Female Power Ballads: The heart of Heart

Oh the female heart…the female soul in general. A mystery to us all. REALLY. All I know now is that every woman I know has from 30 to 50 different emotions in a day (yours truly included). Blame it on hormones, on society, on the fact that we come from mars or blame it on the boogie (sorry!) but it is just the simple truth. Because of that whirlpool of estrogen and feeling I have always felt respect and awe towards women who are able to communicate their feelings with others in a way that doesn’t come off as hysterical (I know we could have a debate on this term for hours but let´s not) or cheesy. In that spirit I want to do a series of posts recognizing female bands or solo artists that get their message across in a unique way: the power ballad (slow-tempo songs often building to a loud and emotive chorus backed by drums, electric guitars and sometimes choirs), and where else would I start if not by 1: the 80´s and 2 the fantastically talented “Heart”.

Heart is a band which has sold over 35 million records worldwide, had 20 top singles, 7 top ten albums and 4 Grammy Nominations. They had songs chart in the 1970´s, 1980´s, 1990 and 2010´s. (according to Wiki). I want to deconstruct 2 videos by this iconic band so let´s talk about the first one

 “Alone” – Heart

After watching the video for the first time in ages, what first pops to mind is how great they looked! If you talk about 80´s hair, you definitely need to think of them. I can guarantee they look much better than other “hair” go to´s, in fact, I think they set the bar and groups like Motley Crew, Guns and Roses and Poison wanted to look like them…THEY WISH!!!!!!!

The video starts with younger sister Nancy Wilson at the piano and Ann Wilson singing softly up on a balcony. Sadly, the director and production and record label were in a sombre mood an decided to shoot it as dim as possible which is why I won´t go into it any more:

Alone - heart lights

 

The song was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. It was recorded by several artist including John Stamos (YES; HIM AGAIN) in 1984. The band “Heart” bought the song and released it as their first single for their ninth album “Bad Animals” in 1987. The song starts of slow (Ann Wilson´s soft voice that starts getting louder and louder reaching a hard rock chorus). The song spend 3 weeks at Number 1 in the U.S. and it was also their most successful single in the U.K. and it was a huge global hit.

“All I wanna do is make love to you” – Heart

 The song is one of the most irresponsible songs of all time. I am certainly not talking about the one night stand (oh…this one and “We´ve Got Tonight” could also be in a “One on One”…can anyone else think of another “One Night Stand” song?), I am talking about the setting the song starts off with:  rainy and cold night, unknown hitchhiker, and I do wonder why the lyrics say “…the lonely boy…” could he have been underage??? I also am intrigued by the fact she states “we found a hotel, it was a place I knew well…” did we all need to know that? Is it the plot for a porn? By the end of the song we discover that she is in love with a man that cannot give her children and she had the one night stand to get pregnant. (OK, we can pretty much cross of PORN PLOT of the list). Well, porn plot or no and putting careless behavior aside, it is a fabulous song! (There…all reason out the window for a great voice, good guitar playing: like real life).

Sadly, the video is again dark, has the same shots (background lights and the girls singing or playing guitar) and an actress driving…rain…not much to deconstruct!

All I wanna do...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy W

 

Oops…mainly I wanted to discuss the songs, not the videos!

I will always admire the band, their talent and their trajectory. An over 40 year commitment deserves all of our respect and AWE. I will end this post with their tribute to Led Zeppelin…you are able to see ROBERT PLANT weep…in case there were any doubts.

“Stairway To Heaven” – Heart

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