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Heart has sold over 30 million records worldwide Tags: Heart 30 million albums ultimate rock classic word life production feature blog

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.

Ann Wilson was born on June 19, 1950, in San Diego. Her sister, Nancy, was born on March 16, 1954, in San Francisco. Their father was a captain in the Marine Corps, and the Wilson sisters grew up in Southern California and Taiwan before he retired to the Seattle suburbs. While in high school, Ann played guitar and flute and sang in various groups. After her high school graduation, Nancy attended college. She played some solo gigs while in school, then quit college to focus more on her music.

In 1970, Ann joined a band called Heart. The group had actually been formed back in 1963 by bassist Steve Fossen and guitarists Roger and Mike Fisher. Its original name was the Army. It then changed to White Heart, then Hocus Pocus. The band members finally settled on the name Heart. Ann became the group’s lead vocalist. In 1974, Nancy joined the band as lead guitarist. Around the same time, Mike Fisher left the band to focus on more behind-the-scenes activities.

The group relocated to Vancouver, where it recorded a demo with producer Mike Flicker and session guitarist and keyboard player Howard Leese, who would become a full-time member of the band. In 1975, the group attracted the attention of Mushroom Records. The following year, Heart recorded its first album, Dreamboat Annie, for the label. It quickly sold some 30,000 copies in Canada, so the label released it in Seattle, where it sold another 25,000 copies. Eventually, the album would yield two hit singles – “Crazy on You” and “Magic Man” – and make it to Number Seven on the Billboard chart, selling more than one million copies. By this point, Michael DeRosier had joined the band as its drummer. 

In 1977, Heart switched labels, moving from Mushroom to the CBS subsidiary Portrait Records. The move resulted in a lengthy legal battle with Mushroom. That label issued the only partially completed album Magazine in early 1977 just before Portrait released Little Queen. A Seattle court ruled in Heart’s favor, saying that Mushroom had to recall Magazine so that the band could remix several tracks and re-do some of the vocals. 

Little Queen, featuring the hit single “Barracuda,” became the group’s second million-seller, and the Wilson sisters were featured on the cover of the July 28, 1977 issue of Rolling Stone. The remixed Magazine followed suit the next year, as did Dog and Butterfly. The latter album included two hit singles: the title song and “Straight On.” Meanwhile, the band’s lineup changed as Roger Fisher left the group.

In 1980, Heart released Bebe le Strange. It made it to Number Five and yielded the Top 40 hit "Even It Up.” Another track, a cover of the ballad "Tell It Like It Is,” reached Number Eight on the charts.

The band’s next two albums, Private Audition and Passionworks, both failed to go gold, prompting Heart to change labels and sign with Capitol Records. The group’s first album for the label, simply titled Heart, went to Number One, sold more than five million copies and yielded four Top 10 singles: “What About Love?”, “Never,” “These Dreams” and “Nothin’ At All.” Bad Animals, released in 1987, included four more hit singles, including “Alone,” which went to Number One. Brigade continued the band’s run, with three more hit singles, including “All I Want to Do Is Make Love to You.” That album was also Heart’s highest-charting album in the U.K., where it reached Number Three.

After a 1990 tour in support of Brigade, the Wilson sisters formed an informal acoustic group called the Lovemongers. That group released a four-song EP that included a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “The Battle of Evermore.” Heart returned in 1993 with the album Desire Walks On. Two years later, Heart issued The Road Home, which included live, acoustic versions of some of the band’s best-known songs. It was produced by John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin.

In the last decade, Heart has released two of the strongest albums of its career: Jupiter’s Darling and Red Velvet Car. The latter album, issued in 2010, featured a return to the melodic hard rock and folk sound of early Heart albums. The album became the group’s first Top 10 album in 20 years.

Overall, Heart has sold more than 30 million records. The group has had 20 Top 40 singles, seven Top 10 albums and four Grammy nominations. In 2012, Heart received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Source: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame http://www.rockhall.com/inductees/heart/bio/

Marvin Gaye was a musical genius that touched the souls of millions of people all over the world Tags: marvin gaye musical genius million people all over world word life production music hall

Marvin Gaye was born on April 2, 1939, in Washington, D.C. He sang in his father's church and in the Moonglows before signing with Motown. He recorded songs by Smokey Robinson before becoming his own producer on the protest album What's Going On. Gaye's later records developed his production style and yielded several hits. Gaye was killed in 1984 during a domestic dispute with his father.

"War is not the answer, because only love can conquer hate."

– Marvin Gaye

"If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else."

– Marvin Gaye

"Marvin Gaye is one of the greatest male voices of all time. So covering a Marvin Gaye song, especially one as quintessential as 'What's Going On,' I was a little hesitant in doing so. But I felt that it was one of those songs which spoke to a whole generation."

Singer Marvin Gaye, also known as the "Prince of Soul," was born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. (he added the "e" to his last name alter in life) in Washington, D.C., on April 2, 1939. Gaye was raised under the strict control of his father, Reverend Marvin Gay Sr., the minister at a local church, against a bleak backdrop of widespread violence in his neighborhood.

Throughout his childhood, Marvin Gaye often found peace in music, mastering the piano and drums at a young age. Until high school, his singing experience was limited to church revivals, but soon he developed a love for R&B and doo-wop that would set the foundation for his career. In the late 1950s, Gaye joined a vocal group called The New Moonglows.

The talented singer had a phenomenal range that spanned three vocal styles and he soon impressed the group's founder, Harvey Fuqua. It wasn't long before Gaye and Fuqua both came to the attention of Detroit music impresario Berry Gordy and were signed to Gordy's legendary Motown Records.

Motown Records

Gaye's first certified hit under his own name wouldn't come until 1962, but his early years at Motown were full of behind-the-scenes successes. He was a session drummer for Motown legends such as Little Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Marvelettes and Martha and the Vandellas. Showing his stripes as Motown's renaissance man, Gaye went on to break into the Top 40 for the first time on his own in 1962 with his solo single "Hitch Hike."

Throughout the 1960s, Gaye would show his immense range, churning out solo dance hits and romantic duets with hit-makers like Diana Ross and Mary Wells. "Can I Get a Witness" and "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" were some of Gaye's biggest hits of the period, the latter achieving its place as Motown's best-selling single of the 1960s.

For three high-flying years, Gaye and Tammi Terrell wowed the country with their soaring duet performances of songs like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You". Unfortunately, their reign as the Royal Couple of R&B ended when Terrell succumbed to a brain tumor in 1970. His beloved partner's death ushered in a dark period for the singer, who swore never to partner with another female vocalist and threatened to abandon the stage for good.

Political Message

In 1970, inspired by escalating violence and political unrest over the Vietnam War, Gaye wrote the landmark song "What's Going On." Despite clashes with Motown over the song's creative direction, the single was released in 1971 and became an instant smash. Its success prompted Gaye to take even more risks, both musically and politically.

When it was released in the spring of 1971, the What's Going On album served to open Gaye up to new audiences while maintaining his Motown following.

Departing from the tried and true Motown formula, Gaye went out on his own artistically, paving the way for other Motown artists like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson to branch out in later years. Beyond influencing his peers, the album garnered widespread critical acclaim, winning the Rolling Stone Album of the Year award.

Crossover Success

In 1972, Gaye moved to Los Angeles and soon met Janis Hunter, who would later become his second wife. Inspired in part by his newfound independence, Gaye recorded one of the most revered love anthems of all time, "Let's Get It On." The song became his second number one Billboard hit, cementing his crossover appeal once and for all. Shortly afterwards, Motown pushed Gaye into touring to capitalize on his most recent success; reluctantly the singer-songwriter returned to the stage.

Through most of the mid-1970s, Gaye was touring, collaborating or producing. Working with Diana Ross and The Miracles, he would put off releasing another solo album until 1976. He continued touring after the release of I Want You (1976) and released his last album for Motown Records (Here, My Dear) in 1978. After two decades at Motown, Gaye signed with CBS's Columbia Records in 1982 and began to work on his last album, Midnight Love. The lead single from that album, "Sexual Healing," became a huge comeback hit for the R&B star and earned him his first two Grammy Awards and an American Music Award for Favorite Soul Single.

Personal Life

In 1975, Gaye's wife Anna Gordy -- Barry Gordy's daughter -- filed for divorce, and two years later Gaye married Hunter, who had by then given birth to their daughter, Nona (born September 4, 1974) and their son Frankie (born November 16, 1975). Gaye also had an adopted son (Marvin Pentz Gaye III) from his previous marriage. The singer's marriage to Hunter proved short lived and tumultuous, ending in divorce in 1981.

Death and Legacy

Despite his successful comeback in the early 1980s, Gaye struggled badly with the substance abuse and bouts of depression that had plagued him for most of his life. After his last tour, he moved into his parents' house. There he and his father fell into a pattern of violent fights and quarrels that recalled conflicts that had haunted the family for decades. On April 1, 1984, Marvin Gaye Sr. shot and killed his son after a physical altercation; the father claimed he acted in self-defense but would later be convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Three years after his death, Marvin Gaye Jr. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Creating beautiful art from a troubled life, Gaye again and again brought his vision, range, and artistry to the world stage. At the end of his career, he admitted he no longer made music for pleasure; instead, he said, "I record so that I can feed people what they need, what they feel. Hopefully, I record so that I can help someone overcome a bad time."

© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved. http://www.biography.com/people/marvin-gaye-9307988?page=2

 

 

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