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Heart - Dreamboat Annie (1976)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by TheWhalerfan, May 17, 2011.

  1. TheWhalerfan

    TheWhalerfan Lovus My Avatarus

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    General Info


    Released: February 14, 1976
    Recorded: July - August 1975 at Can-Base Studios, Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Genre: Hard rock, folk rock
    Label: Mushroom (later Capitol)
    Producer: Mike Flicker

    The Band


    Ann Wilson: lead vocals, flute, acoustic guitar on track 9, violin
    Nancy Wilson: guitar, 12 string guitar & background vocals, piano
    Roger Fisher: guitars
    Howard Leese: guitars, keyboards, percussion & background vocals
    Michael DeRosier: drums on tracks 6 and 8
    Steve Fossen: bass

    Track List

    All songs written by Ann & Nancy Wilson unless otherwise noted

    Side one
    "Magic Man" - 5:28
    "Dreamboat Annie (Fantasy Child)" - 1:10
    "Crazy on You" - 4:53
    "Soul of the Sea" - 6:33
    "Dreamboat Annie" - 2:02

    Side two
    "White Lightning and Wine" - 3:53
    "(Love Me Like Music) I'll Be Your Song" - 3:20
    "Sing Child" (A. Wilson, N. Wilson, Fossen, Fisher) - 4:55
    "How Deep it Goes" (A. Wilson) - 3:49
    "Dreamboat Annie (Reprise)" - 3:50


    Here we have Heart's debut album, from way back in 1976, and what a way to start off a career. Released before a major power struggle began to erode the band, all six of Heart's members worked together to create an astoundingly good album that still sounds good to the ears today. From soft acoustical cuts to hard Zeppelin-like rock, Dreamboat Annie offered something for everyone. Led by Ann Wilson, arguably the best female rock voice ever to grace a microphone, producer Mike Flicker produced a masterpiece that takes its place alongside other truly classic debut albums such as VH1 and Boston.


    Magic Man - One of Heart's most popular and enduring songs, it tells a story of Ann's relationship with then band manager Mike Fisher. Tasteful use of keyboards, interesting triple guitar work, and outstanding drumming add to Ann's sensual voice. Track has a cool trippy feel, and great lyrics Best song on the album, a timeless classic.

    Dreamboat Annie (Fantasy Child) - Not sure why they did 3 Dreamboat Annie cuts on the album. This version is short and just has acoustical guitar to accompany Ann's vocals, after a brief sea shore intro. Not bad, but not needed either.

    Crazy On You - The second of Heart's 'Big 3' classic songs, COY is written about a woman who is frustrated with world events and simply wants to release her tensions sexually on her lover. Nancy opens the track with a powerful acoustical intro before the song evolves into hard rock. Perfect mix of acoustic and electric guitar backed by active drum beat, song rocks from beginning to end. Ann's best vocals on the album.

    Soul of the Sea - A heavy acoustical number, this song owes much of its sound to Led Zeppelin. Has a very odd mid part, complete with yet more sea shore backing sounds. Vocals and instruments are very good, but this song is quite different from a standard rocker and may not be for everyone.

    Dreamboat Annie - This is the version most people know, and is the one I would have left on the album while cutting the other two. Medium tempo song blends acoustical guitar with banjo, and it works. Ann does a great job here, but the song could have been just a bit longer. I really didn't like this song when I was younger, but it has grown on me over the years. Another classic.

    White Lightning and Wine
    - Straight ahead fun rock, simply about getting blasted on booze. Quite popular among classic Heart fans, has a good toe tapping feel throughout and nice solo at end.

    (Love me Like Music) I'll Be Your Song
    - Softer song about love conquering all the problems in life, this just sounds a little too 1970's am radio for my liking. While not particularly bad, other than nice harmony vocals by Ann and Nancy, it is just like too many other love songs of the era.

    Sing Child - Hardest rocker on the album, the guys in the band were listening to a lot of Zeppelin, Purple, etc.. and it shows here. Song is about a guitar, nothing too deep, but the magic is in the playing. From the opening heavy riffs to the Bonham style drum beats, guitar and flute (!) solos, it reeks of 70's rock in a very good way.

    How Deep it Goes
    - Another softer rock number, vocals have almost a Karen Carpenter sound, mixed with flute, piano, and acoustical guitar. In the same style as Soul of the Sea but without the odd mid section. Short song, not bad but never on my playlist either.

    Dreamboat Annie (Reprise) - Yet another DA track, longest version but not needed since it is the weakest of the three. Drums, guitar, vocals, all sound wrong to my ears. End of track has short section from the regular, radio friendly DA just to remind you of the way it should sound.


    Overall it was an outstanding first effort, and If you like Heart at all chances are you will enjoy at least half of these tracks. With the exception of having 2 extra versions of Dreamboat Annie, there isn't much to complain about here. Both vocals and instruments are top notch, and the lyrics are intelligent enough to not become stale even after 35 or so years.

    A true classic that still sounds good today, I rate it 8/10
     
  2. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

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    Re: Heart - Dreamboat Annie

    Very nice review...I'm more of a fan to it's follow up "Little Queen" but this is not only a fine debut but a must have for all die hard and casual Heart fans!

    :grinthumb
     
  3. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Heart - Dreamboat Annie

    This was a fantastic debut, the first of 3 excellent albums by the Wilson sisters; Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen, and Dog and Butterfly :tup:

    I would give this album a high rating 4/5. Magic Man is the stand out track on this album followed by Crazy on You!
     
  4. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Re: Heart - Dreamboat Annie

    Heart never sounded better than when they were recording in the "Little Mountain" studio for Mushroom records. They had magic in those halcyon early days, when they went to CBS Portrait records they lost something.

    Very nicely done Whaler, I would give Dreamboat Annie a solid 9/10 on my scale.

    On a fun note, they played at my older brothers graduation dance...a year before this record came out.:grinthumb
     
  5. Rockperson

    Rockperson Senior Member

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    Re: Heart - Dreamboat Annie

    Superb album, nice review, Magic Man is a classic, some great songs, a wonderful debut album.
     
  6. TheWhalerfan

    TheWhalerfan Lovus My Avatarus

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    Re: Heart - Dreamboat Annie

    Glad you guys enjoyed the reading..it seemed to take forever to type it up. I will give a shot at doing the other albums since I haven't seen any other Heart reviews that I can recall.
     
  7. LOU/REALM

    LOU/REALM Senior Member

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    Re: Heart - Dreamboat Annie

    "Crazy on you" and "Magic man" always come to mind when HEART is mentioned .Love them songs,great guitars, vocals etc . I give the album 7.5...very good :grinthumb

     

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