Ann Wilson (Heart)
Wilson chats to David Randall about her career.
band Heart play UK dates 29 June-3 July 2016.
23 March 2014, 13:00
Sunday 6 April 2014, 16:00
29 May 2016, 18:00 (Thursday 2 June, 22:00 repeat)
Ann Wilson has been described as one of the finest female rock
vocalists of all time. She joined the nascent version of
the band Heart in the early-1970s, soon to be joined by her
had relocated to Canada and were signed to a small label
Mushroom Records for whom they released their debut - in 1975 -
'Dreamboat Annie'. When released in the US in 1976 the
album spawned two hit singles 'Crazy On You' and 'Magic Man'.
Some confusion surrounded the follow-up, the band had
signed to CBS and a legal battle with Mushroom Records ensued.
That label released an "early" version of 'Magazine' in 1977, a
year later the band released their CBS (Portrait) debut 'Little Queen'.
This included 'Barracuda' which became a hit single.
'Magazine' was then reissued in 1978 to settle the legal dispute,
with the band re-recording and sequencing the songs.
late-seventies the band went through several personnel changes
and by the early-1980s only guitarist Howard Leese remained from
the original band. Heart also struggled against the
musical climate of punk and new wave. A shift to a new
label, Capitol, and the release of their self-titled album in
1985 marked a change in the band's fortunes. The album
made No.1 in the U.S. charts with four Top 10 singles including
'What About Love' and 'These Dreams'. By the late-1980s,
Heart typified the popular "stadium rock" sound of the period
and 'Bad Animals' (1987) evidenced this change in their musical
direction whilst also giving them a No.1 single in 'Alone'.
extent in the 1990s the band Heart went on the back-burner as
both Ann and Nancy worked through personal issues (Ann was
fighting alcohol and Nancy was raising a family). In spite
of a "band" album released in 1993 ('Desire Walks On'), the
sisters pursued other musical interests including the
semi-acoustic The Lovemongers. Ann also worked with Alice
In Chains and appeared on their 1992 EP, 'Sap'.
re-constituted in 2002 and the first tour was captured on the
DVD 'Alive In Seattle'. Their first album since 1993 was
released in 2004 - 'Jupiter's Darling' - followed by 'Red Velvet
Car' in 2010 and 'Fanatic' in 2012. The latest tour is
captured on the CD/DVD release 'Fanatic Live From Caesars
Colosseum', released in February 2014.
Wilson's first solo album was released in 2007 and includes
duets with her sister and one with Elton John. The album
consists of cover versions including 'Immigrant Song' by Led
Zeppelin attesting Wilson's love of that band (and reflected in
the inclusion of Zeppelin covers in the Heart live sets).
won numerous awards for her songwriting and for Heart's
contribution to rock music in general. In December 2012
Ann and Nancy Wilson were inducted to the Rock And Roll Hall
of Fame cited as "pioneers ... that inspired women to pick
up an electric guitar or start a band".
Although they are
perhaps best-known for their 1980s power ballads, the band's
albums have mixed both hard rock and more folksy styles.
The sisters' memoir 'Kicking & Dreaming' was published in 2012
and reflects a frustration with the "hair metal" period of their
history although it was their most successful period
Album review (Fanatic Live, 2014)