Thursday, October 22, 2015

Glorious Ladies of Rocktober Song #16: "Barracuda" by Heart

"Barracuda" is the song that prompted me to do Glorious Ladies of Rocktober this year.  My girls love it, and I love it.  Heart was one of the first female-fronted bands that really rocked.  With big sister Ann on vocals and little sister Nancy on guitar, Heart arrived on the scene in the mid '70s with bombast.  Songs like "Barracuda," "Crazy On You," "Magic Man," "Heartless," and "Straight On" showed the world that women could rock just as hard as men.  And then in the mid to late '80s and early '90s, Heart rolled with the times and put out enduring hits like "Alone," "Never," "What About Love," "These Dreams," "Nothin' At All," "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You," and "Will You Be There in the Morning," exposing the band to a new generation of fans.

All in all, Heart has released 15 studio albums, 7 of which have gone platinum and 11 of which have reached the Top 25 of the Billboard album charts (7 Top 10s and 4 Top 5s).  They have 20 Top 40 hits on the Billboard charts, including 9 Top 10s and 2 #1s ("These Dreams" and "Alone").  They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 -- about 12 years too late, if you ask me, but then again, the Rock Hall tends to fuck things like that up (as evidenced by the fact that Laura Nyro was inducted a year before Heart -- seriously?!)

For me, the quintessential Heart song is "Barracuda."  That opening riff is one of the most recognizable and badass riffs in rock history.  Released in 1977 off of the band's second album, Little Queen, "Barracuda" peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100.  It is a scathing hard rock song that Ann Wilson wrote after a radio promoter in Detroit asked Ann where her lover was, referring to her sister Nancy -- you know, because two attractive sisters who play rock and roll must be incestuous lesbians.  Enraged at this sexist twit, Ann went back to her hotel room and wrote "Barracuda."  The song never gets old for me.

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