Led by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, Heart struck a crucial blow for feminisim in the male-dominated world of '70s rock. They could switch from powerful, Zeppelin-like grandeur to gorgeous acoustic ballads in the blink of an eye and turned out a stream of radio staples. By the '80s, they were churning out slick pop, but the sisters re-emerged in the '90s in stripped-down acoustic duo format as the Lovemongers.
After futzing around Seattle and Vancouver for a few years, Heart finally secured a record deal in 1976. It wasn't with Epic or Capitol (which they would later sign with), but with a tiny Canadian label called Mushroom. The resulting album, Dreamboat Annie, was an impressive hard rock debut. "Crazy on You," which spotlighted the piercing vocals of singer Ann Wilson and the chunky guitar bluster of her sister Nancy, entered the top 40, and the more mystical "Magic Man" climbed to No. 9. Dreamboat Annie also exposed a more vulnerable side of the band: the title track, for example, was an easy listening, harmony-laden folk song replete with banjo plucks. --Jon Wiederhorn
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