Heart is one of the longest lasting rock bands in the US. Composed of sisters Ann Wilson (lead singer) and Nancy Wilson (guitar), the band rose through the charts in the 1970’s and continue touring and playing in present day. Their style of folk, rock and heavy metal transcend the boundaries of time. With the highly anticipated release of Strange Euphoria in June of 2012, we are given a taste of some of the bands best loved hits, rarities, live performances and demos that have never been released before. The box set includes three CD’s and one DVD with live performances that you won’t want to miss.
The DVD titled KWSU "The Second Ending – featuring Heart" program circa February-March 1976 is a wonderful historical piece that illustrates a band on the cusp of greatness. The early videos of 9 live energized tracks give you a glimpse of what Heart was to become.
Beginning in the 1970’s hits like “Crazy on You,” “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Straight On” and many more appear in this collection. “Dream of the Archer” is one I was not as familiar with, but as the first strains of music permeated the room, I was transfixed. Originally released on the album Little Queen in the late 1970’s, this song takes you on a journey through dark forests and dreamscapes that bring to mind intricately painted gypsy wagons, shades of Robin Hood and Maid Marion and glimmers of the fae hiding under leaf and stem. Nancy is stunning on the guitar, laying riffs down that seduce you into their world as Ann winds her voice around you like a spell. Gypsy’s dance, hips gyrating, heads thrown back in abandon as the shadows from the woods beckon like an unspoken promise of bliss. This song will take you there.
“Dog and Butterfly” is a more subdued song than some of the others in this collection. Released in the late 70’s on their fourth album Dog & Butterfly, this song is a blend of soft rock with slight folk influences. A light and airy song about a butterfly flitting above the earth and a dog playing at chasing it, Nancy’s guitar riffs are fluttery and craft a light touch, as if a butterfly were tickling across the strings. Ann’s vocals are angelic and weave a picture of sunshine and playful downtime with a happy puppy and his antics. This a previously unreleased acoustic demo and well worth the listen.
“Desire Walks On” is a demo version previously unreleased. Back to the hard rocking duo we know and love, Nancy is on the guitar with hard hitting riffs and smoke rising up from the strings. Ann is the voice of seduction and desire itself as the wanton guitar playing ratchets up the heat and her steamy vocals rock you out.
“Kiss” is one of the pieces crafted during the mid-1990’s when the Wilson sisters combined forces with Sue Ennis and Frank Cox to create the band The Lovemongers. Primarily focused on acoustic playing this endeavor is full of soul, passionate vocals and is a worthy addition to this collection. “Kiss” has some smoky guitar riffs and winding and sinful sounding vocals that will have you panting for more.
Strange Euphoria is the quintessential collection for anyone who loves Heart. Live performances that will rock your world are combined with lesser known demos and best loved hits. Curated by the Wilson sisters themselves, this set has song by song annotations, anecdotes and commentary by the artists. With over four decades of success and 13 studio albums, there is a reason Heart has endured the test of time. Their passionate vocals, guitar and individual style surpass current flavors of the week and create lasting favorites that will live forever in your music library. This collection is a must, whether you are just getting to know Heart or have been a long-time fan.
Key Tracks- Dream of the Archer, Dog and Butterfly, Desire Walks On, Kiss
May 17, 2012