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Music Review: Heart – Bad Animals

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Heart returned June 6, 1987, with their second commercial blockbuster album in a row. Following on the heels of Heart, Bad Animals sold over five million copies and reached number 2 on Billboard Magazine’s Pop Album Chart. It would produce three more hit singles; “Alone” (#1), “Who Will You Run To” (#7), and “There’s The Girl” (#12).

The band remained intact for the third album in a row. Lead vocalist Ann Wilson, guitarist/vocalist Nancy Wilson, keyboardist/guitarist Howard Leese, bassist Mark Andes, and drummer Denny Carmassi had settled in as a solid unit. They also continued their trend of using outside songwriters as the source of their material. Band members only wrote 4 of the 10 tracks. The two biggest hits, “Alone” and “Who Will You Run To,” were not co-written by any band member.

This is an album of the 1980s. It was a time of big hair, big sound, big productions, and a big synthesizer sound. While a guitar sound is present, at times the synthesizer tends to overwhelm it. It may sound a little dated today, but it is saved by the voice of Ann Wilson, which travels to places very few singers ever visit.

The album blasts out of the gate with all three hit singles in a row. “Who Will You Run To” is a guitar/keyboard rocker that suffers a bit due to age, but is still pleasurable nearly 25 years later. “Alone” is a keyboard power ballad in the same vein as “What About Love.” It remains one of Heart’s and Ann Wilson’s signature performances. “There’s The Girl,” sung by Nancy Wilson, is another guitar/keyboard rocker.

There are several other treats contained here. “I Want You So Bad” may be a little over produced but the background choir adds a nice element and Ann’s voice is excellent. “You Ain’t So Tough” contains a catchy chorus. “Strangers Of The Heart” is another high caliber power ballad.

In many ways, Bad Animals is an extension of their last self-titled album. It may lack the guitar based rock tracks of its predecessor but stands as a well-polished release. It remains an essential part of the Heart catalogue.

 

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About David Bowling

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGlVtImi-ac James

    Alone is still one of the songs that won’t miss in my playlist.. be it the studio, live and acoustic versions, i so love the song that i always want to sing along.