Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer School of Rock ~ Heart

I seem to be slacking a bit in my Summer School of Rock series, and for that, my apologies. Things have been busier than I anticipated this summer and I'll realize it's been two weeks without a band. Then I cry some ironic punk tears and get over myself.

Up this week, one of the bands that I loved the very most growing up. I played and played and played their cassette tapes so many times that I wore them out. My favorite song to play on Guitar Hero is and will forever be Barracuda.

They've been rocking since the mid 70's. The band has had a ton of lineup changes, but the core of the band has been Ann and Nancy Wilson, the sisters that proved that anything men could rock, women could rock too.

The roots of the band started before either of the sisters was actually affiliated with the group. They went through a few different names too. Ann joined in 1972, Nancy in 1974. 

Though the sisters are American, the band had its early successes in Canada. Their sound was a combination of folk music, metal and hard rock, relying pretty heavily on the signature sound of Ann's voice. She has a deep growl to her voice that suits rock music perfectly.

Their first album, Dreamboat Annie included Crazy on You and sold over a million copies...not bad for a debut.

My favorite song of theirs, Barracuda, was written one night in a hotel room shortly after they started their rise to success when Ann was particularly pissed off at a reporter who alleged that she and Nancy were sexually involved with one another.

Little Queen, the album including Barracuda, landed the sisters on the cover of Rolling Stone.

The late 70's were good to the band, the early 80's not so much. They switched to Capitol Records in 1985 and recorded Heart, followed by Bad Animals and Brigade, all of which were commercial successes and revived their fanbase. The hair got bigger, the edge got a little edgier. Many tried to call them a pop act, but they never really were.

The 90s saw some more tours. Nancy took a break to focus on her family. Ann toured with The Ann Wilson Band in her absence. Basically everyone still referred to anytime either of them performed as Heart though. They reformed officially in 2002.

One of the most amazing things they have ever done was perform at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2012. There they performed Stairway to Heaven as a tribute to Led Zeppelin. If you haven't seen this yet, prepare to be floored. Absolutely stunning.

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year. They remain the longest lasting successful female-led rock band in history.

And they'll always speak to a piece of my past, for which I will always love them.


The other bands and artists profiled already, in no particular order.

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