Saturday, March 20, 2010

Heart: Dreamboat Annie

I’m not sure when I first became aware of Heart’s “Dreamboat Annie” album, but it was sometime during the summer of 1976 when the album was released and it may have been before the first single “Crazy on You” was hitting the charts.

That summer, I was living in Logan County, West Virginia; however, I made frequent trips to the Pittsburgh area. After hearing the album at my favorite record store, Heads Together in the Underground Mall in Squirrel Hill, I bought it. For a 20 year-old, I was enamored by these two beautiful sisters that looked different as night and day.

Typically, I don’t feature live tracks that support a studio album, but these live videos from 1977 give a sense of one of their live shows. I’ve seen Heart three times. I saw them during the summer of 1977 at the Huntington, WV Civic Center and later in 1984 and 1985 at the Charleston, WV Civic Center. They are high energy and I especially liked seeing them during their first US tour. The three live videos represent the three (four) charting singles from the LP.

Crazy on You

Five single releases were issued by Mushroom Records in support of the album. “Crazy on You” was released twice – both times with “Dreamboat Annie” as the flip side. The initial release of this single in 1976 charted at #35 in the US. In 1977, Mushroom Records decided to re-release “Crazy on You” to compete with Heart's “Little Queen” LP on Portrait Records. The second release of the single charted at #62 in early 1978.

The 1977 single was issued under the same release number as the 1976 single. The “Crazy on You” 45 did not include Nancy Wilson’s acoustic guitar intro as she plays in the live track below on an Adamas guitar. The live version is slightly different than the recording of the song. The driving rhythm guitar in the song proper was inspired by Justin Hayward’s guitar on the Moody Blues’ “Question.”


The author and Ann Wilson of Heart - 1984

Magic Man

The second single, “Magic Man” peaked in the top 10 at #9 and proved that they were able to attract both AOR (Album Oriented Rock) and CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio – I.e., Top 40) listeners.

Dreamboat Annie (the single)

The title cut was the third single. “Dreamboat Annie,” which was one of the three versions of the album only was able to chart at 42. The single version is unlike the three versions from the album because it was created by taking the song from side 1, cut 5 and splice editing a guitar intro onto the beginning of “Dreamboat Annie.” It’s softer delivery was popular with Adult Contemporary (AC) listeners and was the first AC hit for Heart at #17. The guitar intro is in this live version and the keyboards mimic the banjo which is found on the LP version.

(Love Me Like Music) I’ll Be Your Song

The final single (not counting the re-release of “Crazy on You”) from “Dreamboat Annie” has a distinctive country flavor. “(Love Me Like Music) I’ll Be Your Song” failed to chart on any of the US charts. It is a nice tune and worthy of inclusion here.

The Entire LP in Order

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