“It was like a big, long, exciting drink of life,” Heart lead singer/ lyricist Ann Wilson sums up with considerable satisfaction when recalling the time in May 1977 when she, along with younger guitarist/songwriting sister Nancy Wilson and Heart delivered Little Queen, and then proceeded to spread the gospel in about two hundred fifty concerts over two continents. That’s old time hockey.
The story of Heart’s debut Dreamboat Annie remains one of the Cinderella fairy tale chapters in rock history, but the major label follow up released this week in 1977, Little Queen, was made amidst adversity, not In the Studio but in “Heartless” record company boardrooms and attorney offices. In this classic rock interview my guests Nancy Wilson and big sister Ann Wilson reveal palace intrigue for Little Queen even as Heart was ascending the throne as one of North America’s hottest bands then because of “Barracuda”,”Love Alive”,”Kick It Out”, and the title song “Little Queen”.
“When I hear those songs now I feel proud. I think we really did contribute something fresh to music,” adds Nancy Wilson. “And proud too because I think those songs stand up quite well today…Honestly, there is a little nostalgia. Things aren’t essentially as fresh as they used to be in rock’n’roll,” Nancy admit.” Now there’s a lot of dance that’s muscling into the marketplace. Everybody’s scared to do anything new. Everybody wants the big power ballad, the palatable rock song, the bubblegum rock song.”
“(Music business) people want success and they want money,” Ann Wilson interjects, without any attempt to hide her disdain.
“Yeah, I think that’s put a leash on the wild animal that it (rock’n’roll) used to be,” Nancy concludes.– Redbeard