Heart
These Dreams: Heart's Greatest Hits


4.5
superb

Review

by BigHans USER (108 Reviews)
June 15th, 2011 | 48 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A classy compilation that reinforces Heart's status as one of the greatest female-led groups in rock history.

There is probably nothing sexier than a hot female who knows how to properly rock. If you really think about it, most of us like to rock and the majority like females, if for nothing else properly educating them in the intricacies of carnal knowledge. Stevie Nicks is a bonafide legend in rock music not just because she was an exceptional songwriter and had that gin-soaked voice that practically begged one to envision going to town on her dirty-gypsy style, but because in her prime she was noticeably attractive, in a realistic “I could probably bang her if I got lucky” way. Sure, some might say that Shakira or name your clichéd hot pop star might be the hottest female singer of all time, but they are completely out of our league, play atrocious music, don’t write their own songs, and definitely don’t rock. It’s difficult to say which one of these qualities is the most important, but Stevie Nicks’ are few and far between. There aren’t many in her league, and the list ends and starts with the Wilson sisters of Heart, who also wrote their own songs, played their own instruments, and in their primes were bursting with that earnest yet realistic sexuality. They also completely f*cking rocked.

Heart’s classic 70s era can best be described as a female Zeppelin crossed with hippie folksters like Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. Their three most iconic songs (“Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” and “Crazy On You”) are all classic hard rock staples drenched in passionate guitar playing and vocals dripping raw sexuality, but this era of Heart always collided the rock with flower girl acoustic jams (“Dreamboat Annie,” “Dog and Butterfly.”) The consistent theme is they absolutely knew what they were doing, and exploited their talents to the highest degree, sexuality included. Being the talented broads they were, the Wilson sisters never pigeon-holed themselves until the 80’s, transitioning from the almost metal “Barracuda” to the blues saturated “Magic Man” to the maniacally passionate “Crazy On You” to countless others that would never make a greatest hits album but are probably worth your time. This was the first of Heart’s two peaks, and solidified their status as a part of the original riot grrls, only with talent.

There is absolutely no question Heart sold out in the 80s, obviously caving into the bombastic synth-laden power ballad laced parlance of the times after enduring a brief lull where they burned out trying to recapture their original magic. This might have been a problem if they had been men (dudes usually aren’t allowed to switch from hard rockin’ to top 40 balladry), and if their syrupy power-pop wasn’t unequivocally awesome. What really happened in the 80s is guitarist Nancy took a back seat to vocalist Ann, a role reversal to their 70s format, and the riffs were replaced with pianos and synths brandishing monstrous pop hooks that wouldn’t have been nearly as impactful without the sheer power and grace of the eldest Wilson’s voice. If Heart was going to be successful pumping out “no doubt about it” adult contemporary pop, it had to be executed well, and the proof of this seamless execution can be found in the devastatingly powerful anthem “Alone,” one of the greatest pop songs of the era and an absolute clinic of passionate female singing. Heart’s pop sensibilities proved masterful on iconic cuts like “These Dreams,” “Never,” and “What About Love,” but its “Alone” that is the defining song of their second peak. Heart sold almost triple the amount of records in the 80s as the 70s, and while that might have something to do with the era itself, it also owes to their uncanny ability to transition formats and not miss a beat.

There are at least five Heart compilations, but “These Dreams” most effectively chronicles the best of both eras. The track selection is strong and leaves out nothing essential, a common folly of compilations which can usually be chalked up to a cash grabbing tactic. In the end it doesn’t matter, virtually anywhere one starts with Heart they will be greeted with the sincerity of the Wilson’s owning their own craft and the ability and raw grace in which they pull it off. Women have a tremendously more difficult time earning cred in the rock world, primarily because the sheer nature of the beast is geared towards all things manly, but the Wilson sisters proved they could stand tall with even their greatest, hairiest idols. Compared to Heart, most female rock groups are an epic fail, regardless of which era you compare them to.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.5
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BigHans
June 15th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

HOW DO I GET YOU ALONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNE

DominionMM1
June 15th 2011


9940 Comments


Nice review. Lol @"dirty-gypsy style".

BigHans
June 15th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Dominion.

Crazy On You rules so hard

Maniac!
June 15th 2011


26250 Comments


LOL

MO
June 15th 2011


18680 Comments


magic man is awesome

BigHans
June 15th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Shut up Maniac Heart rules I bet you havent heard half these songs

Tyrael
June 15th 2011


20876 Comments


Great review Hans. I've only heard a few songs by Heart but they were all great. I will surely be checking this out.

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

BigHans
June 15th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dude YouTube Alone such a great song.

Jethro42
June 15th 2011


12440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

''...a female Zeppelin crossed with hippie folksters like Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell.''

Bingo! Excellent work once again, Hans.
I really love Heart. I grew up with their music and covered several of their songs on drums. This is a great compilation, my favorite out of the two I own, and there are still a lot to add to the database.


Apollo
June 15th 2011


10307 Comments


great review bro

don't know too much Heart and tbh I probably wouldn't want to lol

Barracuda is alright tho

BigHans
June 15th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fuck yeah Jethro.

Yeah Apollo knowing you hate the 80s you probably wouldnt like it, maybe try Magic Man and Crazy On You, though youve probably heard those.

Jethro42
June 15th 2011


12440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ annnd 'Straight On' (original version).


demigod!
June 15th 2011


44420 Comments


fuck yeah heart

Digging: Portishead - Dummy

WatchItExplode
June 15th 2011


3243 Comments


Wannabe female rockers should worship at the alter of Heart. They really are one of the few female groups that knew how to straight rock. Period.

BigHans
June 15th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

damn right Explode

Jethro42
June 15th 2011


12440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think of Pat Benatar; she did some good material to rawk hard, but she never really knew how to do so with her lack of charisma.

BigHans
June 15th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pat was ok I saw her live at a festival recently but shes no Ann Wilson

Jethro42
June 15th 2011


12440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I saw her as well, early in the 80's and she was stationary more than anything. Perhaps she improved on stage since then. Damn right, she's no Ann Wilson.

BigHans
June 15th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dude Ann Wilson is fucking HOT on the Dreamboat Annie cover. Fap-tastic

Jethro42
June 15th 2011


12440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hmmmm she's my sweetheart.



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