Album review: Heart, Heart (1985)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 2, 1985

By Steve Newton

For their ninth album–and their first on Capitol Records–Heart have utilized the talents of celebrated producer Ron Nevison (Led Zeppelin, the Who), and come up with a catchy collection of heavy-duty rock tunes and soaring ballads.

The rockers take up the bulk of this self-titled LP, rugged tracks like “If Looks Could Kill”, “The Wolf”, “All Eyes”, and “Shell Shock”. Former Montrose drummer Denny Carmassi and ex-Firefall bassist Mark Andes provide the background for long-time member Howard Leese’s razor guitar and the Wilson sisters’ dynamic vocals (Ann sings lead on all except one cut, while Nancy provides background vocals, lead and acoustic guitar, and mandolin. Nancy takes the lead on the Bernie Taupin-penned “These Dreams”).

A number of notable vocalists have stepped in to help on Heart, including Mickey Thomas (who sang Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around and Fell in Love”, and Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane/Starship. They both sing background on the LP’s first single, the slow-cooking ballad “What About Love”, which was written by local songwriter-percussionist Jim Vallance, along with Toronto’s Sheron Alton and Brian Allen.

With the help of some fine songwriters, a great band, and a top-notch producer/engineer, Ann and Nancy Wilson just keep on getting better.

 

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