly-purchased Arabian horses), Ann takes a peek at Heart«s future. "We«ll always stick to rock & roll," she says firmly, "but we won«t desert the acoustic stuff that Nancy and I started out with." Though her expressive hand may be romantically accounted for, her heart, as ever, beats to a rock rhythm.