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Dreamboat Annie (Live)

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Album Review

There's no shortage of live material in the Heart catalog, but it's still hard to fault a gracefully aging band for showing off its tricks. While other '70s and '80s mainstays sound withered and strained 25 years after their heyday, the Wilson sisters have taken care of themselves. Dreamboat Annie Live finds them playing their band's debut in its entirety, from the iconic rhythmic thump of "Magic Man" to the harmony-laden melodies in the title track's reprise. Often lean and tight, the music also veers into orchestrated territory with a six-piece string section (which is employed to stunning effect on "How Deep It Goes"). A handful of classic rock covers are thrown in for the encore, pairing Ann Wilson's well-preserved pipes with tracks by Led Zeppelin and the Who. Ann may not have the range to still tackle such follow-up hits as "Alone," but she's nevertheless solid on this disc, nailing the melodies with a throaty wail that many of her contemporaries have steadily worn away with the snowballing effect of alcohol, drugs, and general rock & roll hedonism. For those fans who prefer Heart's early material to the slick, hairsprayed singles of the '80s, Dreamboat Annie Live is a reminder that this band did — and, indeed, does — rock the boat. [A DVD was also released.]

Biography

Formed: 1973 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson are the creative spark behind Heart, a hard rock group who initially found success in the mid-'70s only to reach greater heights after engineering a major comeback a decade later. The daughters of a Marine Corps captain, Ann (born June 19, 1950) and Nancy (born March 16, 1954) grew up in both Southern California and Taiwan before the Wilson family settled in Seattle, Washington. Throughout their formative years, both were interested in folk and pop music; while Ann never...
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