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Music Review: Heart – Little Queen

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After an auspicious debut album, Heart returned on May 14, 1977 with their sophomore effort. While not having the overall consistency of their first album, it proved to be another strong effort.

When I think of Heart, the image that graces the cover of this album comes to mind. While they were still a complete band, the Wilson sisters were being pushed front and center.

Their first album only contained one song not written by the Wilson sisters. This album had various band members co-writing eight of the ten tracks with the Wilson’s which further emphasized the group nature of early Heart. While the Wilson’s continuing emergence as the focal point of the group and stars in their own right would make the group concept an impossibility in the long run, their early albums benefited from the interaction of its members.

The first side of the original vinyl release contains five tracks as good as any they would produce. Two classic rockers bookend three field and forest songs, for want of a better description. “Barracuda” remains one of Heart’s signature songs and is instantly recognizable to many rock fans over three decades after its release. Roger Fisher’s guitar work is exemplary and Ann Wilson’s vocal is powerful. It is 70’s rock at its best. “Kick It Out” is just a step below and is another hard rocker. The three songs in the middle are folk rock in nature. “Love Alive” features acoustic guitar, flute, and autoharp which leads to a classic rock song. “Sylvan Song” is an instrumental connector with nice mandolin work by Nancy Wilson and Fisher. “Dream Of The Archer” can best be described as a medieval rock sound and is a nice stop in their catalogue.

The last five tracks are more hit or miss. “Treat Me Well’ is a bluesy ballad, which features a rare lead vocal by Nancy Wilson. “Cry To Me” is another nice acoustic ballad. “Say Hello” may not be one of their better creations but it is a fun filled romp.

Little Queen solidified Heart’s reputation and proved they could assemble a second strong album. It has withstood the passage of time and remains an excellent listen.

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