(NOTE: Music That Sucks is the correct opinion of the author. If you disagree I might have to go crazy on your funky ass.)
Everytime I hear about a band fronted by women (or a woman, or an all-woman group) that can "rock just as hard as the guys" my "sucky senses" begin to tingle. Call me a sexist prick if you want to, but I found for the most part that these so-called "hard-rockin'" women are anything but. Janis Joplin is an exception; she sang as if she had a set of testicles in between her legs. Joplin actually rocked just as hard as the men did. Well, if Joplin had a proverbial set of cock and balls then Heart had a dildo: it looks like a set of cock and balls and is shaped like a set of balls, but in reality all it is is a piece of plastic. Yep, that pretty sums up Heart and their music: they may appear to be a hard rocking act at first, but upon further review they are not.
Heart was actually formed in 1963 by bassist Steve Fossen and brothers Mike and Roger Fisher in Vancouver, British Columbia. They orginally called themselves Army, then changed the name to White Heart before dropping the "White" at the dawn of the 1970's. Around this time Ann Wilson, the daughter of a Marine Corps. captain, joined the group. Shortly after joining, Ann became romantically involved with Mike Fisher. In 1974 Ann's sister Nancy joined the group, and shortly after she joined she hooked up with Mike's brother Roger. Around this time Mike retired from performing to become the group's sound engineer.
After gaining a sizable following in the Vancouver area, Heart signed with Mushroom Records, a small Canadian outfit. Along with keyboardist Howard Leese and drummer Michael Derosier, Heart recorded their debut album, Dreamboat Annie in 1975. The album sold 30,000 in Canada before being in the US and going platinum. The major singles of note off this album are "Magic Man" and "Crazy On You", both prime examples of Clit Rock masquerading as something it is not (i.e. legitamate hard rock). In 1977 Heart switched to CBS Records affiliate Portrait Records, which resulted in a legal battle with Mushroom. In fact, Mushroom released the unfinished Magazine album shortly after Heart released Little Queen on Portrait. Magazine, despite being panned by critics and having only one Top 40 hit ("Heartless"), went platinum and reached #17 on the album charts. Little Queen was an bigger success, spearheaded by the ultra-annoying single "Barracuda". "Barracuda" gets consistant airplay on classic rock stations to this day. Listening to this faux-hard rocking number conjures up dreams of the gals being eaten alive by actual barracudas. Ah yes, there they are, going into their banshee whails, "Ooooooh....Barracuda!"; when all of sudden an entire school of the fanged fishies jumps out of the water and rips their vocal chords apart....ahem! Where was I again? Oh yes, Heart...
The group followed up Little Queen with Dog & Butterfly in 1978. The album was not as successful as their first on Portrait, but did have two Top 40 singles (the title track made it to #34, "Straight Up" to #15). Shortly after the release of Dog & Butterfly, both of the romances fell apart and Roger Fisher left the group. In 1980, following an extended US tour, Heart released Bebe Le Strange. After that album was released (and flopped), both Fossen and Derosier left the group and were replaced by bassist Mark Andes (formerly of a group called Spirit) and drummer Denny Carmassi (who played in a group called Gamma). The group's next two albums, Private Audition and Passionworks (released in '82 and '83 respectively) were both failures and it appeared as though Heart was done. Portrait dumped the group, who then moved to Capital Records (home of the Beatles).
As any of my long-time readers may know, you couldn't count any sucky music act out in the 1980's; the worst decade for rock music of all time. Heart definately falls into this category, as Heart's self-titled Capital debut (1985) became their most successful album ever. Four singles reached the Top Ten: "What About Love?", "Never", "Nothing At All", and "These Dreams", which made it to the top of the charts. Heart, the album, ended up selling in excess of 5 million copies as the group basically changed their style to coincide with the 1980's. The album is chock full of cheesy '80's style power ballads ("These Dreams" being the most obvious example) that make the sensible listener want to hurl, and they had also changed their look to appeal to the MTV crowd. Long-time fans were a bit put off, but they sucked before so why complain now that they suck even more?
More schlock awaited the music buying public in 1987 with the release of Bad Animals. I find this title to be very appropriate as I'd like to whack these bitches across the face with a rolled-up newspaper and then rub their noses in their own excrement which they call music. The single "Alone" was another #1 hit, while "Who Will You Run To" and "There's The Girl" were played on the radio ad-nauseum as well. The group released Brigade in 1990, which would prove to be their last successful album. Songs of note are "All I Want To Do (Is Make Love To You)" which garnered a bit of controversy as it was about a sexual liason with a hitchhiker (the song reached the #2 spot); "I Didn't Want To Need You", and "Stranded" (both of which reached the Top 25).
In the early the Wilson's took a brief hiatus from Heart to form an acoustic group called the Lovemongers, and in the mid-late 1990's they were a subject of the VH1 series Behind The Music, a couple of "greatest hits" packages were released, and the Wilson sisters have ventured away from each other here and there to work on side projects. There is no rift between them or anything like that, but for the most part Heart is finished commercially.
Heart had a long and successful run at making some of the most awful Clit Rock ever. Some may consider them powerful role models for women everywhere, but if I were female I would consider them an embarrassment to my gender.
Heart, music...that sucks!