On this day in music history: March 22, 1986 – “These Dreams” by Heart hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 1 week on March 15, 1986. Written by Martin Page and Bernie Taupin, it is first chart topping single for the Seattle, WA based rock band fronted by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson. Making his breakthrough as a songwriter in the early 80’s after co-writing Earth, Wind & Fire’s R&B top ten hit “Magnetic”, Martin Page continues to make the rounds in the music business, when he meets another songwriting legend. Page meets lyricist Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s long time collaborator when Taupin looking for another music writing partner asks Page to work with him. Among the first songs the pair write together are “We Built This City” and “These Dreams”. The former is given to Starship who have a number one single with it. Taupin and Page’s publisher also look to have “These Dreams” recorded by a name artist. The song is originally submitted to Stevie Nicks for consideration. When she passes on recording it, the writing duos song publisher places it with Heart. Featuring Nancy Wilson on lead vocals rather than regular lead vocalist Ann Wilson, Nancy initially records her lead vocals while she’s ill with a cold, giving her vocals a slight raspiness. Though she goes back and re-record parts of her vocal after she’s well, producer Ron Nevison keeps much of the original vocals for the final version. Issued as the third single from their self titled eighth studio album in early January of 1986, it quickly becomes a pop and AC radio smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #54 on January 18, 1986, it climbs to the top of the chart nine weeks later. “These Dreams” is the third of four US top ten singles spun off of the album “Heart” during 1985 and 1986.
On this day in music history: February 14, 1976 – “Dreamboat Annie”, the debut album by Heart is released. Produced by Mike Flicker, it is recorded at Can-Base Studios in Vancouver, BC, Canada from July – August 1975. Following several years of live gigging in their native Seattle and around Canada, the band led by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson sign with small indie label Mushroom Records to record their first album. Released regionally at first, the record becomes an immediate hit in Canada, selling over 30,000 copies within a few months. Its success there helps the label secure distribution for the US. It quickly becomes an FM rock radio staple spinning off three hit singles including “Magic Man” (#9 Pop) and “Crazy On You” (#35 Pop). Though very successful, the album leads to a major dispute between Heart and Mushroom over royalty payments and a full page ad for the album that appears in Rolling Stone, designed to look like a tabloid newspaper and vaguely suggesting that the sisters are also lovers. Eventually, the band has to sue Mushroom to get out of their contract to sign with CBS label Portrait Records in 1977. Subsequently, Mushroom Records goes out of business in 1980, and the rights to “Annie” and its follow up “Magazine” are purchased by Capitol Records. Originally remastered and reissued on CD and vinyl in 1999, it is reissued again as a 180 gram LP by Friday Music in 2011. “Dreamboat Annie” peaks at number seven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: December 21, 1985 – “Heart”, the eighth studio album by Heart hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 1 week. Produced by Ron Nevison, it is recorded at The Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA and The Record Plant in Sausalito, CA from January – April 1985. After leaving their long time label Epic Records, Heart signs with Capitol Records in late 1984. For their first release for the label, the band are paired with producer/engineer Ron Nevison, best known for his work with artists such as Jefferson Starship, The Who, The Babys, and Led Zeppelin. During the sessions, Ann and Nancy Wilson clash with Nevison over his production techniques, his insistence on recording material from outside songwriters, and with Capitol’s marketing of the band. Differences aside, it becomes the Seattle, WA based bands’ most commercially successful album. It spins off five singles, with four of them reaching the top ten including “What About Love” (#10 Pop) (featuring background vocals from Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas from Starship), “Never (#4 Pop), “These Dreams” (#1 Pop) and “Nothin’ At All” (#10 Pop). Following the initial release of the album, all of the singles are significantly remixed and edited, and in some instances include additional production and alternate vocals from the original LP versions. Some LP, CD and cassette versions of the album contain the remixed versions of “Never” and “Nothin’ At All”, with the latter featuring a different lead vocal from Ann Wilson, guitar solos from Howard Leese and punchier drums from the version included on the initial press run of the album. Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is remastered and reissued by Friday Music in 2016. It is also remastered and reissued by Capitol/UMe in October of 2017, as part of the extensive vinyl LP reissue program to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Capitol Records. “Heart” is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.