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Released: October 7, 1978
Genre: Hard rock, folk rock
Producer: Mike Flicker
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
"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
"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
Fully agree, I played it over the Christmas and really enjoyed getting reacquainted with it.I love the 1980’s - 1990’s Heart, but I prob wouldn’t as much if they didn’t have albums like Dog And Butterfly in their past.
This one has forever been my fav of the ‘70’s Heart albums. I favor the Butterfly side, but the whole album is a solid, consistent listen; nothing stellar, but no stinkers, and as a whole, better than mediocre.