Heart Biography

Review The Artist (20)

Genre - Classic Rock, Pop, Rock
Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson were the creative spark behind Heart, a hard-rock group who initially found success in the mid-'70s, only to reach greater heights after engineering a major comeback a decade later. The daughters of a Marine Corps captain, Ann (born June 19, 1950) and Nancy (born March 16, 1954) grew up in both Southern California and Taiwan before the Wilson family settled in Seattle, Washington. Throughout their formative years, both were interested in folk and pop music; while Ann never took any formal music lessons as a child (she later learned to play several instruments), Nancy took up guitar and flute. After both sisters spent some time at college, they decided to try their hand as professional musicians, and while Nancy began performing as a folksinger, Ann joined the all-male vocal group Heart.

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Heart was actually formed in 1963 by bassist Steve Fossen, and friends Roger Fisher and Mike Flicker; initially dubbed the Army, they later became White Heart before settling on simply Heart at the beginning of the 1970s. After her arrival in the group, Ann became romantically involved with guitarist Mike Flicker; when Nancy joined in 1974, she in turn began a relationship with guitarist Roger. Soon after Nancy's arrival, Mike Fisher retired from active performing to become the band's sound engineer. After gaining a following in Vancouver, Heart was approached by Shelly Siegel, the owner of the Canadian label Mushroom; augmented by keyboadist Howard Leese and drummer Michael Derosier, they recorded their debut album, Dreamboat Annie, in 1975.

After selling more than 30, 000 copies north of the border, Mushroom issued the LP in the U.S., where it quickly achieved platinum status on the strength of the hit singles "Crazy on You" and "Magic Man." In 1977, Heart jumped ship to the CBS affiliate Portrait, resulting in a protracted legal battle with Siegel, who in 1978 released the unfinished LP Magazine on Mushroom shortly after the band issued its true follow-up Little Queen on Portrait. The single "Barracuda" was another massive hit, and like its predecessor, Little Queen sold over a million copies.

After 1978's Dog and Butterfly, both of the Wilson/Fisher romances ended, and Roger left the group. In 1980, Heart issued Bebe Le Strange; following a lengthy U.S. tour, both Fossen and Derosier exited, and were replaced by ex-Spirit and Firefall bassist Mark Andes and former Gamma drummer Denny Carmassi. After 1982's Private Audition and 1983's Passionwerks slumped, the group was largely written off by industry watchers, and moved to Capitol Records.

In 1985, however, Heart emerged with a self-titled effort which ultimately sold more than five million copies on its way to launching four Top Ten hits -- "What About Love?," "Never," the chart-topping "These Dreams" and "Nothin' at All." 1987's Bad Animals continued their comeback success; "Alone" was another Number One hit, and both "Who Will You Run To" and "There's the Girl" achieved considerable airplay as well. Brigade, issued in 1990, featured the Number Two smash "All I Want to Do Is Make Love to You," as well as the Top 25 hits "I Didn't Want to Need You" and "Stranded."

In the early '90s, the Wilson sisters took a brief hiatus from Heart to form the Lovemongers, an acoustic quartet fleshed out by Sue Ennis and Frank Cox; in 1992, they issued a four-song EP which included a cover of Led Zeppelin's "The Battle of Evermore." Heart returned in 1993 with Desire Walks On, on which Andes and Carmassi were replaced with bassist Fernando Saunders and drummer Denny Fongheiser. With 1995's The Road Home, Heart enlisted onetime Led Zep bassist John Paul Jones to produce a live, acoustic set reprising hits like "Dreamboat Annie," "Crazy on You" and "Barracuda."

Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

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Artpark Concert | Reviewer: Larry Z | 8/5/14

Just got home from Artpark concert. Saw probably one of the best Heart concerts ever or any other concert for that matter. Nancy Wilson was more animated then ever and Ann belted out the songs like she was still in her 20's. Nancy sang more than I've ever seen. I could go see them time and time again, plus Nancy still is as hot as she was 30 years ago. A real treat tonight.

In awe | Reviewer: Janine | 6/9/14

My best friend, Shelly, and I got a pair of tickets to a Heart concert in Vancouver, BC circa 1977 at the Pacific Coluseum, as her uncle drove a semi truck for the band with their concert equipment. I believe it was out first concert as we were in Grade 9 and lived in the small town of Powell River, up the BC coast. I remember the concert was mesmerizing and so inspiring to see these two young women/sisters, Ann and Nancy, on stage, with their powerful vocals and guitar playing....beautiful women! The best part was we got back stage passes to meet the sisters and they came out of their dressing rooms to meet us; they were so nice, warm and friendly. I remember being star-struck and shy, but my best friend and I felt really priveleged we got to meet these incredible women!! God bless the band Heart and Ann and Nancy Wilson! Submitted by: Janine.

Wausau, WI | Reviewer: Jeanne | 1/28/13

I was at UW Stevens Point and went to see an unknown band who performed in a theater (I mean, little movie) in, I believe summer of 1976. I graduated and left town in May of 1977. Tickets were cheap, it was a great concert. Amazing, heard info on the radio today about the rock and roll hall of fame.... I think. What a wonderful memory. We were only a few rows from the front.....

Influenced | Reviewer: Michael L. Fay | 11/23/12

I am a 47 year old die hard rocker/ metal head. some of my earliest influences in music are fleetwood mac, boston,rush, black sabbath, etc. I started listening to heart in 1977. sense then I have been a loyal fan. Such talent, such class. These ladys have it all. And I would like to add that their music inspires me. The meanings behind the music. The beauty of their music helped mold some of my values and beliefs in this thing we call life. Thank you anne and nancy and the other band members. Anne is still my favorite female vocalist. NANCY IS MY FAVORITE FEMALE GUITARIST, AND i DONT BELIEVE THAT WILL EVER CHANGE. kEEP ON DOING IT LADYS1

Uncle Don Wilhelm | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/26/12

Your uncle left Heart because with their rising success came excess. Drugs and things that follow did not fit into his religious path. He sacrificed so much to witness for Jehovah. I'm sure Jonah and his big sister faired better as a result. I'm guessing you are one of theirs. Your grandpa had the coolest 3 wheel euro mini car.

Heart | Reviewer: debs | 6/5/11

After winning a radio contest in '81, CKXL Calgary, Alberta, I was very fortunate to travel with Heart for 3 days to various concerts, along with 4 other bands. This band, these sisters, are of my utmost respect as musicians and just fine people. I am glad Canada recognised their unique and original talent by signing them on, and that the rest of the world can share in their sound. Just an awesome band.

noone like you | Reviewer: heartache | 2/5/11

Ann and Nancy Wilson have created their own league and it can never be disputed because they led the way.

There never was the female equalivant to Robert Plant aside from Ann. Her electric voice
charged many empassioned men and young lads for decades as she does today.

There is a style and ritual unique to HEART which will never be replicated not only because of their sophisticated talents but because of the time and history that engraved the pro/epilog of that genre into the hearts, minds and souls of a multiple generations. HEART absorbed the feelings of a captured time and translated it into anthems and legacies.

Nancy delivers amazing solos and prologs. Not to mention her keltic dances and kicks. ....mmm.... every vid i've seen she has patented a vein of artistry never duplicated by anyone.

Their music is passionate and intense. I can only hope that future generations will learn and build on it if possible.

To sum up: Ann and Nancy Wilson are ORIGINALS
Anyone wishing to be like them will only be copies. Anyone hoping to be like them had better start excercising heavily in artistic licence and passion.

The Best Ever | Reviewer: James | 1/23/10

Ann Wilson is the GREATEST ever, AND is the most under rated performer of our life time, and the band should have been in the Rock N Roll hall of fame 10 yyears ago. The GREATEST VOICE in the history of man and woman PERIOD !!!!

Amazing Heart | Reviewer: Lulu Gangmei | 6/12/09

Heart is Unique,Wonderful,Never say die spirit. This two women are the choosen one,they inspired a lots of female rock artist.They are the Karisma in this Music Industries.Heart will be always The HEART OF ROCK.

Heart! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/31/09

These women are a huge inspiration and even though I wasn't around when they were most famous, I love their music. Nancy Wilson was the one who inspired me to learn to play guitar.

They are amazing and nothing can compare.

The tops... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/22/09

Ann and Nancy are in a league of their own, no one in my mind can compare. Amazing vocals by Ann, wicked guitar playing by Nancy, and of course her vocals...I never tire of listening to Heart. have been to several concert, they never disappoint. Continued sucess for the WILSON SISTERS, Thank you for your music.

The one and only ..HEART | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/25/09

These ladies,(band) are one of a kind , no one can compare. Any attempts in other artists doing their songs does not do HEART (THE WILSON SISTERS)justice. As in Hockey, HEART should retire their songs,, so as to avoid reproduction from other artists, perhaps I am biased, But other artist do not do justice to HEARTS songs..and perhaps no one else should try. I look forward to your continued success and music.

Heart/Kent Washington | Reviewer: tracy | 10/27/08

I believe that these two went to Kent Meridian High School in Kent Washington a suburb of Seattle. I am a 1984 graduate of Kentridge and there was bragging by my Kent Meridian friends.

Also I was wondering if anyone has a comment on the lyrics and what These Dreams is about. I have an idea in my head but wanted to compare.

My uncle played with heart ...Can u find out when and when he quit? | Reviewer: Barb | 1/2/08

I know my uncle donny played with heart when they were the army and white heart. the story goes that he was on hearts first album but had to quit the band due to his wife's demands and feelings about not wanting him to tour all over without her. His name is Don Wilhelm...could u please find out when he quit etc?

Heart is the best | Reviewer: Saraaleece | 12/7/07

whenever i do a report in school on whatever i want, its always them or one of their songs. Im 16, but these women of rock are a huge influence on me, and my favorite band of all time. you rock!

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