News Segment


June 26, 2004

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) – For Ann and Nancy Wilson there was only one reason to record a new studio album after more than a decade’s absence — the hardcore Heart fans.

“We had been doing other kinds of projects like the Lovemongers and soundtracks, so it was time to make one for the fans,” Nancy Wilson says.

The pair entered the studio with a fresh slate of ideas, unfettered by any label pressures.

“We thought, ‘We can do whatever we want,”‘ Nancy Wilson says. “So we thought we should make what an iconic Heart album would be for the Heart fan today.”

“Jupiters Darling” comprises 16 tracks that range from the hardest rock to the softest ballads.

After completing the album, Heart — which last recorded for Capitol — began fielding label offers. It signed with Santa Monica, Calif.-based upstart Sovereign Artists. The imprint is helmed by a number of industry vets, including musician Tommy Funderburk and former Warner Bros. Records VP of national sales Charlie Springer.

Funderburk gave the label an advantage, Nancy Wilson says, because “he was a musician and knew how unfair the music business can be for the artist.”

“We made the album out of our own pockets,” Ann Wilson says, adding that the sisters own the masters to this album as well as to all their previous works. “We wanted someone who understood it belonged to us and understood what it could be and that if all best things could happen, it could be the third evolution of Heart.”

The label is working two singles to radio, “The Perfect Goodbye” and “Oldest Story in the World.”

The Wilsons, who have been making music for nearly 30 years, admit they sometimes look at today’s young female singers and shake their heads.

“They all have to be pole dancers and have to be sex symbols,” Nancy Wilson says. “But there are girls like Joss Stone or even Avril Lavigne who have a little more to give to us. They’re getting beyond surface sex messages out there.”

However, Nancy Wilson admits she is surprised by the scarcity of female rockers. “It wasn’t that surprising in the ’80s, but when the Seattle scene exploded in the ’90s, I was ready for more girls to show up. I think everyone was reacting against the ’80s so hard, they were so angry that they didn’t learn to play.”

Melinda Newman courtesy of Billboard