Ann and Nancy Wilson, "Crazy On You" era
Heart is a rock band technically formed in Vancouver
, Canada but with all its members originating from Seattle
, Washington - one of their founding members was dodging the draft, everybody else followed, and later they moved back to Seattle once the whole thing blew over. While previous incarnations date from around 1967, the band itself was led by Ann and Nancy Wilson, who have also remained the only constant members of the band's ever-changing lineups. To Make a Long Story Short
: they first got famous in The Seventies
, largely by sounding exactly like Led Zeppelin
, decreased in popularity by the middle of The Eighties
but had a comeback in 1985, largely by moving away from Zeppelin-styled rock into Power Ballads
and reliance on synthesizers.
The Wilson sisters also played an important part in the Seattle
music scene through their ownership of the Bad Animals Studio, used by key Grunge
bands such as Alice in Chains
, Pearl Jam
and others like Neil Young
, Johnny Cash
. Ann Wilson also contributed vocals to the Alice in Chains EP Sap
and later appeared at one of their tribute concerts.
They were also ranked #57 on VH-1
's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock".
Tropes related to the band:
- '80s Hair: They had this during their 80's period. They were hit quite hard by The Eighties.
- Black Sheep Hit: "These Dreams", the first of their two #1 hits in the US. Particularly since the lead vocal was sung by Nancy instead of Ann.
- Canada, Eh?: the time spent in exile in Vancouver rubbed off on the music. Many people mistakenly believe the girls and by extention the band are Canadian by birth and upbringing.
- Casting Couch: The subject of the song "Private Audition".
- Death Glare: In "If Looks Could Kill".
- Fair Use: Averted. Political Opponent Sarah Palin used Ann and Nancy's song "Barracuda" during her political campaign (largely due to her nickname being "Sarah Barracuda.") They were not pleased. Also averted because she obtained the rights to use it legally.
- Greatest Hits Album: The Essential Heart, among others.
- Incest Subtext: In a rather bizarre invoking of this trope, Ann and Nancy Wilson were rumoured early in their career to have been lesbian lovers. The rumour was started by their first record label, Mushroom Records, through innuendo and juxtaposition including the use of a suggestive photo and caption for the artwork of their first album, Dreamboat Annie, in an attempt to garner publicity and boost album sales. The Wilson sisters were unaware of the rumour campaign being fueled by their recording company. Once they discovered it, due to comments made by a reporter during an interview, they were very unhappy with their representation, and indirectly attacked those responsible in their next album. Ann was so enraged by the reporter that she wrote "Barracuda" the same night.
- This story lingers. To the extent that a music writer for the London Guardian could sneeringly say, in the early 2000's, that Heart's music remains unaccountably popular among lesbians. Another innuendo published in the same paper was that an unfailing sign of a woman being lesbian is that she owns all Heart's albums plus concert bootlegs.
- Intercourse with You: "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" is actually a strange variation. It tell the story of a one night stand between a man and a woman with the Twist Ending that the woman took part in it to get pregnant because her husband is infertile.
- Old Master: Very much; Ann is in her mid-sixties while Nancy is pushing 60 herself. They clearly don't care, as they still perform worldwide and are regarded by many music critics as legendary musicians.
- Older and Wiser: The Wilson sisters are largely responsible for cultivating the Seattle grunge scene by opening their studios to a few then-unknown bands: Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Nirvana.
- Old Shame: The group is not fond of their song "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You", with Ann stating stating, "Actually we had sworn off it because it kind of stood for everything we wanted to get away from. It was a song by "Mutt" Lange, who we liked, and it was originally written for Don Henley, but there was a lot of pressure on us to do the song at the time."
- Pop-Star Composer: Nancy did soundtrack work on then-husband Cameron Crowe's movies.
- Power Ballad: Many of their songs from the mid-to-late Eighties, the most famous one being "Alone".
- Revisiting the Roots: In the mid-nineties, Ann and Nancy formed The Lovemongers partially for benefit concerts, partially to reclaim artistic control.
- Irony: ...yet the Lovemongers' output is very heavy on covers.
- Shouldersup Nudity: The front cover of Dreamboat Annie and associated publicity shots.
- Stop and Go: "Magic Man".
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Several of their songs seem to just be copied from Led Zeppelin - one of the more obvious cases would be "Dream of the Archer" compared to "The Battle of Evermore". This is probably because they were originally a Led Zeppelin tribute band.
- Take That: Ann wrote "Barracuda" as an attack at their record label for starting the rumour that she and her sister were lovers.
- Those Two Ladies
- Vocal Tag Team