For Ann Wilson, a new album and tour is a chance to reinterpret Heart’s freshest, original work. So, expect a lot more from the band’s well-received new project Fanatic than, say, big hits from the 1980s.
Heart, which received a long-awaited Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination recently, has sold some 30 million albums over the years. That run included harder-edged tracks in the 1970s, like “Barracuda” and “Crazy on You,” as well as a series of more pop-oriented, keyboard-driven tracks in the following decade — often co-written by outsiders.
That second incarnation of the band was, by far, their most successful on the charts. “These Dreams,” “Never,” “What About Love” and “Nothin’ at All,” all from a 1985 self-titled release, each shot into the Top 10.
[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: The power of ‘Fanatic’ is evident on the very first listen; there’s a deeper emotional resonance to Heart’s new album, however, that makes it one of their best in ages.]
Still, more recently, Heart’s 2010 release Red Velvet Car found the group returning both to its guitar-oriented roots — and to the Top 10. Fanatic, which rocks even harder, debuted in the Top 25, as well.
Wilson, in a new talk with Jason Tanamor of Yahoo Voices, says fans should expect more of the latter during Heart’s on-going tour — which continues through November 17, 2012, then picks up again in January.
Of course, there are others within the band’s camp who would rather Heart simply trot out the hits.
“We don’t listen to the people that try and talk sense into us,” Wilson says. “We’re always trying to shove as much new stuff into our set as we can because we’re selfish. We want to do it. So right now out of the hour and a half set we’re doing five new songs.”
As for tracks from the era of “These Dreams,” which became Heart’s first No. 1 single — but with an assist from Bernie Taupin? Wilson says there are a number of 1980s-era tracks that she and her bandmate sister Nancy can scarcely stand to perform.
“Oh, yeah: There’s a whole box full of them — like ‘All I Wanna Do’ and ‘Who Will You Run To?,'” Wilson tells Tanamor. “Most of the ones from the ’80s that were written by other people, because once that thing passed for us we kind of stuck it in the closet.”
The release of Fanatic continues a busy year for the Wilson sisters, who in a matter of months have overseen a career-spanning retrospective, released a new autobiography called Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll, and been honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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