Ten Reasons Why Heart is Badass

Courtesy randee st. nicholas / peters management

Ten Reasons Why Heart is Badass
By Jaime Lees
Tue., Jul. 3 2012

Heart is playing at 8 p.m. on July 4 at Fair St. Louis. In celebration of this free event, we’ve made you a short list of reasons why Heart is badass. Enjoy.

01. Heart is run by badass bitches.
At the core of Heart is two sisters: Ann and Nancy Wilson. So let’s just get this out of the way: They are women. No, that shouldn’t matter. And it doesn’t matter as much now as it did in the ’70s when Heart was pretty much the only major band run by women with all of the decisions being made by women, but let’s acknowledge it. They are each the H.B.I.C. And they are talented as fuck. But please don’t call them women who rock. Barf. They just rock, okay? And they’ve been doing it for almost 40 years, so fuck you if you don’t think that broads are badass.

02. Heart has a badass logo.
Well, it does.

03. Heart is badass, even when it’s bad.
Let’s talk about “These Dreams” for a minute. Great tune, right? But the lyrics… yikes.

“Is it cloak n dagger / could it be spring or fall
I walk without a cut / through a stained glass wall
Weaker in my eyesight / the candle in my grip
And words that have no form / are falling from my lips”

I mean, what kind of fairy wonderland Renaissance Faire shit is that? But still, here we are singing along. Ah, fuck it. Don’t fight it. That songs rules. I’ll search for the time on a watch with no hands all damn night.

04. Heart has produced badass shit by overcoming some actual shit.
There were always problems about in Heart Land. Ann had a well-publicized weight problem and she was a stutterer. (This was cured by her singing, apparently.) And those in the know say that Nancy was a turbo slut who seemed to love the drama. (She once dumped her guitarist and then started banging her drummer, just like Fleetwood Mac’s resident ho, Stevie Nicks.) And both Wilsons endured painful rumors of incest and lesbianism. Still, all of these trials only made them stronger. These problems worked their way into their songs and then those songs made the ladies rich and famous. Booya.

05. Heart tells it like it is, and that’s badass.
Basically, if you fucked with the ladies, they were gonna call you out. In public. So you broke a Wilson girl’s heart? Yeah, they are going to to make sure that everybody knows. They’re gonna put your shit on Front Street. Hard. Every single person with a radio is going to know exactly what a dirty cheater / liar / dickhead you are. And this legacy lives on: Ann Wilson singing “If Looks Could Kill” is just a precursor to Taylor Swift writing “Dear John” about John Mayer. Date any one of these ladies and eventually you will hear about your mistakes in song form. Your grandchildren will hear it, too. So tread lightly, shady bastards.

06. Heart is a badass product.
Heart has had shit tons of success. It just released a box set and its 14th studio album, Fanatic, is coming out this October. They’ve been in the Top 40 twenty times and their shows are always selling out. All together, they’ve sold more than 30 million albums. What have you done lately?

07. Heart has mastered badass trick endings.
This is a songwriting skill rarely done well, and even then it’s usually only implemented in country songs. If you’ve ever really listened to the lyrics of “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You” then you know what I’m talking about. It’s not a song just about bumpin’ uglies, it’s a deeper story filled with a predicable story line and then – bam! – everything changes. Heart didn’t compose this song, but Ann’s delivery is what makes it believable. That shit will give you the chills like whoa.

08. Heart is a badass family business.
In this band it is always family first. And honey, there is nothing more important than your sister. The Wilson girls grew up as military kids and they apply that same brand of strength and adaptability to their careers. They share the title of co-songwriter and they always seem to look out for each other. Family businesses are hard as fuck, but the Wilsons make it look easy, even after all of these years.

09. Heart still puts on a badass live show.
Straight up: Ann can still sing and Nancy can still play the shit outta that guitar. Decades of hard work has only served to make them even better. Their band is populated with world-class musicians and it is absolutely dumbfounding to witness a full concert where you get to experience just how many hits they’ve produced. And the cover songs they do are executed with great mastery. Ann’s version of “Unchained Melody” will ruin all other versions of the song for you forever, it’s that freakin’ good.

10. Heart wrote some of the most badass songs ever.
I mean, can I get a witness?