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Passionworks

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Album Review

1983's Passionworks marked the end of an era for Heart; it was the last album that the Wilson sisters recorded for Epic, where they had recorded late-'70s classics like Little Queen and Dog & Butterfly. Unfortunately, Heart's relationship with Epic had turned sour by 1983; in a 1987 interview, Ann Wilson asserted that Epic didn't do nearly enough to promote either Passionworks or 1982's Private Audition. But all certainly wasn't lost; at Capitol, Heart enjoyed a major revitalization in 1985 — both commercially and creatively. Although Passionworks was recorded under less-than-ideal circumstances, it isn't a bad album. Passionworks, which was produced by Keith Olsen, didn't go down in history as one of Heart's essential releases — it isn't in a class with Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen, Bad Animals, or 1985's self-titled Heart, but it isn't an album that the Wilson sisters should be ashamed of either. Passionworks gets off to an impressive start with the hit "How Can I Refuse," an arena rock jewel. Most of the songs that follow aren't as strong, but they're decent. While "Sleep Alone," "Blue Guitar," and "Ambush" aren't masterpieces, they're likable examples of '80s hard rock/arena rock. "Allies," meanwhile, is a glossy power ballad that was written by Journey's Jonathan Cain and should have become a hit. In 1983, Cain's song was perfect for Heart because by that time, their ballads had become much more amplified. While early Heart ballads like "Dream of the Archer" and "How Deep It Goes" had a pastoral, acoustic-oriented folk-rock outlook, the Wilson sisters became masters of the high-volume power ballad in the '80s. Passionworks isn't recommended to casual listeners, but serious Heart devotees will find it to be an enjoyable way for the Wilson sisters to end their Epic period.

Customer Reviews

Mysterious Album A Creative Soft Rocking Album

This was the last album Heart would record with Epic Records. Not to be true to the rumors that have carried with Private Audition as well as Passionworks this album goes in so many different directions. Not for the causal listener, but for the die hard Heart fan. Great album for road trips, I recommend all the songs on this album. This album was not promoted enough and would have succeeded greatly with more promotion and another producer along side of Keith Olsen.

Underated Favorite

Been a Heart fan since I was a little kid when my older sister would blast "Barracuda" on her stereo. This album was one of my favorites as a kid that got no love on the charts. "Sleep Alone" and "How Can I Refuse" still rock my world. No one can come close to Ann WIlson's pipes.

not that great

most of this album contains mediocre songs that neither rock nor display acoustic beauty. however, there are a few songs that i consider to be some of heart's best work. "sleep alone" is probably my 2nd favorite heart song of all time just behind "magic man" i think ann's vocal on this one is just off the hook. after all these years, "sleep alone" still rocks my world.
the other 2 songs that i love are "how can i refuse" and "language of love" the other tracks i never listen to. fyi: i consider "dreamboat annie" to be one of the ten best albums of all time!!

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...
Full Bio