Little Queen

Heart

Portrait Records, 1977

http://www.heart-music.com/

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/26/1997

Yesterday I looked at Queen's News Of The World, an album which probably would not have gotten a second consideration from me because certain tracks off of it are played to death on the radio - but which held some forgotten tunes that were that band's best.

Today, we have another example of this trend - Heart's 1977 major label debut Little Queen.

For a moment, let's forget about the tremendously overplayed cut "Barracuda," and let's concentrate on what was going on with this one. Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson seem to be walking a thin line between hard rock and acoustic folk, and they don't seem to know which direction they want to go..my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

What is interesting about this album is that, with the exception of "Barracuda," the folk aspect is the most interesting. Listen to "Love Alive" and hear the acoustic guitar work of Nancy Wilson and Howard Leese blend with Ann Wilson's vocals and flute work (do I sense a dose of Jethro Tull here?) into a powerful song. The following two tracks, "Sylvan Song" (with an opening similar to Led Zeppelin's "Battle Of Evermore") and "Dream Of The Archer" continue in this folk theme, showing the range this band had at the time. By the time the next rocker, "Kick It Out", comes around, it sounds incredibly out of place.

The second half of Little Queen is a shade weaker than the first, though the track "Cry To Me" stands out among the bunch. (But the following track, "Go On Cry," is overkill.) Heart's attempt to merge rock with folk, "Say Hello," falls short of the mark, though it's interesting to listen to the first few times. After that, it becomes a track to pass up.

What is interesting to note is that 20 years after this album was released, it hardly seems to have aged any - no mean feat for any album. Hell, even some of Zeppelin's works haven't held up as well. But Little Queen is able to transcend the boundary of time to earn a place among some of rock's best albums. In fact, Heart had difficulties topping this one creatively until the mid-'80s, during their comeback.

If you're beginning to get interested in Heart, forget about picking up their greatest hits CD (which I'll eventually review, after I take down my Tiny Tim memorial in the Pierce Memorial Archives), and check out Little Queen to get an idea of what this band was really about.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 1997 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Portrait Records, and is used for informational purposes only.