Babes do it better
Photos by Nick Tomecek
Heart’s debut album, “Dreamboat Annie,” slithers through your speakers from the first notes of “Magic Man.”
The sexy, taboo track was the first Heart song I ever heard. You read correct; it was not “Crazy on You.” There are a few times in my life when I have had the lingering thought, “This, this is music.” Hearing “Magic Man” for the first time was one of them.
The song seduces you with a tale of infatuation between an older man and a younger woman, later revealed as a song about lead singer Ann Wilson and her then boyfriend and band manager, Michael Fisher. Needless to say, it was a killer way to introduce the world to this sister-based rock band.
Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson recorded together until 2016, when Heart released “Beautiful Broken.” Although Heart may or may not still be active, the group has sold millions of records, received Grammy nominations and produced two of the most incredible women in rock 'n' roll.
The musical connection between these sisters is boundless. I love comparing Heart to the sister and female-based acts making their way into the music history today, such as Haim and Larkin Poe.
If you read my shirt, I'm sure you grasp my mantra. Babes just do it better. While you're at it, take note of my heart-shaped earrings. Yes, I planned that.
The title track of the 1976 record revealed Heart’s softer side, as the third single behind “Magic Man” and, you guessed it, “Crazy on You.”
When I visited Redd’s Fueling Station along Scenic Highway 30A, Redd herself said “Crazy on You” was one of her most-requested songs.
Frankly, it’s not my favorite. While I admit its catchiness, I could go without hearing Ann’s powerful voice repeating the same phrase.
There are three versions of “Dreamboat Annie” on the record, though I don’t have a preference.
“White Lightning & Wine” is a track with an edge, and you can hear it in the lyrics, too.
In the morning light you didn’t look so nice
Guess you’d better hitch hike home
With her vocal range and squeals, Ann was often declared the female version of Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, and this song shows it. “Sing Child” is another prime example of this likeness.
The comparison between legendary rock singers became even more apparent when Heart performed its rendition of “Stairway to Heaven” to honor Led Zeppelin at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., in 2012. Plant was, no doubt, impressed.
With this being Heart’s first album, you can hear and feel the foundation it laid for the band’s diverse rock future. Blues rock, progressive rock, rockabilly, hard rock — all rock sub-genres, along with a select few genres, are within its repertoire.
While talking about “Dreamboat Annie” with my co-workers, it became clear how much adoration people still have for Heart. They all wanted to share their favorite Heart songs, among them “Baracuda,” “These Dreams” and, you can’t forget, “What About Love.”
So, what about love?
With the band name Heart, more than 15 albums in its discography and a heart between Ann and Nancy on its debut album cover, the group is practically its driving force.
Earrings - Forever 21
Sunglasses - Ray-Ban
Top - Forever 21
Skirt - Lucky Brand
Shoes - Converse