Taking Sides

Breaking down the new Heart album.

Heart have been unfairly bypassed by herstory for one significant reason: The cassette version of Led Zeppelin III wasn't split into an "electric side" and an "acoustic side." (The songs were in a different order than on the vinyl album.) But on the new Jupiters Darling (Sovereign Artists), Heart come their closest yet to re-creating that cassette—as well as adding some of Houses of the Holy, not to mention Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, and In Through the Out Door.

Rhythm guitarist Nancy Wilson co- produced Jupiters Darling with lead guitarist Craig Bartock and sings five songs, making this Heart's version of late Beach Boy Dennis Wilson's solo bow, Pacific Ocean Blue. (Imagine a Dreamboat Annie cover-art parody with the Wilson brothers. Actually, that would be fucking sick—especially with all the kelp poking through Dennis' rib cage.) How would it sound on cassette? Here's the "Nancy's Nails" side:

"I'm Fine" ("Wanton Song" from TheStory of O original cast recording + vocal suggesting Nashville product from 2007, or even 2017, depending on how the war situation goes and whether they introduce conscription or not + Robert Plant impression at the very end)

"Things" ("That's the Way" + "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp")

"Led [!] to One" ("That's the Way" + "No Quarter" + "Going to California" + "Friends" = Hope Sandoval in a Richard Rush movie)

"I Need the Rain" ("Going to California" + "Tangerine" + the intro from "Unsatisfied" [i.e., "Hard Luck Woman"] + a vocal note at 1:01 like the delivery of the words "second" and "moment" in the choruses of Heart's Bernie Taupin–penned 1985 hit "Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin")

"Hello Moonglow" (This features Nancy on lead but enmeshed in a complicated vocal arrangement, Dennis crawling from the briny deep into Karen Carpenter's golf bag saying come on, Miss World, let's get high a while)

Ann's side, meanwhile, goes:

"I Give Up" (this probably sounded different when they opened for April Wine on their 1976 Canadian tour; the solo is half-speed "Hots on for Nowhere" over half-speed "Candy Store Rock")

"Make Me" ("Over the Hills & Far Away" + "Ramble On" + "Let Me Drown")

"Oldest Story in the World" ("You Shook Me" + "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You")

"Enough" (the "Carouselambra" middle section chords, only in a different order + Mellotron from "Rain Song" + "Almost Paradise")

"Move On" ("Dazed & Confused" descending chromatic riff + Song Remains the Same adenoidal timbre + "Whole Lotta Kirstie 'Dianetics vs. diuretics' Alley" vocal + "Who Will You Run To" ostinato + "Magic Man" synth + "Stumbling Man" + "Floyd the Barber")

"Vainglorious" ("Out on the Tiles" + "Living Loving Maid" + [Damaged lyrics + My War music] + Boyd Rice–type background screams—unfortunately the only production touch as cool as the "No!" after the second "never" in the second chorus of "Never" + "Heart Shaped Box")

"No Other Love" (probably no more shamelessly conceived for use during public displays of emotion than Pat Benatar's "This Sensual Woman's Work World" was)

"Down the Nile" ("No Quarter" + "Greasy Heart" + a poem read aloud at the end)

"Fallen Ones" ("Carouselambra" + "Four Sticks" + "Scentless Apprentice")

"Lost Angel" ("Rain Song" + "Going to California" + "Ten Years Gone" + "Kashmir" + augmented concluding chord from "I'm Gonna Crawl")

"The Perfect Goodbye" (the interplanetary craft they're calling is the UFO where third Wilson sister Michael Schenker is the occupant)

This last would be cool to learn to play in an acoustic club, so the wounded heart showing through my soaring resilient vocal would elicit first random chatter, then curiosity, then rapt attention, then adoration, like an Olsen rack. I'd have to do it a whole octave lower, though.


comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow