Heart, the classic rock band with ties to Bellevue, is now officially legendary--they are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 2013 inductees.
The band's leaders, Ann and Nancy Wilson, who grew up in a military family and graduated from Bellevue schools, are notable for being among the women pioneers in rock music, as the 2011 PBS documentary "Women who Rock" notes. (Heart fans can watch the video online.)
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had this to say about the group:
With a mix of hard rock riffs and lush, driving harmonies, Heart emerged from the Pacific Northwest with one of the most original sounds of the 1970s. Behind Ann Wilson’s powerhouse voice — one of the best in rock — and Nancy Wilson’s percussive guitar playing, along with guitarist Roger Fisher, bassist Steve Fossen, guitarist/keyboard player Howard Leese and drummer Michael DeRosier, Heart recorded a series of albums that stand as the best mix of hard rock and folk rock of their era: Dreamboat Annie,Little Queen, Dog And Butterfly and Bebe Le Strange. All those records included hit singles that remain standards of rock radio: “Magic Man,” “Crazy On You,” “Heartless” and “Barracuda.” Over their long career, Heart has released six Top 10 albums and 20 Top 40 singles. The first women to front a hard rock band, Ann and Nancy Wilson were pioneers, claiming the stage in a way that inspired women to pick up an electric guitar or start a band. When MTV transformed mainstream rock in the 1980s, Heart adapted and recorded some of the signature songs of the era: “Alone,” “What About Love” and “These Dreams.” In the 1990s, they returned to their roots with Desire Walks On and The Road Home, and in the last decade, they’ve released two of the strongest albums of their careers: Jupiter’s Darling and Red Velvet Car.
The group was also nominated last year, but didn't get in.
The family of Ann and Nancy Wilson, sisters who have been leaders of the group since the 1970s, settled in Bellevue after their father retired from military service. Ann Wilson, Heart's lead singer, graduated from Sammamish High School in the 1960s. Her sister Nancy, guitarist, also graduated from Bellevue schools.
Heart released its first record, Dreamboat Annie, in Canada in 1975 and have had hit albums in every decade since then.
Their notable hits include "Barracuda," "Crazy on You," "What About Love," and "Alone," which has become a staple of American Idol hopefuls.
The Wilson sisters have co-written some of their hits with Sue Ennis, a friend from high school and now an instructor at Shoreline Community College.
Along with Heart, this year's inductees include:
- Albert King
- Donna Summer
- Lou Adler
- Public Enemy
- Quincy Jones
- Randy Newman
What do you think? Is this legendary status deserved or overdue? What's your favorite song by Heart? Tell us in the comments.