Heart - Dog & Butterfly (1978)

TheWhalerfan

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General Info

Released: October 7, 1978
Recorded: 1978
Genre: Hard rock, folk rock
Label: Portrait
Producer: Mike Flicker

The Band

Michael DeRosier – drums
Howard Leese – guitar, keyboards
Roger Fisher – guitar, steel guitar
Steve Fossen – bass guitar, percussion
Rick Keefer – synthesizer, vocals
Ann Wilson – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, violin
Nancy Wilson – vocals, guitar, piano

Track List

Side one
"Cook with Fire" (A. Wilson, N. Wilson, Fisher, Ennis, Leese) – 4:59
"High Time" (A. Wilson, N. Wilson, Ennis) – 3:24
"Hijinx" (A. Wilson, N. Wilson, Ennis) – 3:33
"Straight On" (A. Wilson, N. Wilson, Ennis) – 5:10

Side two
"Dog & Butterfly" (A. Wilson, N. Wilson, Ennis) – 5:22
"Lighter Touch" (A. Wilson, N. Wilson, Ennis) – 5:05
"Nada One" (A. Wilson, N. Wilson, Ennis) – 5:22
"Mistral Wind" (A. Wilson, N. Wilson, Ennis, Fisher) – 6:45


Welcome readers to another long winded Heart review. This time we have Dog & Butterfly, the last release from the "classic" era, before the Wilsons took complete control of the band and changed their direction. A good effort, D&B has a selection of songs that continue the now familiar formula that made Heart so popular in the 70's.


Cook with Fire - A good way to start off, Cook with Fire rips from the very beginning, offering plenty of guitar distortion, hammering drum fills, and the use of harmonica. Lyrics tell of a woman warning her potential date that he better stay away from others since they are meant for each other. A decent hard rock song, my only complaint is the album version lacks something. Both the vocals and music are missing a punch that is added in the live performances. The way it sounds on the clip I will include at the end of the review is what I wish the studio cut was like.

High Time - The most complicated song on the album, High Time has many cool time changes that accentuate Ann's up and down pitch perfectly. DeRosier once again stands out with a very strong drum effort. A positive song about life going well after enduring hardship, High Time grows quickly on the listener after a few spins.

Hijinx - Certainly the oddest song on D&B, it took me quite a few listens to appreciate Nancy's interesting guitar work and Ann's smooth singing about being conned. Decent drumming and tasteful use of keyboards help to create a good tune. Only negative is that Hijinx contains the word "jive".

Straight On - A sexually charged track about a persons determination to be with their chosen partner, Straight On has aged very well despite having a disco feel to it. Great drums, guitar (Fisher creates a nice solo), lyrics, vocal harmony, and of plenty of "ooohs" from Ann's sensual voice combine to make this a winner. I absolutely love this song.

Dog & Butterfly - One of the more popular Heart songs, this title track is a gentle acoustical number written after Ann watched her dog vainly chase after a butterfly, reflecting the struggles we have in life. Beautiful guitar work and another solid emotional effort by Ann make D&B a classic.

Lighter Touch - Another ballad but with a harder tone than D&B, offering an electric guitar solo and louder vocals. Lyrically standard love song about a relationship but well done.

Nada One - My favorite Heart ballad, Nada One tells of a person finding love in their dreams only to have it disappear when they awaken. Nancy's outstanding acoustical guitar work shines here, continuing throughout the entire track. A very good song, I wish it was slightly longer.

Mistral Wind - The grand finale, and what a way to end the album. Mistral Wind begins with haunting acoustic guitar for almost half the song before the electric kicks in, taking the listener away on a journey telling of the power nature can have on the human soul. Ann's best work on D&B, her voice ranges from soft to powerful all within 4 verses, leading to a very cool ending that includes the use of chimes. One of Heart's best.


Dog & Butterfly is a great album, offering everything from ballads to blistering rock tracks. With songs such as Straight On, Dog & Butterfly, and Mistral Wind, Heart created their fourth successful album in a row, a feat not to be taken lightly. After this the Wilsons would steer their band in a new direction with some success, ultimately fail, then be reborn as a massive power pop hit making machine. Dog & Butterfly represents the last of Heart's best, and I rate it 8.5/10


Cook With Fire- awesome


Straight On
 
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runtfan

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Re: Heart - Dog & Butterfly

Whaler Fan - what, exactly, do you think is missing from the album version of "Cook With Fire"? I love the song and I'm pretty intimately familiar with it ( the music anyway) and the video clip you posted sounds virtually the same to me...two different live recordings of the same song in roughly the same time period with roughly the same mix. Any differences sound pretty minor to me so I'm curious as to what you hear in the video clip that you like more.

BTW, the last two times I've seen Heart they opened with Cook With Fire. They play it much slower now ( which saps some of the energy IMO ). I prefer it at the album speed. Still, it's a great tune and I love seeing Heart play it. Our tribute band plays it and it's alot of fun.
 

TheWhalerfan

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Re: Heart - Dog & Butterfly

It isn't easy to explain, but I will give it a shot. The way she sings certain parts of the song to me sound better on the clip than the album (such as when she screams "Fire" at 4:16 on the album track vs 5:54 of the clip), but you may not agree. It is a very slight difference, but each time I play the CD my ears keep wanting to hear the clip vocals. The instruments also sound slightly less aggressive on the album, but that could be attributed to the recording...these are pretty old songs. Like you I have heard these tunes so many times I am familiar with every single note, so I tend to focus on certain small things.
 
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LG

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Re: Heart - Dog & Butterfly

I've been keeping up with all your Heart reviews Whaler.

I admit I wan't a big fan of this one when it first came out...but over the years it has grown on me.

Mistral Wind is my favorite track on the record, and you are right it is the last "vintage" Heart album.

I'd give it a solid 7/10.
 

runtfan

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Re: Heart - Dog & Butterfly

It isn't easy to explain, but I will give it a shot. The way she sings certain parts of the song to me sound better on the clip than the album (such as when she screams "Fire" at 4:16 on the album track vs 5:54 of the clip), but you may not agree. It is a very slight difference, but each time I play the CD my ears keep wanting to hear the clip vocals. The instruments also sound slightly less aggressive on the album, but that could be attributed to the recording...these are pretty old songs. Like you I have heard these tunes so many times I am familiar with every single note, so I tend to focus on certain small things.

I get what you're saying. I just haven't heard any other version other than the album version enough to familiarize with anything else, but I hear ya. There's other songs by other artists that I have several different versions of and the diiferences can be slight but noticeable.
 

runtfan

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Re: Heart - Dog & Butterfly

Hey Runtfan, does your band do anything off Private Audition or Passionworks?

At this point, nothing off of Private Audition and we do How Can I Refuse off of Passionworks. Passionworks is a favorite of mine and there's a few other songs I'd like to play.
 

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