Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson: Our Life in 15 Songs - Rolling Stone
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Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson: Our Life in 15 Songs

From “Barracuda” to “Beautiful Broken,” sisters revisit four decades of smash hits and thrilling deep cuts

Heart, Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Our Life in 15 Songs, Rolling Stone, GalleryHeart, Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Our Life in 15 Songs, Rolling Stone, Gallery

Michael Marks/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

It's been more than 40 years since Heart recorded Dreamboat Annie, the debut album that launched the hard-rock act to stardom on the strength of hits like "Magic Man" and "Crazy on You." And the Seattle-area band, still led by sisters Ann (vocals) and Nancy (guitar) Wilson, is showing no signs of slowing down. Their 16th studio album, Beautiful Broken, which collects newly composed songs and re-recorded deep tracks from their past, is out now, and on July 14th, the group embarks on the Rock Hall Three for All tour, headlining sheds across the U.S. with support from fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Cheap Trick. And just what is it that keeps them motivated? "I like playing," Nancy says with a laugh. "Guitar … on a loud rock stage … with colored lights. Everything sounds better with colored lights!"

According to Ann, that passion – as well as the strong familial bond she shares with Nancy – has been instrumental to sustaining the band. "No matter what else is going on in the other parts of our lives, when we play together we always communicate just the same way we did as when we were little kids," she explains. "And now we're in our sixties – we're like grown-up women. I'm a grandmother! But we step outside of that when we play. We become children again. It's an amazing thing to be able to access that simplicity and purity with another person."

The Wilsons recently checked in with Rolling Stone to walk us through Heart's history, from the magical and mystical Seventies to the big-ballad and even bigger-haired Eighties and the new Beautiful Broken, stopping along the way to ruminate on the many ups and downs that have dotted their career. As for the common thread running through their decades of music making? "We're always after some kind of brass ring," Ann says. "And usually the brass ring is authenticity."


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