Heart: The '80s "Come Back" and Other Songwriters

Ann Wilson
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     Ann Wilson and Heart reached peak success in the ‘80s, with hits like “What About Love” and “Never.” Despite the success the band attained, lead singer Ann, later admitted that she felt the output lacked her own personal flair throughout this time period. Prompted by their record label (Capitol) to work with outside songwriters on their first full-length with the new label, Heart would go on to score huge success with such tracks like "Alone" (Billy Steinburg & Tom Kelly) and "These Dreams" (Bernie Taupin and Maritn Page). The only single from Heart with band songwriting originsin this wave of Billboard Hits would be "Never" (co-written with Holly Knight). It would peak at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Written wholly by or not, the album was a juggernaut of the '80s, prompting a return to the Top 10 Charts for the band after a 5 year drought.

 

 

It would be remiss though to not note that these weren't the only hit songs from the band in the '80s - they released several albums over the decade worth mentioning along with the aforementioned Heart (1985). Here are two such worth calling out:

 

describing the empty feeling of scoring success with someone else’s song

Read More: Ann Wilson Recalls Heart's 'Soul-Crushing' '80s Success | https://ultimateclassicrock.com/ann-wilson-heart-80s-success/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral
describing the empty feeling of scoring success with someone else’s song

Read More: Ann Wilson Recalls Heart's 'Soul-Crushing' '80s Success | https://ultimateclassicrock.com/ann-wilson-heart-80s-success/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referralShe has often described her '80s era as soul-crushing. Nevertheless, despite her own thoughts, it can be argued that the 1980’s delivered some of the best Heart albums and consequently -  music.
describing the empty feeling of scoring success with someone else’s song

Read More: Ann Wilson Recalls Heart's 'Soul-Crushing' '80s Success | https://ultimateclassicrock.com/ann-wilson-heart-80s-success/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

Private Audition (1982)

Including songs such as “America” and “Bright Light Girl,” Heart’s sixth studio album lies on the more experimental side of things, pulling inspiration from R&B and Soul classics. It is an interesting twist to their classic rock. Released by Epic Records, the album quickly reached number 25 on the U.S. Billboard 200, and remained there for a total of 14 weeks

 

Passionworks (1983)

Produced by Fleetwood Mac and Rick Springfield's producer, Keith Olsen, Passionworks is an underrated album. It marked a drastic shift in Heart’s sonic identity and evolution into hard rock. The lead single of the album, "How Can I Refuse?," reached number 44 on the Billboard Hot 100 and claimed the top spot on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for a week. The band’s second single, "Allies,"attained a peak position of number 83 on the charts.

 

 

To learn more about Ann Wilson of Heart, check out the latest episode of the podcast Rock and Roll High School with Pete Ganbarg. Ann guests on the premiere of Season 3, discussing the timeless music of Heart and her life and career.

 

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