First multi-label Heart boxed set announced; see complete tracklisting and artwork here

The first definitive career-spanning, multi-label boxed set retrospective chronicling the work of Heart will be issued this summer by Epic Records and Legacy Recordings. Personally curated by Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson, the Strange Euphoria anthology will include biggest hits and best-loved songs featured alongside deep catalog treasures, rarities, demos and live performances.

This set of three compact discs and one DVD in a deluxe box will be available everywhere Tuesday, June 5, 2012. A link to preorder is below. Order through Amazon, and you’ll also get five of their famous Led Zeppelin covers on an extra disc: “Going to California,” “Battle of Evermore,” “What is and What Should Never Be,” “Immigrant Song” and “Misty Mountain Hop” on the “Heart Zeppish” CD.

“In all the years we have been making music we have seen trends come and go,” said Ann Wilson. “We have always felt that to try and chase the latest ‘it’ sound is pointless, and we have tried to remain true to ourselves as songwriters and musicians. Sometimes we have had amazing success and heard ourselves on the radio … other times not so much, but the music is always playing in our house. In this box we have included many things that until now have never seen the light of day. Also here are our favorite deep tracks and live moments that really speak to who we are on the stage and the connection between us and the people who show up to rock.”

Heart stormed the charts in the 1970s with hits like “Crazy on You,” “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” ‘Straight On,” “Even It Up,” “Kick It Out,” and others. Not only did the Wilson sisters lead the band, they wrote the songs and played the instruments, making them the first women in rock to do so. Heart continued topping the charts through the ’80s and into the ’90s with huge hits like “These Dreams,” “Alone” and “Never.” Along the way, Heart sold more than 35 million records, had 21 top 40 hits, sold out arenas worldwide, and profoundly influenced the sound and direction of American rock music while inspiring women (and guys too!) around the world to rock out in bands of their own.

Heart were 2008 recipients of VH1 Rock Honors, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northwest Grammy Foundation, and received ASCAP’s award for Excellence in Songwriting in 2009.

In August 2010, Red Velvet Car, the first new studio album in six years from Heart, entered the Billboard 200 best-selling album charts at No. 10, becoming the seventh Top 10 album of the group’s career. The group’s first album for Legacy Recordings, Red Velvet Car marked the return of the group to the Sony Music Entertainment family, reaching No. 1 in sales on Amazon.com in September.

Here’s the track listing for Heart – Strange Euphoria:
CD 1
1. Through Eyes And Glass (by Ann Wilson & The Daybreaks)
2. Magic Man (demo)*
3. How Deep It Goes (demo)*
4. Crazy On You (demo)*
5. Dreamboat Annie (Fantasy Child) + Dreamboat Annie Reprise (edit)*
6. Love Alive
7. Sylvan Song
8. Dream Of The Archer
9. White Lightning And Wine (live at the Aquarius)*
10. Barracuda (live from BBC Radio Concert)*
11. Little Queen
12. Kick It Out
13. Here Song (demo)*
14. Heartless (demo)*
15. Dog & Butterfly (acoustic demo)*
16. Straight On
17. Nada One
CD 2
1. Bebe le Strange
2. Silver Wheels II
3. Even It Up
4. Sweet Darlin’
5. City’s Burning
6. Angels
7. Love Mistake
8. Lucky Day (demo)*
9. Never (live, with John Paul Jones)*
10. These Dreams
11. Nobody Home
12. Alone
13. Wait For An Answer
14. Unconditional Love (demo)*
15. High Romance (demo)*
16. Under The Sky (demo)*
17. Desire Walks On (“Beach demo” version)*
CD 3
1. Kiss (by The Lovemongers)
2. Sand (live) (by The Lovemongers)
3. Everything (live) (by Nancy Wilson)
4. She Still Believes (live)*
5. Any Woman’s Blues (demo) (with the Seattle Blues Revue Horns)*
6. Strange Euphoria
7. Boppy’s Back (demo)*
8. Friend Meets Friend (live) (by The Lovemongers)*
9. Love Or Madness (live) *
10. Skin To Skin*
11. Fallen Ones
12. Enough
13. Lost Angel (live)
14. Little Problems, Little Lies (by Ann Wilson)
15. Queen City
16. Hey You
17. Avalon (Reprise)
* previously unreleased
DVD
KWSU “The Second Ending – featuring Heart” program
circa February-March 1976
1. Pre Show
2. Heartless
3. White Lightning & Wine
4. Dreamboat Annie
5. Silver Wheels
6. Crazy On You
7. Sing Child
8. Soul Of The Sea
9. Devil Delight
10. Magic Man

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B007U1FEPS” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B005CVTV84″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B001UBB9GM” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00138KK9Y” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00004TAXE” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Heart. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

HEART – GREATEST HITS (1998; 2011 Audio Fidelity Remaster): The distractions when it comes to Heart (gender politics, obvious curtsies to Led Zeppelin, wall-to-wall 1980s power-ballads, etc.) are swept away with this single turned-up-to-11 instrumental interlude during “Magic Man.” I’m struck all over again by guitarist Roger Fisher’s ever-increasing distortion, just before a smeared prog rock-influenced keyboard descends from the heavens. Heart’s “Magic Man” (a No. 9 hit in 1976) has, right there inside of it, this brilliant piece of in-the-moment, well, magic — unlikely to happen again in the age of auto-tune, but buried for decades in a muddy pre-digital mix. Now, this small joy has been spit-shined into a revelatory moment, and it’s almost worth the price of admission itself. This band, you quickly realize all over again, wasn’t led by a couple of Girls Who Rocked. They were, simply, rockers. And very good ones, at that.

HEART – RED VELVET CAR (2010): The first thing that’s evident from listening to Red Velvet Car is that in contrast to Clapton, the Wilson sisters are as rooted in the present-day sounds as they are to the music of the past, and maybe even more so. The second thing is that Ann Wilson’s voice is finally beginning to falter a bit: she’s lost some of her incredible range and there’s a residue of rasp in it that wasn’t there before. Those are two things that put this album below the level of their last one, 2006’s Jupiter’s Darling. On the other hand, Nancy’s power acoustic guitar remains in fine form, and she can still more than hold her own when battling crashing electric guitars for sonic space.

DEEP CUTS: HEART, “LOVE ALIVE” (1977): Coming right after the hard-charging “Barracuda,” the sisters ease up on the tempo a bit but not at all on the quality. “Love Alive” runs only a little over four minutes, but it’s a three-parter. The soft beginning kicks off with a winsome acoustic guitar motif, played in tandem by Nancy and (most probably) Roger Fisher. As Ann’s gentle, controlled and low-octave vocals begin, some Indian percussion joins in as well. Her first and second and verse is separated by a short flute interlude…also performed by Ann. Hard rock can sometimes get a little rough around the edges, and it needs a woman’s touch to smooth it out just a tad. There’s probably no women better for that job than the Wilson women when they are on their game like they are for “Love Alive.”

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.