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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Heart - 1980 Bebe Le Strange
Heart - 1980 Bebe Le Strange

ALBUM: Bebe Le Strange
LABEL: Portrait
SERIAL: FE 36371
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2004, Legacy, EK 85770


LINEUP: Ann Wilson - vocals, piano, tambourine * Nancy Wilson - lead and rhythm guitars, vocals * Howard Leese - lead guitars, keyboards * Steve Fossen - bass * Michael Derosier - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Bebe Le Strange * 02 Down On Me * 03 Silver Wheels * 04 Break * 05 Rockin' Heaven Down * 06 Even It Up * 07 Strange Night * 08 Raised On You * 09 Pilot * 10 Sweet Darlin' * 11 Jackleg Man * 12 Break (Live)


Somewhere in between the classic early years and the big self-titled 'comeback' album from 1985, Heart were overlooked by many. A great shame, as during those 'wilderness' years, the band released some fine albums. The best of the bunch is undoubtedly 'Bebe Le Strange'.

The Songs
The groove of the opening track (and title cut) is uplifting with the whole band rocking out together. It's a classy example of what a great hard rock band Heart could be, as is the super-charged 'Break', which captures Ann Wilson in full-on squeal. Always a fantastic vocalist. 'Rockin' Heaven Down' is a carved in stone classic. Everything here works excellently - Ann's delivery is perfect (check out those Robert Plant-esque 'baby baby's), Howard's lead guitar parts show more than a little influence from the legendary Jimmy Page, while Steve Fossen and Michael Derosier put in more than their fair share of hard yards in the rhythm department. Also showing Zeppelin-isms, 'Strange Night' has a slightly off kilter arrangement and despite having no real chorus to speak of, it still stands up well against most of the songs on the album. Most of Heart's material, to my mind, has the good fortune of having a timeless quality. The only song here which I feel dates 'Bebe Le Strange' just a little is the Nancy Wilson sang 'Raised On You'. It's not bad by any means, it's just for my money Christine McVie does this kind of thing so much better. Although it isn't quite as prominent here as on other albums, Heart's more pastel shades are present in the form of 'Silver Wheels' - an acoustic instrumental written and performed by Nancy - and the dreamy 'Pilot'.

In Summary
'Bebe Le Strange' may not have sold as many copies as 'Dog and Butterfly' or 'Bad Animals', but it's none the worse for it. Ignore all the slightly derogatory things you may have been told - it's a gem.

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#1 | jeffduran on September 18 2007 07:04:09
Disagree-its 'Passionworks' that is the true forgotten gem of HEART!
#2 | AOR Lee on March 24 2013 06:52:23
Bebe Le Strange has it's moments but I agree with Jeff, Passionworks is many levels higher - outstanding AOR
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