Rock & Roll Hall of Fame…Have a Heart

Love Alive

It’s time for the Wilson sisters to join the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

By Phill Marder

In this week’s offering, we’re going to start off with opinions…opinions that – like most opinions – cannot possibly be supported by any means of fact or logic. But since they’re my opinions, I’m going to express them as I always do “’cause it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.'” If you’d like to express yours, head to the bottom of this article and fill out the box where it tells you to “leave a reply” and don’t forget to hit the “submit” button. Remember, it’s your blog, too, and you can write what you want. We’ll print them all (that agree with me).

Ok, here we go…
Opinion No. 1 – Ann Wilson is the greatest female singer in the history of Rock & Roll. She can belt out the heaviest of rock and she’s equally adept at carressing the softest of ballads. Not only does she have an incredible voice, she knows how to sing. She avoids the temptation to try to cram every note she can hit onto every word of the song. There are other great female vocalists in the Rock Era, but none even approaches Ann Wilson.

That folks is just my opinion. But it’s just my No. 1 opinion. Let’s move on to opinion No. 2…Nancy Wilson is the foxiest guitar player in the history of Rock & Roll and her playing ability matches her looks. Of course, if you’re a straight female, I would expect a different outlook on the appearance factor.

Personal view No. 3…The Wilsons set the bar for bands led by females. Fans of the Pretenders may have a strong argument as will followers of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, the Bangles, the Go Gos and others. But I’ll put my money on Heart.

And finally, opinion No. 4…It doesn’t matter if they’re male or female, the Wilson sisters belong in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as sure as most current inductees or anyone being considered.

With the opinions out of the way, let’s look at some facts.

Together, the Wilsons wrote and recorded some of the best records of the last 35 years. Still, like almost everyone else championed by this blog, they haven’t even received a nomination for the Hall of Fame.

The original band’s albums – “Dreamboat Annie,” No. 7 in 1976, and “Little Queen,” No. 9 the following year – emulated Led Zeppelin’s approach, including heavy rockers such as “Crazy On You, “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Little Queen,” “Kick It Out,” “Heartless,” “Straight On” and “Even It Up,” alongside acoustic-flavored gems such as “Dreamboat Annie.” Between 1976 and 1980, they placed eight singles in the top 40, peaking with a No. 8 remake of the 1966 Aaron Neville hit “Tell It Like It Is.”


After a brief slump, a revamped and almost forgotten Heart achieved its greatest success, beginning with 1985’s eponymous LP which produced four top 10 singles and gave Heart its first No. 1 album. Ironically, the third single from the LP, “These Dreams,” featuring Nancy on a rare lead vocal, became the group’s first No. 1 single. The song, written by Martin Page and Bernie Taupin, reportedly had been rejected by Stevie Nicks.

The follow-up LP, “Bad Animals,” reached No. 2 powered by the No. 1 single “Alone,” and the next LP, “Brigade,” got to No. 3 led by the single “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You,” which hit No. 2.

Strangely, “Alone” was the band’s first hit in the United Kingdom though both the “Dreamboat Annie” and “Little Queen” albums reached the UK top 40. Once “Alone” clicked, Heart ran off 10 more British hit singles.

The recently released “Red Velvet Car,” coming 34 years after “Dreamboat Annie” first graced the charts, should improve the Wilson’s case for induction. For those who haven’t heard it, the effort hearkens back to the sound of the original version of Heart and the girls had a hand in the writing of all the material as they did early in their career. Ann’s magnificent voice may have lost a tad on the upper end, but 90 percent of Ann Wilson’s voice still far surpasses most female vocalists.

But, of course, that’s just my opinion. As is this…Heart belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

16 thoughts on “Rock & Roll Hall of Fame…Have a Heart

  1. Thank you for posting this…Members of Heart’s fan club have been petitioning for this for years, to no avail. Hopefully, more will write articles like this and then the Hall of Fame will take notice of this gross oversight in the rock and roll industry. Heart should have been inducted 10 years ago!!

  2. It is about time that someone reputable and attached to a music magazine is calling for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to induct one of its most overlooked artists. I am sorry to know that we are still having this debate. Heart should have been inducted ages ago. My opinion: Heart belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

  3. I agree with everything you said, except the part about Ann’s Voice being at 90%, Have you seen thenm live lately? But thanks for Bringing this to others attention. WE Heart Mongers have been sreamimg for this for years!!! What does The Rock and Roll hall of fame have against Heart anyway? They have inducted far less deserving people, and thats an understatment!!

  4. The gals look healthy enough to make the cover of vogue as well as the rolling stone. If Janice were with us in physical body she would tell them The lords been Dam good to em.

    Sincerely, Fruitloop and old fan

  5. Dear Fruitloop –

    I don’t read Vogue & I’m not sure what Rolling Stone is – I thought it was a band. Is it a magazine? I just read Goldmine.


  6. I strongly agree that both Linda Ronstadt and Heart belong in the R’n’R Hall of Fame. They should have been so honored years before. There are certainly many so honored who are less deserving than these artists. However, unfair omissions of ladies precede both
    of these artists. Many female artists both directly and indirectly follow the footsteps of the also neglected Connie Francis.


    In Heart’s recent interview with the Rock Hall’s Dr. Onkey, an audience member asked Ann and Nancy Wilson which male members (which line-up) of Heart would be inducted. Ann didn’t know exactly what to say. She looked at Dr. Onkey, and then said, “Well, I guess the current band members.” But I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think she knew what she was talking about, or she just didn’t want to answer the question because she didn’t want to leave anyone out. Then Ann and Nancy went on to say that the two of them had always been the core of the band. Some in the audience clapped to that response. The male members of Heart were interviewed on Heart’s VH1 Behind the Music episode. The current male members have only toured with Heart. The male members of Heart who should be inducted should be the ones from Heart’s heyday albums that charted (1976-1999). Heart was actually formed in 1972 by the original male members of the group. They first charted in 1976.

    How will Heart be inducted? Which male members will be included? They only had 8 members and they should all be inducted!

    HEART: The Inductees

    01. Ann Wilson (1976-Present; lead vocals)
    02. Nancy Wilson (1976-Present; guitar, lead vocals)

    03. Howard Leese (1976-1999; guitar, keyboards)
    04. Roger Fisher (1976-1980; guitar)
    05. Steve Fossen (1976-1982; bass guitar)
    06. Michael DeRosier (1976-1982; drums)

    07. Mark Andes (1982-1993; bass guitar)
    08. Denny Carmassi (1982-1993; drums, percussion)

  8. If the Rock Hall inducts replacement members Denny Carmassi and Mark Andes with the original 6 members of Heart, Denny Carmassi will become the second former member of Montrose to be inducted into the Rock Hall. Sammy Hagar was the first with Van Halen.

  9. HEART: The Résumés

    01. Ann Wilson (Heart)
    02. Nancy Wilson (Heart)

    03. Howard Leese (Zoo, Mad Dog, Heart)
    04. Roger Fisher (Heart, Alias)
    05. Steve Fossen (Heart, Alias)
    06. Michael DeRosier (Heart, Alias)

    07. Mark Andes (Yellow Balloon, Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne, Firefall, Heart)
    08. Denny Carmassi (Gamma, Montrose, Heart, Coverdale/Page)

  10. If replacement member Mark Andes were inducted with the original 6 members of Heart, Mark Andes would become the second member of Firefall to be inducted into the RRHOF. The first was Michael Clarke who was inducted with the Byrds. Clarke, Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons left the Byrds to form The Flying Burrito Brothers. Mark Andes was a founding member of Spirit and its offshoot Jo Jo Gunne.

  11. Who would give the induction speech for Heart? This is a hard one.

    Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronstadt, Shirley Manson of Garbage, Gwen Stefani of No Doubt?

    I could see P!nk being called on to do the induction speech for Heart.


    I could see either Chris Cornell of Soundgarden or Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains to be the ones who present Heart. Seattle Proud. Heart started it all!

    Seattle Rock

    Heart * Soundgarden * Alice In Chains * Nirvana * Pearl Jam

    Heart would indeed be the first Seattle, Washington band to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The Ventures were from Tacoma, Washington, inducted in 2008.

    The Jimi Hendrix Experience formed in London, but Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle.

  12. Don’t forget Heart’s studio, Bad Animals, where a lot of Seattle musicians made their recordings. They may predate the Seattle sound, but their studio was apparently where a good share of the Seattle sound was recorded.

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