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FEMALES PROVIDE BLOOD FOR HEART
The Altoona Mirror
Altoona, Pa. 11-3-78
Rock ‘n roll, by the very nature of the beat, is sexy. Put it in the hands of an attractive young lady with a purring voice, struttin’ across the stage in a slinky dress, and it’s dynamite.
“Rock at its best reminds me of this gorgeous young stallion, kicking out on its own,” said Ann Wilson, the dark-haired lead singer and flautist in the group Heart, whose hit “Dreamboat Annie” made Heart one of the few top rock groups dominated by women.
“I jump around a lot on stage,” she said. “I really like to get down. I just feel so great, so powerful. It’s one of the most powerful moments I have. I run, I build up all this energy.”
Ann, 28, and her equally attractive blonde sister Nancy, 24, are the blood of Heart, which also includes lead guitarist Roger Fisher, bass player Steve Fossen, percussionist Michael Derosier and keyboard artist and guitarist Howard Leese.
Some of the sexuality in rock music, the beat, the words, are “absolutely gorgeous,” Ann said, “but there’s a seamy side, an almost inhumane side” also. “Rock has both ugly sex and beautiful sex. You have to take what you like and disregard the rest. Sensuality is so much ingrained in the music.” That sensuality can often get out of hand. Like the fans who want to get closer to the singers on stage, or the “groupies” who lurk at stage and hotel doors. “But you learn how to handle it,” said Ann, who was wearing nothing but a 100-year-old, rose colored silk kimono, her favorite lounging outfit. “You just don’t let it get to you.”
The Seattle-based group is a close-knit unit. Ann’s boyfriend is Mike Fisher, whose sound engineering is an integral part of the music, and, until recently, Nancy and Roger Fisher, Mike’s brother, lived together. Besides providing the backbone of Heart, the Wilson sisters also write most of the
music. Ann is especially proud of their latest album, “Dog and Butterfly” on Portrait Records. The album shipped gold, selling almost 700,000 copies in the first shipment.
“At the risk of sounding conceited, I think it’s our best album,” Ann said. “We felt very on top of it. And all the songs were by me, Nance and Susan Ennis. It was real fun writing with two other women. “I’m. not a feminist, but it was different than writing with a man. Sometimes when I write with a man, the male-female thing gets in the way. Sometimes men are more ego-oriented.
“Also, there were no legal problems to steal our focus away from the project,” she added, referring to Heart’s fight with Mushroom Records over the release of “Magazine,” which the group considered unfinished. “We felt we’d been done wrong as artists,” she said. After a lengthy legal battle, Heart received a $1 million settlement and a disclaimer on the album, saying it did not have the endorsement or approval of the group.
“Dog and Butterfly,” she said, is an example of “a deeper level…some bold new steps” in Heart’s music. “We’ll never make albums just because we know they will sell”.
1976 Dreamboat Annie
1977 Little Queen
1978 Dog and Butterfly
1980 Bebe le Strange
1980 Greatest Hits Live
1982 Private Audition
1987 Bad Animals
1991 Rock the House Live
1993 Desire Walks On
1995 The Road Home (Live)
2003 Alive in Seattle
2004 Jupiters Darling
2007 Dreamboat Annie Live
2010 Red Velvet Car
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