Heart celebrates milestone reissues with new LP

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Ann and Nancy Wilson showed the world women can rock when their band, Heart, stormed the charts in the ‘70s. Anchored by mega-hits such as ‘Crazy on You,’ ‘Magic Man,’ and ‘Barracuda’ the band went on to sell more than 35 million records worldwide—moving at least 22 million in the U.S. alone. Heart is ranked No. 57 on VH1's “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock,” and with albums on the Billboard 200 during the last four decades, the band ranks among the most commercially enduring hard rock bands in history—earning their Rock Hall induction in 2013.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Heart’s groundbreaking 1976 debut album, Dreamboat Annie. The first-time effort peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 and went platinum, selling one million copies. The album spawned the aforementioned classic signature songs ‘Magic Man’ and ‘Crazy On You’ along with ‘White Lightning and Wine’ and the “ethereal title track.” Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) is celebrating the milestone by reissuing Dreamboat Annie on 180-gram heavyweight black vinyl with “old-school” gatefold sleeve and song lyrics. A limited edition red translucent vinyl version is also available.

Dreamboat Annie was initially released in 1975 by Canada-based Mushroom Records. The release followed the success of the album’s second single, ‘Magic Man,’ which was an autobiographical song about Ann leaving home for Vancouver, BC, to pursue a romance. ‘Magic Man’ first got airplay on a Montreal radio station, earning the band a slot opening for Rod Stewart, who was on tour in the city during October 1975. Mushroom Records formed a U.S. division to meet demand for the album, following the February 1976 stateside release of Dreamboat Annie.

Reissue label Friday Music is also making 1985’s Heart available as a 30th anniversary 180-gram audiophile vinyl reissue. “Note for note, song for song, Heart’s self-titled masterpiece … is recognized as one of the classiest, hippest and equally creative musical affairs ever waxed and continues to be one of their most loved albums in their very long and captivating catalog,” reads a label news release.

Heart debuted atop the Billboard 200 and is highlighted by ‘These Dreams,’ which was the group’s first No. 1 single on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. In addition, first single ‘What About Love’ was a Top 10 entry on the Hot 100, followed by ‘Never’ reaching No. 4, and ‘Nothin’ At All’ cracking the Top 10. Heart’s eighth studio album has since gone five-times platinum.

Heart’s 16th studio album, Beautiful Broken, is expected in July via Concord Records. The first release of new material since 2012’s Fanatic “cherry picks” favorites from the band’s catalog by re-recording and re-imagining the featured selections. The album’s “musical flavors” are wrapped in the Wilson sisters’ own brand of hard hitting rock. Guest artists include Metallica’s James Hetfield on the title track, while another of the set’s new songs, ‘Two,’ was penned by R&B artist, Ne-Yo.

The new and re-issued albums arrive just in time for a series of U.S. concerts with fellow Rock Hall of Famers Cheap Trick and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. More than 35 live dates begin July 9 in Darien Center, N.Y., and continue through Sept. 23 with a wrap up show in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Watch Heart in a live acoustic version of ‘Crazy On You,’ a classic hit from the band’s 1976 debut album, Dreamboat Annie.

As A Matter of Fact…

* Ann Dustin Wilson was born June 19, 1950, in San Diego. Her sister, Nancy Lamoureaux Wilson, was born March 16, 1954, in San Francisco. Their Her father was a major in the U.S. Marine Corps, so the family moved frequently before settling in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, where the girls attended high school.

* The Wilson sisters became interested in music during the early 1960s, listening to everything from classical and bossa nova to Judy Garland, Ray Charles, and Peggy Lee. Ann graduated from high school in 1968 and joined a local band that would eventually become Heart.

* Nancy Wilson joined the band in 1974 and the outfit relocated to Canada. Debut album Dreamboat Annie was recorded in Vancouver, BC, and released in the U.S. in early 1976. The single ‘Crazy On You’ was a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 as the band launched a four decade string of more than 20 Top 40 favorites.

* In the 1990s, the Wilson sisters founded the Bad Animals recording studio in Seattle. They also formed a side band called The Lovemongers, which performed ‘The Battle of Evermore’ on the 1992 soundtrack to the Cameron Crowe film “Singles.” The band released the debut album Whirlygig in 1997.

* Nearly 35 years after their first big hit, Heart was back in the Billboard 200 Top 10 with 2010’s Red Velvet Car. In 2012, the band’s revived chart success included the album Fanatic, which peaked at No. 24 on the top albums chart. A memoir titled, “Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll,” followed later in the year.

* In 2012, Heart was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, performed a memorable version of ‘Stairway To Heaven’ as the finale to the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Led Zeppelin, and capped off the year by learning the band would be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in April 2013.

* The Ann Wilson Thing debuted in October 2015 as a side project for the iconic singer. The project serves as an outlet for Wilson to “play unusual songs in small places.” She adds it’s a way to expand her creative and vocal boundaries, while giving fans an opportunity to hear her sing “blues with a rock edge.”

* Nancy Wilson maintains a separate career as a successful film and television score composer. Her credits include the films “Elizabethtown” (2005), “Vanilla Sky” (2001), “Almost Famous” (2000), “Jerry Maguire” (1995), and “Say Anything...” (1989). The guitarist’s work has earned award nominations from several film associations and societies.

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