After getting into Heart's eponymous breakthrough album long ago, I decided to go back in time and pick up their early stuff, and was it a revelation! A different sound, more pure rock and blues,... were these really the same women who did the raging "If Looks Could Kill"?
A fiery bluesy guitar opens on one of their all-time classics. "Magic Man" is about a girl who's spellbound with a man of her dreams, to the chagrin of her mother. That pulsing bass keeping rhythm works to advantage on this bluesy rock number. Ann and Nancy's choir-like vocals highlight the second part of the song, after the pause. Then that pulsing guitar that rises until Ann starts singing the chorus again: "But try to understand/Try to understand/Try try try to understand/I'm a magic man." Aw yeah!
Then comes version 1 of 3 of the title track, this one the short Fantasy Child version, which opens with ocean waves, a gentle acoustic guitar, and Ann proving she can do a quiet ballad as well as rock out.
This then segues into their second great single, which should've risen higher than the Top 40--"Crazy On You." It dwells on the safety of having one's partner throughout the madness of a chaos and trouble-torn world, "bombs and the devils", and personal "the kids keep coming." It's quicker than "Magic Man" and between the two, I favour this tune. It is alternately poignant, "Wild man's world is crying in pain/What you gonna do when everyone is insane/So afraid of wanting, so afraid of you/What you gonna do....?" and beautifully lyrical at the same time: "My love is the evening breeze touching your skin/The gentle sweet singing of leaves in the wind/The whisper that calls, after you in the night/And kisses your ear in the early light" and "I was a willow last night in my dream/I bent down over a clear running stream/I sang you the song that I heard up above/And you keep me alive with your sweet, flowing love." Wonderful stuff!
For the most part, "Soul Of The Sea" is another lush guitar ballad with string arrangements about casting one's sorrowful past after meeting that someone. "Time, time, time, time/Never ask what's become of us/Just dedicate your sorrow/Here and now/To the soul of the sea/And me." The bridge then turns into the disillusioning daily drudgery a female worker has to deal with, complete with typewriter keys clacking in one section. After Ann belts out "No silence", the tempo returns to the lush romantic tempo of before.
Then comes the title track, whose tempo is a light canter, but it's at least longer than its predecessor version.
"White Lightning & Wine" is another mid-paced bluesy-rock number and is about the effects the title drink has on a woman's perception of a bar pickup--a variation on someone not gifted in the looks department looking pretty after a few too many. A woman's gonna have to drink a gallon of that stuff before she takes a shine to me, I'll tell you.
Acoustic ballad time with "(Love Me Like Music) I'll Be Your Song" and seeing as Ann's a singer/musician, comparing her to a song is appropriate. Ann and Nancy sing together in the second verse, and the effects are angelic. Their harmonies and the following lyric really prove the Wilsons to be the bad angels of rock ballads.
The rocker "Sing Child" sounds a lot like early Zeppelin, and some of Ann's vocal phrasings resemble Robert Plant's.
Sweet ballad time with "How Deep It Goes," and the piano and violin make this one of my favourites. The flute solo after the second verse is a sweet touch. The following line makes me wonder if the whole thing is a reference to Vietnam: "If I could leave anymore, even though there's a scar/Still fresh from the war, don't think about it no more/Letting new love flow."
The reprise version of the title track is slow in the same vein as the Fantasy Child version, and the piano makes this nicer, but after the flute solo, it goes into lush strings, highlighted by kettle drums. The imagery of the opening lyrics is stunning: "Heading out this morning into the sun/Riding on the diamond waves, little darlin' one." and the portrait of a dreamer is aptly put in the line, "Going down the city sidewalk alone in the crowd/No one knows the lonely one whose head's in the clouds." Alone in the crowd, lonely one, head in the clouds... oh, that's me!
A brilliant debut and one of the best albums of the 1970's.
Heart's first album "Dreamboat Annie" is the best of their original studio albums. The songs "Magic Man," and "Crazy on You" were the two big hits, and two of the best of their career. But there are other fine songs among the rest, particularly the title track (which appears in three different versions) the pretty ballad "I'll Be Your Song," "Soul of the Sea" and "How Deep it Goes." What really places this album above most of the Heart catalog is the freshness of the songwriting. The band would never again produce a set of material as consistent or original as this one.
Overall, I would recommend "Dreamboat Annie" as the first Heart purchase for anyone interested in the band. Outside of their various greatest hits packages, it is THE one album to own.
on July 5, 2009
This Cd is a classic for those of us that were there when it first hit the record stores. I remember un boxing it as a clerk for the Wherehouse Records. It sold like hotcakes. Great album by a great new band. I also liked the fact that it was on an indapendent record lable "Mushroom Records"
It would have been nice if they could have added that touch to this Cd release. I would rate this 10 on my scale 1-10
Again the whole album is awesome and only showed the pure power of a band led by the sisters Wilson.
When Dreamboat Annie showed up on the scene there weren't many truly great female rockers out there. Then the Wilson Sisters showed up and turned things around.
I remember the first time I heard 'Magic Man'! Wow! There was nothing else like it... and still isn't. Every last bit of their possible talents were showcased on this album in a story type form, gliding from one song to the next and keeping the Dreamboat Annie theme going throughout.
I still listen to this CD a lot.. and still love it. It really speaks to what rock and roll is all about. Kudos to the girls for their timeless creation!
on July 19, 2009
For me this album is more than just a great debut album. Heart, in my opinion, were probably the last great rock band to emerge before the rise of disco, new wave, MOR, and punk, and this album shows them at their best. Heart certainly were more than just the "arena rock" brand that they were unfortunately lumped into, and they certainly were more than just Ann & Nancy Wilson and just a bunch of guys, which, I'm sorry to say, is what Heart has been ever since 1980; the sound of Heart indeed going the way of arena rock, hair metal, and adult contemporary.
The original lineup; Ann Wilson - the lead singer extraordinare and flute player, Nancy Wilson on rhythm and acoustic guitars, Roger Fisher on lead guitar, Steve Fossen on bass, the multi-talented Howard Leese on second lead guitar, keyboards, and string arrangements, and Mike DeRosier on drums; created a sound that for Heart and indeed for the Dreamboat Annie album, seemed to be the culmination of rock and roll. Equal parts the harsh sounds put forth by Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Who, and Black Sabbath; the folk sensibilities of Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, and Joan Baez; the stunning command of pop harmony and arrangement in the great tradition of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Crosby Stills Nash & Young, and the downright innovation of progressive rock bands like Yes, The Moody Blues, Genesis, & Jethro Tull. Heart's sound seemed to synthesize all of the elements, yet come out totally original.
As for Dreamboat Annie, this is definitely their best album. The next 3 albums done by the original lineup all have their moments of sheer brilliance ("Barracuda", "Mistral Wind", "Heartless", "Love Alive"... just to name such moments...), yet they all lack the cohesiveness of Dreamboat Annie. Every single song on this album is pure genius, even the hits ("Magic Man", "Crazy On You", and the title track) are great songs, and in no way are diminutive to the deeper cuts or the flow of the album, like so many hit songs are to their parent albums.
For me, this album never gets old, because each time I listen to it, I find new layers of meaning or hear details in the recording that I never picked up on before, which is how a great album should be. I dare any band out there today, to actually try and accomplish something like that, and indeed it will be an arduous task, because of the lack of sonic and lyrical detail that is running rampant in music today.
Basically, my point is... Great music is great music. I bet it was certainly a shock to see a band fronted by 2 extremely talented sisters back in the day, but to me it doesn't seem like gender factors much into the music. It certainly wasn't like Heart were saying, "Look at us, we're girls playing rock!!!" as much as some other "girl bands" who followed have indeed needed to point out to us, time and time again. If anything, Heart were practically gender-neutral, because the 4 men of the group were just as responsible for the sound of this great record, as much as the 2 women on the front cover were.
on March 8, 2016
This my husband bought, he is the music lover in our family and even though this was an older set of songs, they were from his favorites when he was younger. It came in good shape, no problems.
on May 10, 2006
Heart's classic debut album Dreamboat Annie was released in April of 1976(30 years ago).
Prior to Heart coming along, women were pushed to the background in rock and roll but there were some noted exceptions being Janis Joplin, Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. Then Heart, which was fronted by The Wilson sisters (lead singer Ann and her guitar-slinger sister Nancy), put women into the forefront in rock and roll.
The Dreamboat Annie album introduced the world to a band which was previously known as White Heart until Seattle born lead singer Ann Wilson joined up with guitarists Roger Fisher and Howard Leese and bass player Steve Fossen. They had several drummers until settling on drummer Michael DeRosier and then subsequently Ann's sister guitarist Nancy Wilson rounded up the lineup after joining in 1974 (Ann and Nancy would write all of Heart's songs in the early years pretty much).
The group did well in Seattle and Canada but American record labels would not touch the band as US labels were more into disco so Heart signed with a small Canadian label Mushroom Records and released its debut. Was the album a masterpiece or was it lame, read on.
The album opens up with the rocker "Magic Man" which was about a girl who's spellbound with a man of her dreams, to the chagrin of her mother (turns out Ann Wilson wrote these lyrics about her own experience). Ann's vocals were amazing on this track and the acoustic work of Nancy was amazing and Roger Fisher's guitar work was unbelievable. Next is the first of three versions of the album's title track which was the short "Fantasy Child" version, which opens with ocean waves, Nancy's gentle acoustic guitar and Ann proving she can sing ballads as well as rocking out. This then segues into Nancy's classic acoustic guitar intro which segued into the rocker "Crazy On You". This rocker was inspired somewhat by The Moody Blues classic The Answer with its fast acoustic riff and then counter-balanced with the Jimmy Page-ish guitar fills from Roger. Next is the album's epic "Soul Of The Sea" which is another great track. It reminds me of Led Zeppelin's Rain Song in some ways and Ann's vocals here showed she could sing, croon and scream (she has the greatest female voice ever to come out of rock and roll). The first half concluded with the title track, which is a nice relaxing number and also had a bit of banjo in it but still a great song.
The great rocker "White Lightning and Wine" kicks the second half of the album off and is a superb song. Next is another ballad "(Love Me Like Music) I'll Be Your Song" and Ann and Nancy sing the track superbly and is one of Heart's best ballads. The rocker "Sing Child" is next and sounds a lot like Led Zeppelin and some of Ann's vocal phrasings resemble Robert Plant's and Ann does a superb flute solo here (and we thought Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson and Genesis' Peter Gabriel were the only rock musicians to use flute) and then Roger does a killer solo which just rocked. Michael DeRosier's drum fill in the song's fade-out was also excellent. "How Deep It Goes" is next and is another exquisite ballad which is a sweet song. The album closes with the reprise version of the album's title track and is slow in the same vein as the Fantasy Child version but a great version nevertheless. Then we have a flute solo then the band stops and an orchestra with tympani come in and help finish the song before Nancy's guitar comes in and Ann sings the bridge and ending lines with ocean breeze floating by.
Dreamboat Annie today still sounds fresh and was the album that broke Heart out nationwide and peaked at #4 on the Billboard album charts and sold over 2 million copies in the 1970s alone (not bad).
The album was re-released in 1986 by Capitol Records in the US to cash in on the success of the band's 1985 self-titled comeback album and is the only version available although Capitol did re-issue a remastered version in 1999 with a mini-LP sleeve.
Dreamboat Annie is still a classic and has aged well and doesn't sound like a 30 year old record. If you want a great intro to Heart, start with Dreamboat Annie and then buy all of their 1970s efforts.
on November 22, 2014
What a cool item to add to my collection! To be honest, I have no idea what a 180 gram Audiophile record is; however, I didn't have one, and now I do! I'll look it up sometime. This arrived in fantastic condition, I was super stoked when I opened package. Many thanks to the seller, who I will be purchasing more items from. If this is any indication of his inventory, I would highly recommend this seller, and I'm incredibly picky, and don't hesitate to speak out if I'm not a happy customer. This seller made me incredibly happy!
on February 7, 2007
Dreamboat Annie, Seattle band Heart's debut album, is definately a great addition to the collection of any classic rock fan- or really anyone who enjoys good music played with feeling by talented musicians. It's about 30 years old, but still sounds great- at turns soulful, groovy, folky, and melodic, but always interesting.
It kicks off with radio favorite "Magic Man", a tale of lost innocence made very distinctive by it's driving rhythm and almost psychadelic passages; followed by "Dreamboat Annie (Fantasy Child)", the first of three "Dreamboat Annie"s- this one being very folky and mellow, complete with the sound of ocean shore.
Next is "Crazy On You", an epic song about feelings of anxiety about the future, which, according to the sisters Wilson, was actually written while coming down off mushrooms. This is probably my favorite song on here- I love the acoustic guitar intro, and then that cool lead guitar riff which repeats throughout the song (you know which one I mean). This is another song which received a lot of radio play.
"Soul of the Sea" is another ocean song, with beach sounds, some classical strings, and an interlude in the middle somewhat reminicent of the Beatles' "Day in the Life" off Sgt. Pepper's. This is followed by the second "Dreamboat Annie"- like the first, but this time the whole band is in on it. Like the rest of the album, this one is full of great vocal harmonies.
"White Lightning & Wine" is a straightforward bluesy rocker about having a good time, followed by folky love ballad "(Love Me Like Music) I'll Be Your Song". "Sign Child" sounds almost out of place on here at first, being sandwiched between two ballads, but is still pretty decent. Out of all the songs here, it sounds the most blatently Zeppelin-like. Next is another ballad, "How Deep It Goes", this one with piano and strings. The album ends with the final "Dreamboat Annie"; this one with piano, strings, flute- and then a return to the acoustic guitar, and the ocean. Pretty cool.
There is almost a dreamlike quality running through the album, probably owing to the time period in which it was written, and some "psychadelic" influences on the band while they were writing it, methinks. If you're a fan of classic rock you should check this one out. I also recomemend it for any young fans of Led Zeppelin; Heart has sometimes been referred to as "Led Zeppelin's little sister", and not without reason- there is definately an influence. In any case, if you're looking for something on the mellow side, check out this rock classic from the 70s.
on November 27, 2015
Hands down this first LP by Seattle area band Heart is their best!! Great place to start if you are not familiar with their music (which would mean you live under a rock somewhere!) and much better than their later 80s efforts (though nowhere near as commercial) This first album was intended to be consumed from start to finish, like a great concept album. Plus, Ann Wilson is in possession of one of the worlds finest voices for vocal driven rock and roll!! Get this one!!