On this day in music history: May 14, 1977 – &…

On this day in music history: May 14, 1977 – “Little Queen”, the second studio album by Heart is released. Produced by Mike Flicker, it is recorded at Kaye Smith Studios in Seattle, WA in Early 1977. It is the official follow up to the bands debut album “Dreamboat Annie” following their acrimonious split from their original label Mushroom Records, over royalty payments and after an advertisement (designed to look like a tabloid magazine) the label takes out in Rolling Stone magazine. Though the lawsuit with Mushroom drags on for over two years, the band are free to sign with the then newly formed CBS/Epic subsidiary Portrait Records. A month before the release of “Little Queen”, Mushroom releases an unauthorized and unfinished version of the album “Magazine” which was to be Heart’s second album for the label. The band seek in injunction against the label and have it recalled and removed from record stores. One of the cornerstones of “Little Queen is inspired after a concert. Lead singer Ann Wilson has a run in with a record label promotion man that she encounters backstage after a show. Having seen the Rolling Stone ad, he makes the vulgar and lascivious insinuation that she and her sister (and band mate) Nancy are lovers. Angry at the outrageous claim, Wilson goes back to her hotel that night and writes the lyrics to "Barracuda” (#11 Pop) as a strong rebuke. The song becomes a rock radio mainstay, as well as an anthem to female empowerment, also being featured in numerous films including “Charlie’s Angels”, “You Again” and “I, Tonya”.  It spins off three singles including “Kick It Out” (#79 Pop) and the title track (#62 Pop). The album is remastered and reissued in 2004 with two additional bonus tracks. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP by Friday Music in 2015. It is also released as a limited edition pressing on translucent gold vinyl in 2016. “Little Queen” peaks at number nine on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.