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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Heart - 1985 Heart
Heart - 1985 Heart

ALBUM: Heart
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-12410 (vinyl), CDP 7-46157-2 (CD)
YEAR: 1985


LINEUP: Ann Wilson - vocals * Nancy Wilson - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals * Howard Leese - lead guitars, mandolin, keyboards * Mark Andes - bass * Denny Carmassi - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 If Looks Could Kill * 02 What About Love * 03 Never * 04 These Dreams * 05 The Wolf * 06 All Eyes * 07 Nobody Home * 08 Nothin' At All * 09 What He Don't Know * 10 Shell Shock


Was it a sellout? Was it (as has been described elsewhere) a rebirth? Was it canoodling to all the trappings of success that was going on around them, including fashion sense and MTV? Probably all of them actually. By 1984, Heart had been dropped by long time label Epic, who obviously saw no future in the current direction the band were heading in. 1984's 'Passionworks' was a pretty good album to be fair, far better than the disappointing 1982 effort 'Private Audition', which Howard Lesse went on record by saying it was more of a personal album written by Ann and Nancy Wilson along with buddy Sue Ennis, without too much input from the rest of the band. It didn't move the emotions of long time fans, nor did it amuse Steve Fossen and Mike DeRosier who were (according to sources on the Net) 'fired' from the band. The sisters recruited wisely with star drummer Denny Carmassi and former Firefall bassist Mark Andes joining the fold. With Epic giving Heart the flick in 1984, the band could've rolled over and died, but no, they re-signed with Capitol Records, rebuilt their image, worked with AOR wonder producer Ron Nevison, and came up with a bunch of tracks that kicked their folksy Led Zeppelin come Fleetwood Mac leanings into touch, instead opting for the glossy sound and colourful imagery that permeated the hard rock scene in 1985.

The Songs
You can't complain when a band delivers 4 top 10 singles off one album. And that was the result with 'Never', 'These Dreams', 'What About Love' and 'Nothing At All' all scoring high on the charts. Musically, it was worlds away from where they were previously, but the lush (dare I say 'corporate' rock') sound was all the vogue during the 1985 year. Not that the album was all about just those four songs. Other highlights included the racy opener 'If Looks Could Kill', the power rock of 'The Wolf' and the ballad 'Nobodys Home', which is just as good as the hit pairing of 'What About Love' and 'These Dreams', both of which showed the emotive side of Ann Wilson's vocals.

In Summary
Heart were all over the airwaves and videowaves during 1985, the album eventually going 5 times platinum in the USA, 6 times platinum in Canada! A few interesting observations about the songs. A lot of them were contributions from outside writers as well as there being co-writes. The Toronto connection of Brian Allen, Sheron Alton plus Jim Vallance wrote 'What About Love', Martin Page and Bernie Taupin contributed 'These Dreams', plus pals Sue Ennis and Holly Knight have various songwriting credits on the album too. An album pretty much of its time, not so certain that the folky fan-base of their earlier material were happy with the migration to the charts, but hey, that's show business for ya! Heart would repeat the recipe for their next two albums 'Bad Animals' and 'Brigade'..

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#1 | jeffrey343 on October 11 2010 22:22:36
I know this is far from the essence of Heart, but it is by far my favorite of their albums. The next two are very good too, but this one is just pure AOR bliss that flows flawlessly from track to track. Like many bands that started in the 70s and adapted their sound to thrive in the 80s, it's the albums that aren't 'them' that I prefer.
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