With Heart’s Fanatic, a new studio album, and Kicking and Dreaming, an insiders’ memoir, arriving this fall, 2012 is shaping up as a banner year for the iconic American band who–beginning with hits like “Crazy on You,” “Magic Man,” and “Barracuda” in the mid-1970s running through 2010′s Red Velvet Car–have created an enduring catalog of bona fide stadium rock classics and power ballads while establishing a lasting template for women in rock.
Fanatic, Heart’s 14th studio album, arrives Tuesday, October 2. The group’s second full-length studio album for Legacy, Fanatic premieres 10 new essential performances from sisters Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson on songs including “Fanatic,” “Dear Old America,” “Walkin’ Good” (featuring Sarah McLachlan), “Skin and Bones,” “Million Miles,” “Pennsylvania,” “Mashallah,” “Rock Deep (Vancouver),” “59 Crunch,” and “Corduroy Road.”
The first album of new music from Ann and Nancy Wilson since 2010′s Red Velvet Car had its Top 10 debut in 2010,Fanatic was recorded in hotel rooms and studios up and down the West Coast, with Grammy-winning producer Ben Mink back at the helm with the Wilson sisters drawing from their own lives and personal experiences as inspiration for their music. “Dear Old America” comes from memories of a military household and is written from the point of view of their father, a Marine Corps officer, returning from war (“When I get home, I’m going to own this town/Shine this medal/Wear that crown….”); “Rock Deep (Vancouver)” harkens back to the city where Dreamboat Annie was written; and “Walkin’ Good” (a duet with Vancouver resident Sarah McLachlan) captures the joy of finding new life in a new love.
The title song is a celebration of the Wilson’s life spirit: Ann and Nancy are fanatics about love, art, truth, and the belief that they can do anything together they set their minds to. Fans looking for a first taste of Fanatic can check out the title track on YouTube.
“What a crazy year we are having,” said Ann Wilson. “Our box set, Strange Euphoria, and our book, Kicking and Dreaming, each tell the story of our lives so far, personally and musically. Our new album, Fanatic, tells our story as it is now and brings it all up-to-the-minute. What a thrill to have worked with both Charles Cross and Ben Mink respectively on these, and of course to touch the musical magic Nancy and I have always shared together. Anybody want to RAWK??”
Released in 2010, Fanatic’s predecessor, Red Velvet Car (the first new studio album in six years from the groundbreaking Seattle-based band) entered the Billboard 200 best-selling album charts at #10, becoming the seventh Top 10 album of Heart’s career. Heart’s critically-acclaimed first album for Legacy Recordings marked the return of Heart to the Sony Music Entertainment family, reaching #1 in sales on Amazon.com on Sunday, September 5.
On June 5, Epic Records/Legacy Recordings released Strange Euphoria, the first definitive career-spanning, multi-label boxed set retrospective chronicling the seminal American rock band Heart, personally curated by Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson.
A carefully-considered anthology of biggest hits and best-loved songs set alongside deep catalog treasures, rarities, demos and live performances, Strange Euphoria includes three compact discs and one DVD in a deluxe box.
Ann Wilson and her younger sister, Nancy Wilson, first showed the world that women can rock when their band Heart stormed the charts in the ’70s with hits like “Crazy on You,” “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Straight On,” “Even It Up,” “Kick It Out” and many more. 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,” “Never,” and a string of other hits that showcased the sisters’ enormous talents as both musicians and singers. 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.
What’s made Heart endure across four decades and 14 studio albums, from Dreamboat Annie (1976) through 2012′s Strange Euphoria and Fanatic is simply the quality of the music and the Wilsons’ deep connection to the emotions, psyches and experiences of their fans.
Heart will be touring throughout the summer and fall (June 29-November 17). Alejandro Escovedo and Shawn Colvin will be supporting in October and November respectively. This fall , Ann and Nancy Wilson will be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (followed by a live concert webcast).
Tuesday, September 18 marks the publication of the HarperCollins hardcover edition of Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock and Roll, the avidly-awaited insider’s memoir penned by Ann & Nancy Wilson with noted Seattle-based author Charles R. Cross (“Room Full of Mirrors – A Biography of Jimi Hendrix“; “Heavier Than Heaven” – a biography of Kurt Cobain).
Since finding their love of music and performing as teenagers in Seattle, Washington, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson have been an influential part of the rock music landscape. From 70s classics like “Magic Man” and “Barracuda” to chart- topping 80s ballads like “Alone” up to 2012′s Fanatic, Heart continues as an ongoing force in pop culture, inspiring women and men alike with the power and beauty of their music.
Despite their massive success, Ann and Nancy have always faced a different kind of scrutiny than their male counterparts in hard-rock and metal band, and had to face questions that no male rock star ever would be asked. Kicking and Dreaming allows Ann and Nancy to communicate as directly with the reader as their songs do with fans. A first-hand chronicle of tumultuous inter-band relationships, thirty years of roller-coaster fame and continual reinvention, and, of course, the kind of excess that can comes from the surreal, and hyper-real demands of life on the road, Kicking and Dreaming is an intimate, honest, and a uniquely female take on rock and roll life.
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