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Ann Wilson: It’s ‘Silly’ to Compare ’70s-Era Heart With Today

Ann Wilson
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

The learning curve of any band, particularly as live performers, is a tricky minefield to navigate of the course of a career. But for Heart, it’s resulted in a more versatile band than ever. In an exclusive interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, singer Ann Wilson told us about how the band led by her and her sister Nancy have evolved onstage since their beginnings in the ’70s.

“We generally play everything pulled back and I think with more passion,” she said. “We’re not quite as disciplined. It isn’t just north, south, east, west, square in a box. I think we used to sound a lot more radio-like. Now, I think this sounds a lot more like a living band. I don’t want to compare the old band with the new, that’s silly.”

A large part of that, she explained, was the result of “getting out of the ‘80s with our lives! [Laughs] The ‘70s went from radio music to the ‘80s, which was pure pop and then we just wanted to just get out of it. So we just got out of it and we went all the way the other way. We went home to Seattle, went purely acoustic and unplugged everything and just kind of started over. Then we built the band back up gradually and we got to know [producer/songwriter] Ben Mink. We did all of these shows and learned how to bring the studio Heart onto the stage and back and forth.”

Earlier this week, Heart released ‘Fanatic Live From Caesars Colosseum,’ a CD/DVD/Blu-ray of a concert they gave last year in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Wilson said they chose to film at the Colosseum because “the venue happened to be really glamorous. They had the most wonderful lights and staging stuff available,” adding that “the show, except for the string players, is no different than any other show [that we played on the tour], really.”

Next: Top 10 Heart Songs

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