This is "The Big 10 - The Essential Tracks", in which we take a closer look at particular artist's or band's back catalogue, and choose the 10 finest moments. These are our subjective choices, so if you want to ask how on earth we could leave off such and such song from the list, you can... and the answer is... because we could.

  HEART - folk-rock/pop vs. Led Zeppelin band of the seventies and that's including big acoustic guitars, tambourines, and flower-power image. Thank God? (and the Holy Church of AOR) for the eighties and the remarkable rebirth of the band which transformed the Wilson sisters' into glossy Goddesses' of powerful Arena Rock and global success. There's definitely a case of two sides of the Heart.. ehh, coin, and it has every element of what's so great about your traditional band story of love vs. hate. If that's not enough drama, they also have a song (Barracuda) about record-industry sexism. Their first record label (Mushroom Records) as a publicity stunt released a made-up story of an incestuous affair involving Ann and her sister Nancy!? What the fudge? Gee, the 70's...

Many of the old fans hated the sell-out version of the band and AOR-ish albums such as their all-time, best selling, self-titled 1985 release, Heart's only album to top the US Billboard 200 to date, and was eventually certified quintuple platinum. Not to mention the uber glossy 'Bad Animals' (1987) and 'Brigade' (1990). On the other hand, the MTV generation simply couldn't get enough of the Sis' and the big spending videos which turned out to be a commercial masterstroke. Big Hair! Big Hits! Big Shoulder Pads! Big Money!

Going back to the beginning of the 70's, The Wilson sisters' lived in Seattle, Washington, when Ann's boyfriend, Michael Fischer (later Heart soundman and manager) had to join the Army, but ran for it and they both hid in Vancouver, Canada. Nancy followed and met Michael's younger guitar playing brother Roger. His band was originally named 'White Heart' and then around 1967 decided on just Heart. Ann joined the band in the year of 1972 and Nancy a year later and thus the birth of a proper beating Heart. All thanks to Vietnam War "draft dodger" Fischer? The Sis' got rid of the Fischer bros in 79 and kept the band and moniker going ever since though.

They have sold over 35 million records worldwide and had 20 top-40 singles. On September 25, 2012, Ann and Nancy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their contributions to music and Heart became inductees to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the following year. Hard Rock Pioneers, inspiring, and the reason why many women decided to pick up the guitar or sing in a band. Breaking genre and sex barriers and plenty of young HEARTs. Here's the humble tribute to the band -The Big Ten.

10. Who Will You Run To
9. Stranded
8. Barracuda
7. There's The Girl
6. Never

5. Dream Of The Archer
J.R.R. Tolkien, Folk-Rock, and Led Zeppelin? Indeed. It's out of this world and clearly the vivid trip which boasts double-tracked mandolins and its lyrical content and instrumental quality speaks to the fantasy, medieval, minstrel feel of the band. The Sisters' are going at it with magical, theatrical, voices and the roleplaying nerd will find a lot of inspiration for their next adventure. The best song Blackmore Night's never recorded. Underrated number from the Little Queen album in '77. "Treasure glowing in their eyes, forest deepens dark their dream. Keep to the pathway he advise the woods are more than they might seem. Heed you now the apparition bending never ending sounds. Call you into her mystery, are your eyes not sparkling now".

4. These Dreams
The first single on which Nancy Wilson performed lead vocals and it went straight to number one in the states. The song written by Bernie Taupin (Elton John) and Martin Page was originally offered to Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac), who turned down the offer. Heart said 'Thank you very much', included it on their 1985 album and it's their first number one hit. It's a rather poppy and soft (but great) ballad that doesn't exactly scream 'metal' or even 'hard rock'. Pink and fluffy to the extreme. "Darkness on the edge, shadows where I stand. I search for the time on a watch with no hands. I want to see you clearly come closer than this. But all I remember are the dreams in the mist".

3. What About Love
Originally recorded, but not officially released until 2002, by female fronted Canadian band Toronto during the Get It On sessions. The majority of the band elected not to include the song on their 1982 album (oh what a mistake'a to make'a) and the song ended up at a publisher who offered the excellent Power Ballad to Heart. They turned it into a worldwide smash hit on their self-titled album in 1985 and it's one of four Top-10 hits from their comeback album. Starship's Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas provide background vocals and Ann Wilson's lead are absolutely stunning. Jim Vallance co-wrote it together with Toronto members and Per Gessle copied it while writing Roxette's smash hit, Listen To Your HEART.

2. If Looks Could Kill
"If looks could kill you'd be lying on the floor. You'd be begging me, please, please, baby, don't hurt me no more". One of several songs on the subject from the time and era (see: Mötley Crue, Aldo Nova) and they all ended up on's Big 10. Originally recorded by Pamala Stanley in '83 and her energy disco pop version of the song was also featured in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Raw Deal. Biting guitar work by Nancy and superb, spine-tingling, powerhouse vocals by Ann drives Heart's 1985 version forward and across the finish line.

1. Alone
"I hear the ticking of the clock. I'm lying here the room's pitch dark". Originally recorded by cult AOR act i-Ten on their superb 1983 album Taking a Cold Look. I-Ten aka Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly wrote #1 hits such as Like a Virgin by Madonna, True Colors by Cyndi Lauper, Eternal Flame by the Bangles, etc. Heart recorded it on 'Bad Animals' and it's their biggest hit, spending three weeks at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in July 1987. It's one of the best examples of the 80's Power Ballad and the Raven-haired Ann Wilson gave her best vocal performance ever with simultaneously operatic and rock notes of highest order. It'll send a lovely shiver to your spine. "And now it chills me to the bone"...

This list by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

The list as a YouTube playlist

Individual lists:

Kimmo Toivonen:

10. How Can I Refuse
9. Wild Child
8. Never
7. All Eyes
6. What About Love
5. I Want Your World To Turn
4. Will You Be There (In The Morning)
3. If Looks Could Kill
2. Secret
1. Alone

Martien Koolen:

10. Alone
9. Even It Up
8. Bebe Le Strange
7. Dog and Butterfly
6. These Dreams
5. Little Queen
4. Straight On
3. Crazy On You
2. Barracuda
1. Magic Man


(c) 2020 RockUnited.Com



10. Will You Be There
9. Crazy On You
8. Never
7. Secret
6. Magic Man
5. These Dreams
4. Barracuda
3. What About Love
2. If Looks Could Kill
1. Alone