Friday, June 17, 2016

Heart's 'Dreamboat Annie' Reissued On Vinyl, Readies New Album

This year marks four decades since the U.S. release of Heart's groundbreaking debut album, Dreamboat Annie, which features classic songs like "Magic Man," Crazy On You," "White Lightning and Wine" and its ethereal title track. The album, originally released on the indie Vancouver-based label Mushroom Records in August 1975, became the springboard to the group's legendary Hall of Fame career.

Over 40 years later, Dreamboat Annie has been reissued on 180-gram heavyweight black vinyl in an old-school gatefold sleeve, including lyrics. For fans and record collectors, a red translucent vinyl version has been pressed and is limited to only 500 copies worldwide. It can only be purchased through the uDiscover online store.

The vinyl arrives just in time for the band's U.K. tour and a subsequent series of U.S. concerts with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, starting in July. Tour dates are listed at http://www.heart-music.com/tour.

In July 8, Heart will be issuing a new album, their sixteenth and first on Concord Records, called Beautiful Broken, which finds Ann and Nancy Wilson exploring new songs, as well as taking some of their favorite "cherry picks" from their catalog and reimagining them.

The album spans a wide range of musical flavors, wrapped up in the Wilson sisters' unique brand of hard-hitting rock, and even draws a few friends of the band into the mix.  The title track features a guest vocal contribution by Metallica's James Hetfield with Ann Wilson, while another of the brand new songs, "Two," was penned by hip-hop artist, Ne-Yo.

The album, their first in four years, comes three years after Heart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They have sold more records than any sister act in the history of popular music.

“As I told both Ann and Nancy (and the band), it was a master class in How It's Done. On the one hand, they were providing a shining example of how to aim high right out of the gate with your first album (Dreamboat Annie)," says William Duvall of Alice in Chains. "On another level, they were also giving Ninja lessons on how to maintain 30 years into the game."

Dreamboat Annie was an anomaly when it first came out. At a time when disco dominated the airwaves, Heart's debut album was an eclectic affair that ran the gamut from hard-core rockers to acoustic ballads, made all the more unique by two young women fronting a group that sounded more like a distaff Led Zeppelin.

Dreamboat Annie was released in Canada by Mushroom Records, following the success of the second single, "Magic Man," an autobiographical song about Ann Wilson leaving home for Vancouver to pursue a romance. "Magic Man" initially got airplay on a Montreal station, earning the band a slot opening for Rod Stewart in that city in October 1975.

To meet the demand, Mushroom Records formed a U.S. division, releasing the album in the U.S. in February 1976, attracting airplay in Seattle, and gradually spreading across the country, as the group went personally from station to station to promote it. Dreamboat Annie peaked at #7 on the Billboard 200 and went platinum, selling one million copies.