Friday on My Mind: Heart for Your Valentine’s Day

It’s time again for Friday on My Mind, our weekly blog post where we look at videos centered around one common theme. This is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and so in commemoration of this Hallmark event, we’re looking at the greatest videos ever made by Seattle’s very own, Heart. Heart! Valentine’s Day! It’s all so obvious.

Before Nirvana, Grunge, and Starbucks, there was Heart. Heart initially began all the way back in 1963, not in Seattle, but Vancouver, BC, because before Seattle there was Vancouver, BC! Actually I’m not sure which came first. Seattle based sisters, Ann and Nancy Wilson did not join Heart until the early 70’s and their debut full length, Dreamboat Annie, was released on Valentine’s Day in 1975. See, they saw this coming. Subsequently they released a few more successful albums during the end of the 70’s, but hit a slow patch during the early 80’s. In 1985 they released their 8th album which was self-titled and in a lot of ways considered a comeback album and just like their look and sound in the 70′s, they were re-launched in the 80′s and with the power ballads, big hair and giant guitar riffs they found renewed success. It went on the sell five million copies and went to number 1 on the U.S. music charts. During their career, they have sold 35 million albums. Ann and Nancy are the only two members who remain in the band from the early years. The band will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 18, 2013 along with Donna Summer, Public Enemy, Albert King, Randy Newman, and Rush.

Crazy On You

One of the hugely successful singles from their debut album. Nancy Wilson’s guitar solo to the song actually has its own title, which is “Silver Wheels.” God bless the 70′s. During that time it blew people’s minds that a woman was shredding on the guitar. Heart were groundbreaking. During the bands early gigs, people use to ask if her guitar was actually plugged in because people can be really stupid. “Crazy On You” was their first official commercial success.

Barracuda

“Barracuda” was the first single from Heart’s 1977 second album, Little Queen. So the story goes, Ann wrote the lyrics to this song in response to the wrath and rage felt towards the band’s first label. The Canadian based Mushroom Records thought that it would be a great means of publicity to market Ann and Nancy as lesbian lovers. Because people can be really stupid.

What About Love

The first single from their 1985 massively successful comeback album Heart. The song was a departure for the band, not only because the sound was removed from the pure rock sound of their previous hits like “Crazy On You” and “Barracuda,” but also because the song was not written by the band. As well, they now had MTV as an outlet to showcase their music, as well as their bigger hair dos. They couldn’t have had better timing.


Honorable Mentions:

Magic Man

The lead single off of the debut Dreamboat Annie. According to Kicking and Dreaming, the 2012 autobiography written by the Wilson sisters, their radio publicist offered radio DJs cocaine and prostitutes as encouragement for airplay of this single. God bless the 70′s.

These Dreams

Another song that was not written by the band, but by lyricist Bernie Taupin (of Elton John fame) and composer Martin Page. The Taupin/ Page songwriting team was also responsible for Starship’s #1 hit, “We Built This City.” Which is considered one of the worst songs in the history of music. “These Dreams” was originally offered to Stevie Nicks, who turned it down, whic was probably a good call.

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One Comment

  1. Jaya
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    First time reading this blog -- great, witty writing and you totally nailed the whole Heart machine. Ah the 70s!

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