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Heart - 1978 Magazine

ALBUM: Magazine
LABEL: Mushroom Canada
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 1995, CEMA, S21-18322


LINEUP: Ann Wilson - vocals, guitar, keyboards, violin, flute * Nancy Wilson - vocals, guitar, piano * Michael DeRosier - drums * Roger Fisher - guitar, steel guitar * Steve Fossen - bass, percussion * Howard Leese - guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Heartless * 02 Without You * 03 Just The Wine * 04 Magazine * 05 Here Song * 06 Devil Delight * 07 Blues Medley (Mother Earth, You Shook Me Babe) * 08 I've Got The Music In Me


It all started with a suggestive advert placed in the trades for 'Dreamboat Annie' showing a photo of the bare shouldered Wilson sisters and a caption that read 'It Was Only Our First Time'. Understandably flustered by the sexual innuendo; Heart's relationship with Mushroom Records began its slide down Crap Mountain at warp speed. Royalty issues followed and the band left Mushroom with the label still holding a second album option and five unfinished studio tracks in their hot little hands. In April 1977, the first version of 'Magazine' sneaked into both L.A. and Florida stores much to the chagrin of Heart and their legal team who forced Mushroom to pull the album and destroy the remaining balance. Nasty legal wrangling went on for the better part of a year with Heart going back in the studio, remixing the record and fulfilling their contract with the Vancouver based label.

The Songs
Cobbled together, 'Magazine' is by no means Heart's strongest effort although it's not bad either. Full disclosure, aside from a few clips on You Tube I've never owned or heard the original version, but there was a bit of reshuffling with the track listing for whatever reason and smartly 'Heartless' was left as the album's big AOR opener. Yes, the bridge goes on a bit too long but all the elements of what made Ann and Nancy arena rock darlings in the late 1970's are encapsulated in what I think is five glorious minutes. The slow-burning 'Devil Delight' touches on the Zep-isms of the first two albums while 'Just The Wine' is a neatly orchestrated acoustic number with a rich and laid back summery atmosphere. Very elegant although I've never been convinced by the cover of Badfinger's 'Without You' which is inexcusably plodding, a universe away from the majesty of original and more often than not comes across as a vehicle for Ann to show off her considerable pipes. Still, released a single it received a good amount of air play as I recall although the title track is far more to my taste with some cool picking from Roger Fisher as the tune trails off in the sunset. That sums up the fought-over studio cuts and while Mushroom included the non-album B-side of Heart's first single to fill time, 'Here Song' while lush, lacks any memorable qualities. The two live tunes recorded in a Seattle club in 1975 are both worthy with Willie Dixon's 'Mother Earth Blues' once again finding Heart in a Led Zeppelin frame of mind and 'I've Got The Music In Me' towering over the ever-popular Kiki Dee version.

In Summary
In keeping with the times 'Magazine' was also released as a picture disc but didn't sell very well in this format and god knows I constantly came across budget bin copies well into the early 1980s. 'Dog And Butterfly' followed later in 1978 but the album was weak and for this reviewer interest in Heart beyond the poster of the Wilson sister's tacked on my bedroom wall, began to seriously wane.

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#1 | AOR Lee on June 10 2012 18:53:04
I clearly remember getting this posted down from the legendary Hillbrow Records in the Joburg cbd to Port Elizabeth in 1991. Understandably varied record but Heartless is classic as Eric noted, great song.

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