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Headline (France): Escape (Brennus BR 8034.AR, CD, 1997)
Metal
Sylvie Grare (lead vocals)
This was marketed as progressive metal, but apart from a short introduction and a simplistic instrumental there’s nothing progressive about it. Instead, this is straightforward mainstream metal with hard rock leanings: well done, solid and listenable but utterly anonymous and unoriginal. GRADE: C+.
Headline (France): Escape Thru The Lands (Night & Day BR 8050.AR, CD, with gatefold minisleeve, 1998)
Folk/Rock/Progressive
Sylvie Grare (lead vocals)
Curiously, the band’s second album focuses on the acoustic side of their repertoire. Four of the cuts are re-recordings of songs from the first album, two are new and two are cover versions (of Yes and Queensrÿche). Equally oddly, the first six tracks are studio recordings whilst the last two were taped in concert. Whilst this isn’t really exceptional, it’s more varied and inventive than its predecessor, with influences ranging from Celtic to Arabic. GRADE: C+.
Headline (France): Voices Of Presence (Nothing To Say 3053112, double CD, with slipcase, 1999)
Metal/Progressive
Sylvie Grare (lead vocals)
Mostly marking a return to the mainstream metal style of Escape, this adds some folk and progressive touches, but despite a few moments of complexity it’s not a very memorable LP. The double CD version was a limited edition, coming with a bonus EP Other Voices featuring three cuts: covers of Judas Priest’s ‘Touch Of Evil’ and Pink Floyd’s ‘High Hopes’, plus an acoustic version of ‘Masquerade’ from the band’s first album. GRADE: C+.
Headline (France): Duality (Nothing To Say 3079272, double CD, 2002)
Metal/Progressive
Sylvie Grare (lead vocals)
Although not truly special, this is possibly the best of their three electric albums, with some punchy performances and a few well-judged progressive touches. Once again, this isn’t really a double album: the second CD contains one extra track and some multimedia material (video clips, a photo gallery and a ‘making of’ featurette). GRADE: C+.

Heart (USA): Dreamboat Annie (Mushroom MRS-5005, with inner, 1976)
Rock/Folk/Progressive
Ann Wilson (lead vocals, guitar, flute), Nancy Wilson (guitar, backing vocals)
Ann and Nancy Wilson, the sisters who formed and dominated Heart, had a single-minded vision, seeing themselves as the female answer to Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Unsurprisingly, Dreamboat Annie sometimes recalls Led Zeppelin at their softest, although there are definite hints of early seventies Fleetwood Mac as well as numerous other influences. Side one is excellent throughout, featuring their two hit singles ‘Magic Man’ and ‘Crazy On You’, two versions of the title track and the haunting ‘Soul Of The Sea’. Side two is patchier, but the heavy rocker ‘Sing Child’ and the lovely ‘How Deep It Goes’ work well enough, although a third and final take on the title track is pushing things a bit. GRADE: B–.
Heart (USA): Magazine (Mushroom MRS-5008, with inner, 1977)
Rock/Folk
Ann Wilson (lead vocals, guitar, flute), Nancy Wilson (guitar, harmonica, backing vocals)
Following the huge success of Dreamboat Annie, Heart quit the Mushroom label in disputed circumstances, leaving behind a few demos intended for their aborted second LP. Mushroom collated these demos, a B-side, a cover of Badfinger’s ‘Without You’ and a couple of live cuts from 1975 and issued them as Magazine, with a back cover caveat stating that the band had ‘disclaimed artistic involvement in completing this record’. The band responded by securing an injunction that required the album’s withdrawal but also committed them to overdubbing the material to their satisfaction; this work was apparently completed under the oversight of a security team so that they could neither wipe the tapes nor overdub them so as to render them unusable. Eventually, the reworked album was reissued the following year with a different running order but the same catalogue number. Overall, it’s a perfectly pleasant soft (and occasionally hard) rock set, but without the conceptual unity of a true studio album. In any case, it sold well and gave them a minor hit single with the opening ‘Heartless’. GRADE: C+.
Heart (USA): Little Queen (Portrait JR 34799, with inner, 1977)
Rock/Folk/Progressive
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, flute), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, piano, mandolin, autoharp, harmonica)
The band’s second album proper opens with their best and most celebrated song: the brilliant, riff-driven ‘Barracuda’, which demonstrates Ann Wilson’s vocal range to full effect. The mini-suite of acoustic numbers that follows (‘Love Alive’, ‘Sylvan Song’ and ‘Dream Of The Archer’) is also stunning: for these four cuts, Heart really did succeed in equalling Led Zeppelin. Strangely, the quality suddenly dips, just as on Dreamboat Annie, with one pleasant ballad, two so-so mid-paced rockers and the execrable, naggingly catchy ‘Say Hello’. Finally, the disc returns to form with the atmospheric mini-suite of ‘Cry To Me’ and ‘Go On, Cry’. GRADE: B–.
Heart (USA): Dog And Butterfly (Portrait PAL-35555, with inner, 1978)
Rock/Folk/Progressive
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, piano, chimes), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, harmonica)
This is more consistent than any of their previous LPs, but mainly because it has only one real highpoint (the classic ‘Mistral Wind’, with its contrasting acoustic and electric sections). The remainder is light, sinuous rock on side one and orchestrated ballads on side two – all beautifully done and all quite charming, but all feeling like a seasoned band treading water. Ironically, I like the outtake ‘Feels’ (included on the remastered CD, and later reworked as ‘Johnny Moon’) better than most of the cuts on the album. GRADE: C+.
Heart (USA): Bebe Le Strange (Epic FE 36371, with inner, 1980)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, guitar, bass, piano, drums, tambourine, flute), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards)
The departure of lead guitarist Roger Fisher affected the band’s dynamic considerably, as did the increasing fragmentation among the remaining members (with the rhythm section of Steve Fossen and Michael Derosier beginning to become marginalised). Indeed, ‘Raised On You’ and ‘Sweet Darlin’’ are virtually performed solo by Nancy and Ann Wilson respectively. All of the progressive elements are gone, with a heavier rock sound emerging on several cuts: the results are consistently good, although the impassioned, bluesy ‘Down On Me’ (not the Janis Joplin song) is the only individually outstanding cut. GRADE: C+.
Heart (USA): Greatest Hits/Live (Epic EG 36888/E36890, double, 1980)
Rock
Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson
This rather unusual release features one disc of previously released material (Greatest Hits) and one of new stuff (Live). Greatest Hits features just about everything you’d expect, plus the short instrumental ‘Silver Wheels’ from Bebe Le Strange prefacing ‘Crazy On You’, much as the first version of ‘Dreamboat Annie’ did on the album of the same name. Live, despite its name, actually features three studio recordings: the contemporary single ‘Tell It Like It Is’ (mediocre nostalgic balladry), ‘Hit Single’ (nothing more than a short sound collage) and ‘Strange Euphoria’ (also fairly throwaway and experimental). Meanwhile, the live cuts equally mix originals (‘Bebe Le Strange’, ‘Sweet Darlin’’ and best of all the classic ‘Mistral Wind’) and rather extraneous covers (a medley of ‘I’m Down’ and ‘Long Tall Sally’, ‘Unchained Melody’ and ‘Rock And Roll’). GRADE: B–.
Heart (USA): Private Audition (Epic FE 38049, with inner, 1982)
Folk/Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, bass, piano, flute), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, bass, piano)
Private Audition is high on gentle ballads and quite high on whimsy, with sound effects linking several tracks, but a little low on great songwriting or memorable riffs. Nonetheless, it’s a solid enough set, though it wasn’t a huge commercial success. GRADE: C+.
Heart (USA): Passionworks (Epic QE 388000, with inner, 1983)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, synthesiser)
Passionworks saw both a change of rhythm section and a change of modus operandi for the band, who dropped the practice of swapping instruments on different songs and abandoned their trademark acoustic ballads altogether. Instead, this is a straightforward set of hard rock songs and power ballads, showing Heart moving significantly towards the commercial mainstream (even though it sold poorly). The result is a very one-dimensional and generic record, but thankfully they produced some of their best songs in years in the shape of ‘How Can I Refuse?’, ‘Blue Guitar’ and the world-weary ‘Language Of Love’. GRADE: C+.
Heart (USA): Heart (Capitol CDP 7 46157 2, CD, 1985)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, keyboards)
After the disappointing performance of Passionworks, Heart changed both their label and their image: the cover photos of them in ridiculous eighties garb and even more ludicrous bouffant hairstyles are positively chucklesome 30 years later. Like the similarly washed-up Jefferson Starship (whose Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas actually contribute backing vocals to ‘What About Love?’), they turned to producer Ron Nevison, keyboardist Peter Wolf and professional songwriters for salvation. These compromises brought them success beyond their wildest dreams: Heart went quintuple platinum in the States and spawned four top ten singles (of which, significantly, only one had any songwriting input from the Wilson sisters). Compared to Starship’s contemporaneous Knee Deep In The Hoopla, this is far classier: it’s clearly the work of a proper, coherent band rather than a group of greedy and compliant musicians performing whatever their creative svengalis thought might bring them success. For sure, the production is dated and often unsympathetic, but as commercial American eighties rock goes this is actually quite good, provided you don’t play it in proximity to Dreamboat Annie or Little Queen. GRADE: C+.

Heart (USA): The King Biscuit Flower Hour November 16, 1986 (DIR Broadcasting, double LP, with cue sheets, 1986)
Rock/Metal
Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson
I’ve never encountered a Heart live album I disliked, and this three-sided radio show (actually recorded in August 1985) is no exception. On the downside, the sound quality is decent rather than exceptional, with the drums having a cardboard-box quality (though given it was the mid-eighties, it’s possible that they actually sounded like that), but the performances are lively and there’s a pleasing mix of newer and classic material. GRADE: B–.
Heart (USA): Bad Animals (Capitol CDP 7 46676 2, CD, 1987)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Significantly, whilst band members were involved in writing six out of ten songs on Heart, here the ratio is down to five out of ten. With a brace of guest keyboardists swathing everything in a lush synthetic sheen, this sounds only marginally like Heart and is easily their worst album. On the plus side, the opening double whammy of ‘Who Will You Run To?’ and the ornate power ballad ‘Alone’ start things rather well, but there’s nothing of interest thereafter. GRADE: C–.
Heart (USA): Brigade (Capitol CDP 591820, CD, 1990)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, keyboards, mandolin, harmonica)
Once again the band is writing very little, but this is a huge improvement over Bad Animals; in fact, it may be their most consistent LP since the seventies. It’s a pity they didn’t write more, as some of the self-penned numbers are among the best: the ballads ‘Under The Sky’ and ‘I Love You’ are superb, whilst ‘The Night’ effectively contrasts a rolling bluesy guitar line with some electric power chords. I also like the lengthy intro to the opening ‘Wild Child’, which builds the anticipation nicely, and the hit single ‘All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You’, whose lyrics tell a touching story. A few of the other numbers are rather mediocre, and the album is occasionally afflicted with period production and arrangements; with 13 songs and a running time of nearly 55 minutes it might have benefited from a little judicious editing. A Japanese deluxe edition, beautifully packaged in a velvet slipcase, featured a bonus 3" single compiling three outtakes used elsewhere as B-sides; two of them are self-penned, but they’re nothing special. GRADE: C+.
Heart (USA): Rock The House Live! (Capitol CDP 7 95797 2, CD, 1991)
Rock
Ann Wilson (lead vocals, flute, autoharp), Nancy Wilson (guitar, mandolin, harmonica, backing vocals)
Heart’s first full live album does a good job of capturing their then-current stage set, leaning heavily on Brigade but also including several highlights from earlier in their career. All the material works well on stage, with some lively and impassioned performances. Two songs are new: they had recorded ‘You’re The Voice’ with a view to including it on Brigade but edited it from the final tracklisting, whilst ‘The Way Back Machine’ is nothing more than a short Howard Leese guitar exercise. GRADE: B–.
Heart (USA): Desire Walks On (Capitol C2 0777 7 99627 2 3, CD, 1993)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar)
Reversing the trend of the last few albums, this sees the Wilson sisters writing most of the material, with a few covers interspersed (including a version of Donna Summer’s ‘The Woman In Me’). The result is a solid hard rock album featuring some good, though never great, material. GRADE: C+.
Heart (USA): The Road Home (Capitol CDP 7243 8 30489 2 2, CD, 1995)
Folk/Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, guitar, flute, autoharp), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, mandolin)
In 1995, Heart embarked on an unusual tour, with a semi-unplugged format (electric bass and drums but only acoustic guitars), including John Paul Jones guesting on bass, piano and mandolin, plus a chamber orchestra. With a set combining their greatest hits with a few cover versions, it’s easily the best thing they ever did, avoiding the AOR trappings and unsubtle histrionics of many of their studio recordings. After this tour, Heart saw an extended hiatus whilst the Wilson Sisters concentrated on their other band project, the Lovemongers.

GRADE: B.
Heart (USA): The Road Home (Capitol CDP 72434-77918-9-5 DVD, 2003, recorded 1995)
Folk/Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, guitar, flute, autoharp), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, mandolin)
Released eight years after the event, this was a recorded at a different show during the ‘Road Home’ tour, and consequently features a slightly different tracklisting from the CD. It’s not visually spectacular, but the intention was to create an intimate visual setting, so the show works well on its own terms and the music is frequently stunning. The packaging is pretty basic compared to the CD, but bonus material includes an electronic press kit and alternate versions of ‘Crazy On You’ and the title track from TV shows. GRADE: B.
Heart (USA): Alive in Seattle (BMG Image Entertainment 82876 51074 2, DVD, with booklet, 2002)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, guitar, percussion, flute, autoharp, ukelele), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, mandolin, ukelele)
Returning after nearly a decade’s absence, Heart offer an impassioned and varied set in their hometown. Whether they’re performing stage favourites, covers (inevitably including ‘Battle Of Evermore’ and ‘Rock And Roll’) or four new numbers destined for their aborted 2003 album, they’re on fine form, with a warm and engaging stage presence. The musicianship is impressive throughout, particularly new drummer Ben Smith, and the new songs are excellent, especially ‘Sister Wild Rose’, making it a great shame that studio versions never appeared. As a footnote, the DVD was subsequently issued on Blu-ray. GRADE: B.
Heart (USA): Alive in Seattle (Epic/Legacy E2H 90287, double SACD, 2003)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, guitar, percussion, flute, autoharp, ukelele), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, mandolin, ukelele)
The audio version of the concert is also available in a hi-res format: a hybrid double SACD. This contains the full set, unsurprisingly in excellent audio quality, and confirms it to have been an outstanding show. GRADE: B.
Heart (USA): Jupiter’s Darling (Sovereign Artists 1953-2, CD, 2004)
Folk/Blues/Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals), Nancy Wilson (joint lead vocals, guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, harmonica, mandocello)
Mixing acoustic folk and bluesy hard rock, this sees Heart returning to their original style (particularly resembling Magazine). Unsurprisingly it’s a solid album, with varied and well-crafted arrangements, but there’s nothing here to equal the ambition and scope of the better tracks from Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen or indeed Dog And Butterfly. GRADE: C+.
Heart (USA): Dreamboat Annie Live (Shout 826663-10644, CD, 2007)
Rock
Ann Wilson (lead vocals,  flute), Nancy Wilson (guitar, percussion, harmonica, backing vocals), Debbie Shair (keyboards, percussion, backing vocals)
The idea of performing the whole of Dreamboat Annie live (plus some bonus Led Zeppelin, Who and Pink Floyd covers) was an interesting one. However, Heart had changed significantly in the intervening three decades, and the performances rarely equal the original LP (although I do like the reworking of ‘Sing Child’, with a string sextet replacing the original bonehead guitar riffs). The British version of the disc and the Japanese SHM-CD issued the following year (Eagle GQCP-59093) add two bonus tracks from a different performance: ‘Love Alive’ and ‘Isolation’. GRADE: B–.
Heart (USA): Dreamboat Annie Live (Shout 826663-10605, DVD, with insert, 2007)
Rock
Ann Wilson (lead vocals, flute), Nancy Wilson (guitar, percussion, harmonica, backing vocals), Debbie Shair (keyboards, percussion, backing vocals)
The DVD version of the show works much better than its CD counterpart, thanks to the band’s impressive and warm stage presence. Prefaced by an interesting documentary about their career in the early and mid-seventies, the band (plus string section and backing singers) create a suitably epic sound on both the Dreamboat Annie material and the covers, making for another excellent DVD. The set was reissued on Blu-ray the following year (Concert Hot Spot 66108300). GRADE: B.
Heart (USA): Live (Sound Stage SOUND 002, DVD, with slipcase, 2008)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, guitar, flute), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, mandolin), Debbie Shair (keyboards, tambourine,

backing vocals)
Heart’s fourth live DVD is another winner. It features the usual hits and Zeppelin covers, but also new material and seldom-aired older cuts such as ‘Kick It Out’ and ‘Bebe Le Strange’; the only real downside is the frequent between-songs idents announcing that Sound Stage is sponsored by MasterCard. GRADE: B.
Heart (USA): Red Velvet Car (Eagle IECP-10235, with booklet, poster booklet and obi, CD, Japan, 2010)
Blues/Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, flute), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, mandolin, autoharp)
Slightly better than Jupiter’s Darling, this emphasises the band’s roots in acoustic blues, with quite a bit of dobro guitar. For a modern album, it’s decidedly short (ten songs, including a reworking of a Lovemongers number, in under 38 minutes), though the European CD and US download contained two extra bonus tracks. The most comprehensive version of all was the Japanese, which contained three.

GRADE: C+.
Heart (USA): Night At Sky Church (Eagle Vision ERBRD5071, Blu-ray, with insert, 2010)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, guitar, flute), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, mandolin, autoharp, harmonica), Alison Krauss (occasional vocals, violin), Debbie Shair (keyboards, accordion, percussion, backing vocals)
This live DVD is slightly different from other Heart live DVDs for two reasons. First, there’s a fair smattering of Red Velvet Car material among the expected greatest hits, and secondly guests Ben Mink and Alison Krauss perform here and there; the latter sings ‘These Dreams’ and duets with Ann Wilson on her own ‘Your Long Journey’. In addition to the main show, there are two ‘bonus songs’, ‘Back To Avalon’ and ‘Kick It Out’. These appear to be taken from the same show, making one wonder why they didn’t simply include the full set, especially as the total running time is a less than generous 88 minutes. GRADE: B.
Heart (USA): Fanatic (Legacy 88725481542, CD, 2012)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, flute), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, mandolin)
I always felt that the numerous highly positive reviews for Jupiter’s Darling and Red Velvet Car were a touch overblown, as both albums were good rather than great. In contrast, much of Fanatic is great rather than good, with the opening title track being among the best heavy rockers the Wilson sisters have ever written. Their new writing partnership with guitarist and producer Ben Mink seems to have revitalised the sisters, and the only thing stopping this from equalling their seventies work is the lack of any progressive elements. GRADE: C+.
Heart (USA): Fanatic Live From Caesars Coliseum (Frontiers FR CDVD 635, DVD plus CD, with digipak and booklet, Italy, 2014)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, guitar, flute), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, mandolin), Debbie Shair (keyboards, percussion, backing vocals)
Recorded shortly before the release of the Fanatic album, this excellent live show mixes cuts from that LP with a selection of old favourites. The decision to use a string quartet on most songs was an inspired one, and as usual the band’s material works better on stage than on record. Although all their live DVDs are excellent, this package may be the best of them. GRADE: B.

Heart & Friends (USA): Home For The Holidays (Frontiers FR CDVD 668, CD plus DVD, with digipak and booklet, 2014)
Folk/Rock/MOR
Ann Wilson (joint lead vocals), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, mandolin), Shawn Colvin (occasional vocals, guitar), Debbie Shair (keyboards, percussion, backing vocals)
This Heart live show is unique. Most significantly, it sees them concentrating on their Christmas repertoire, with the only ‘greatest hits’ being ‘Barracuda’ and ‘Even It Up’ towards the end. It also has a more theatrical feel than their usual concerts, with a couple of dancers and even Nancy Wilson reciting a poem. Finally, they bring on an array of big-name guests, including Shawn Colvin, Richard Marx and Sammy Hagar plus a full-blown gospel choir. The results are mildly interesting, but I’ve never particularly wanted to see Heart perform a procession of Christmas ballads, and it’s notable that the show really comes alive during ‘Barracuda’ and their cover of ‘Stairway To Heaven’. GRADE: C+.

Heart (USA): Beautiful Broken (Concord CRE00107, CD, 2016)
Rock/Metal
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, flute, autoharp), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, handclaps, autoharp, marxophone)
Half of Heart’s final album – unless the estranged Wilson sisters reconcile – consists of re-recordings of material from earlier in their career. To give them credit, they didn’t pick the obvious songs and didn’t remake them note-for-note (or conversely, subject them to grotesque modern arrangements). The new songs, pastiching various facets of Led Zeppelin (of course!) are pretty solid too, adding up to a damn good album. However, it isn’t a damn great album of the quality of Dreamboat Annie and Little Queen, and it’s unlikely they’ll have another shot at it. GRADE: C+.

Heart (USA): Live In Atlantic City (EAR Music 0212801EMU, Blu-ray plus CD, with gatefold minisleeve and booklet, Germany, 2018)
Rock/Metal
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, guitar, flute), Gretchen Wilson (occasional vocals), Carrie Underwood (occasional vocals), Nancy Wilson (guitar, backing vocals), Debbie Shair (keyboards, tambourine)
The wrinkle with this particular Heart live set is that superstar guests join them in a celebration of their music, including Alice In Chains, Dave Navarro, Gretchen Wilson, Rufus Wainwright and Carrie Underwood. I find this aspect of the show distracting (especially the Alice In Chains song, on which Ann Wilson doesn’t even sing lead) and would have preferred a straight Heart gig. I’d also have preferred the complete unedited set, as the between-songs announcements have clearly been removed, reducing any sense of live atmosphere. Without these minor irritations, I would have rated this a B as the band is on fire, the staging and filming are superb, and the set is crowd-pleasing in the extreme. Oddly, the accompanying CD adds a bonus (Alice In Chains) track whilst the Blu-ray adds a backstage interview. GRADE: B–.
Heart (USA): Live On Air (Southworld Recordings SW006CD, CD, with slipcase, 2005, recorded 1976?)
Rock/Progressive
Ann Wilson (lead vocals, flute), Nancy Wilson (guitar, backing vocals)
This grey market CD, capturing the soundtrack to the DVD included in Strange Euphoria, doesn’t have fantastic sound quality, though it features a perfectly acceptable mono recording. The music, however, is stunning throughout. Opening with a superb untitled instrumental, the set takes in the highlights of the Dreamboat Annie and Magazine albums, with the band in fine form throughout. More than anything, this illustrates how varied and how adventurous early Heart could be, and how much subtlety they lost as they moved in a mainstream stadium-rock direction. GRADE: B.
Heart (USA): High Times And Other Delights (Smokin’ SMCD919, CD, with slipcase, 2013, recorded 1978)
Rock
Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson
Taken from a 1978 radio broadcast, this is an excellent live set with good mono sound quality. In fact, the only downside is the crowd being mixed strangely high between the songs. Another (also grey market, I assume) version exists entitled Live In Pittsburgh 1978; this is a double CD featuring the entire concert (‘Cook With Fire’, ‘Without You’ and the band introductions are omitted here) but reputedly with much inferior sound quality. GRADE: B.

Heart (USA): Strange Night (FMIC FMIC020, double CD, with gatefold minisleeve, 2015, recorded 1980)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, guitar, violin, flute, autoharp), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar, synthesiser, mandolin, harmonica)
This set, taken from a live radio broadcast, has excellent sound quality and a set list encompassing almost all the Bebe Le Strange album. I could have done without the cover versions that make up the encores (‘Rock And Roll’, ‘I’m Down/Long Tall Sally’ and ‘Unchained Melody’) but most of the rest is excellent. As an added bonus, this set offers quite a number of songs that are unavailable on other live albums, including a fine version of Bebe’s highpoint ‘Down On Me’. GRADE: B.

Heart (USA): In Concert (Vox Humana, CD, 2020, recorded 1983)
Rock
Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson
This radio broadcast from the Passionworks tour features an attractive tracklisting, but the renditions aren’t always the best (notably a perfunctory and truncated ‘Magic Man’). However, they bring real energy and passion to ‘How Can I Refuse?’ and overall this is a decent, if ultimately unremarkable, addition to their live canon. GRADE: B–.

Heart (USA): Live In Portland ’89 (Air Tunes ACCD7009, CD, 2015, recorded 1989)
Rock/Metal
Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson
This archive release captures the band at its most artistically fallow point, in between Bad Animals and Brigade. They were still a great live act, and these energetic versions of eighties numbers make for a dynamic and satisfying set. GRADE: B–.

Heart (USA): Live In Las Vegas 1995 (Live Wire Productions LW2032, CD, UK, 2016, recorded 1995)
Rock
Ann Wilson (principal vocals, guitar), Nancy Wilson (occasional vocals, guitar)
Taken from a radio broadcast, this live album has strong though not quite perfect sound quality. The set list is interesting, with a lot of unusual choices – ‘Roll With It’, ‘Still Got The Blues’, ‘River Deep Mountain High’, ‘What Is And What Should Never Be’, ‘Tall, Dark, Handsome Stranger’ and an unplugged ‘All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You’ with tweaked lyrics. Whllst this isn’t the very best live Heart I’ve heard, it’s a solid addition to their catalogue and, given the unusual track listing, more worthy than many. GRADE: B–.
Heart (USA): Strange Euphoria (Epic/Legacy 88691937362, quadruple CD plus DVD, with gatefold sleeve, minisleeve, booklet, inserts and slipcase, 2010, recorded 1967-2010)
Folk/Rock
Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Sue Ennis, Debbie Shair
This career-spanning boxed set traces the history of Heart from Ann Wilson’s late sixties career with the Daybreaks through to the Lovemongers, solo work and the Red Velvet Car LP. Along the way, it takes in numerous demos, unreleased songs and live recordings; as with most releases of this type, some of the exclusive material is fascinating whilst other cuts clearly remained in the vaults because they were mediocre or half-baked. At times, the coverage is sketchy too: annoyingly, only one out of four Daybreaks songs appears, whilst several of the band’s biggest hits (not to mention numerous B-sides and solo singles) are omitted. The result is an adequate, rather than great, overview of the band, and the set could have been fleshed out considerably with a fourth CD. That said, fans of the acoustic side of the band’s work will love this, as there’s plenty of demo and live material with simple guitar backing. The DVD, taken from an early 1976 TV special, is fantastic and worth the price of admission alone, whilst early copies purchased from Amazon added a bonus EP Zeppish featuring interpretations of five Led Zeppelin numbers. GRADE: B–.
See also Lovemongers, Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson

Heart Of Gold Band (USA): The Heart Of Gold Band (Relix RRLP 2020, 1986, recorded 1980)
Rock
Donna Godchaux (principal vocals), Greta Rose (backing vocals)
Running for just under 30 minutes, this short album features further recordings from Keith and Donna Godchaux’s short-lived post-Grateful Dead band (previously known as the Ghosts). Like their earlier archive release under that name, this is solid barroom rock with a few Grateful Dead touches. Both albums were combined as the 1989 CD Double Dose (Relix RRCD 2020), whilst all five cuts from this disc resurfaced on 1998’s The Heart Of Gold Band (Grateful Dead Productions GDCD 4060) along with some Ghosts material and a couple of previously unreleased cuts. GRADE: C+.
Heart Of Gold Band (USA): At The Table (Heart Of Gold 829757-6030-2, HDCD, 2004)
Rock
Donna Godchaux (joint lead vocals)
Recorded with an almost entirely different line-up, this was basically a family venture, with the creative principals being Donna herself, brother-in-law Brian, son Zion and husband David Mackay. Musically, it’s business as usual and typical of all Godchaux’s post-Grateful Dead projects with its undemanding soft rock grooves. GRADE: C+.
See also Donna Jean, Jerry Garcia Band, Ghosts, Grateful Dead, Keith & Donna

Heat (USA): Still Waiting (MCA MCA-5182, 1981)
Funk/Soul/Rock
Jean Marie Arnold (joint lead vocals)
From the band name and cover, I expected this to be some sort of glossy AOR with hair metal leanings, but it’s actually slick, polished jazz/funk. To put it mildly, this isn’t my favourite genre and this isn’t a particularly good example of the style, though the closing six-minute instrumental is fairly decent. They also issued a self-titled album the previous year (MCA-3225) that I’ve been lucky enough not to hear. GRADE: D.

Heathen Shame (USA): Heathen Shame (Twisted Village TW-1055, 2002)
Garage/Psychedelic/Avant-Garde
Kate Biggar (guitar, synthesiser)
This is decidedly the strangest of Crystalized Movements’ many offshoots, offering purely improvised music that doesn’t fall comfortably into any category. Some people might find it psychedelic and others might align it to free-jazz; only the closing cut has any rock elements and strongly recalls their earlier work. GRADE: C+.
Heathen Shame (USA): Live In Chicago July 2002 (Twisted Village, CDR, 2003)
Garage/Psychedelic/Avant-Garde
Kate Biggar
Limited to just 25 numbered copies, this CD features a 30-minute improvisation recorded live. It’s a slight step up from most of their studio set, being rather interesting (though still very odd and minimalistic). GRADE: C+.
Heathen Shame (USA): Speed The Parting Guest (Twisted Village TW-1060, CD, 2005)
Garage/Psychedelic/Avant-Garde
Kate Biggar (guitar)
Although this has three separate tracks (the title cut, ‘Iron Turtleneck’ and ‘The So-Called “Arts”’, it’s basically 46 minutes of feedback with only the latter number having much in the way of rock elements. It’s an interesting and uncompromising set, but some people will find it akin to aural torture. GRADE: C+.
Heathen Shame (USA): Anal Dropout (Twisted Village, CDR, 2005)
Garage/Psychedelic/Avant-Garde
Kate Biggar
Another 25 copies limited edition, this consists of a single improvisation lasting for 21½ minutes. It’s certainly one of their better pieces, building from spacy, trippy minimalism into a maelstrom of feedback and effects. GRADE: C+.
See also BORB, Crystalized Movements, Magic Hour, Major Stars, Various ‘Deep Funnels Of Entry – A Twisted Village Compilation’, Various ‘Marvelous Sound Forms’, Vermonster, Kate Village & Wayne Rogers, Wormdoom

Heatwave (Italy): Inside Me, Out Of Time (Mellow MMP 375, CD, 1999)
Folk/Rock
Paola Buscaglia (principal vocals)
Although appearing on a label normally associated with progressive rock, this duo of a female singer and a male guitarist/songwriter actually offer folky singer/songwriter music. Neither the singing nor the writing is notably inspired, so whilst this is perfectly pleasant it’s not a particularly impressive example of its style. GRADE: C.
Heatwave Drum (Italy): Following The Traced Line (Mellow MMP 525, CD, 2012)
Rock/Progressive
Liusea Cumpenici (joint lead vocals)
Returning after a thirteen-year absence with two new collaborators and a different set of guests, the band’s mainstay Massimo Mazzeo offers a much more satisfying second album. Mazzeo plays a wider range of instruments this time around, and the feel of the music is much closer to rock and prog, with several solid instrumentals amid the songs. When all is said and done, this is still rather average neoprogressive, but Liusea Cumpenici has an excellent voice and there is some solid material on offer. GRADE: C+.

Heaven & Earth (USA): Refuge (Ovation OVQD 1428, with inner, 1973)
Folk/Rock
Jo D Andrews (joint lead vocals), Pat Gefell (joint lead vocals, guitar)
The sole album by this talented duo of singer/songwriters has one foot in the mid-sixties folk camp (as the quaint and delicate string arrangements confirm) and the other in slightly mystical seventies folk/rock. With a few nicely trippy moments and some well-judged rock edges, it’s a lovely record that should appeal to fans of Mellow Candle, Sandy Denny, et al. As a footnote, the American release was quadraphonic, and it was also issued in the UK (as London SHO 8448). GRADE: B–.GRADE: B–.

Heavenly Hopes (UK): O Be Ready (Pilgrim Hope HOPE 1, 1970)
Pop/Garage/Gospel
Jean Williams (joint lead vocals), Olive Roach (joint lead vocals), Myra Williams (joint lead vocals)
I certainly wasn’t ready for the nails-down-a-blackboard vocals on the opening title track, which sounded like Joanna Newsom channelling Annisette Hansen; the results are decidedly more hellish than heavenly. That same singer appears on a couple of cuts elsewhere, and is very much an acquired taste, but she’s not the only vocalist and she certainly lends some distinction to the band’s sound, which is a curious mix of gospel, garage, pop and Americana. Whilst it’s less quirky, this reminds of the Joyful Sound album, and is quite intriguing (and very different from the folk-based LP I expected). GRADE: C+.

Heavy Balloon (USA): 32,000 Pound (Elephant V EVS 104, 1970)
Blues/Rock/Psychedelic
Jenny Dean, Lori, Rosetta Skydragon
This strange and interesting album offers various styles of blues/rock – from near-heavy metal to acoustic stuff – all played in a loose, amateurish fashion, suggesting that the band were heavily stoned. Tracks sometimes cut from one to another almost at random, and include a near-whispered ‘Sixteen Tons’ and a peculiar medley of pieces from Sergeant Pepper drenched in electronic effects. ‘Lead Zeppalin’ (sic) gives a clue as to one of their influences, and bears a passing resemblance to the similarly-named band, although the piece has more of a psychedelic jamming feel. Other highlights include the wild, heavy opener ‘Barnyard Blues’, the similarly frenetic ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’ and the demented seven-minute closer ‘Action’. GRADE: C+.
See also Love Is A Heart-On

Heavy Feather (Sweden): Débris And Rubble (The Sign CRC015, CD, with digipak, 2019)

Blues/Rock

Lisa Lystam (lead vocals, harmonica)

Beautifully recorded and energetically played, this heavy blues/rock album has plenty of psychedelic touches and lots of energy. For sure, it would have been improved immeasurably had they really cut loose and jammed, but this is still a fine example of authentically seventies-sounding retro-rock. GRADE: C+.

Heavy Feather (Sweden): Mountain Of Sugar (The Sign CRC023, CD, with digipak, 2021)

Blues/Rock

Lisa Lystam (principals vocals, harmonica)

Like their debut, this is solid blues/rock and seventies-styled hard rock – gritty, authentic, lean and energetic. Also like their debut, it doesn’t quite make the leap from good to great – and once again it’s all quite restrained and song-based, which clearly isn’t a coincidence.

GRADE: C+.

Heavy Temple (USA): Heavy Temple (Ván VÁN 117, CD, with digipak, Holland, 2014)
Progressive/Psychedelic/Metal
Elyse Mitchell (lead vocals, bass, cello)
This was widely billed as doom metal, but its three long tracks (totalling just under half an hour) are basically extended jams with psychedelic and gothic edges and the metal element just one of a number of influences. Whilst this is a rather slight debut, there is some excellent music here, bolstered by a superb recording, hinting at greater things to come. GRADE: B–.
Heavy Temple (USA): Chassit (Ván VÁN222, CD, with digipak, Holland, 2017)
Progressive/Psychedelic/Metal
Elyse Mitchell (lead vocals, bass, cello)
It all comes together here for Heavy Temple: the music here is staggeringly heavy and awesomely powerful. Sure, it’s another EP that doesn’t top the thirty-minute mark, and sure, they’re just jams rather than structured compositions, but when the music is this great, who cares? GRADE: B.