Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Heart of the matter

Never run away. Never.
Look, I've got nothing against Heart.

In fact, I'm a huge fan of the portion of the career that would probably keep them out of the Rock Hall than get them in: The Cornball Hard Rock/ Cheese Pop '80s Heart. Ann and Nancy Wilson and their cast of goons have been trotting live performances of the alleged classic "Dreamboat Annie" around the country when they should have been scorching the earth with their self-titled 1985 nuclear bomb.

"Alone." "Never." "What About Love?" "Nothin' At All." Even freaking "These Dreams" - complete with a video where Nancy rocks out on guitar even though there are zero guitars in the soft-as-a-marshmallow hit.

I realize Hall voters will want to acknowledge their spot as early women in hard rock, and if they get in before or with Joan Jett, I won't light my head on fire like I might if, say, the Beastie Boys get in.

Still, I think voters and the world should take into evidence the fact that Heart has some of the all-time worst album covers, the kind that could place amongst the worst with this and this and this.

Here are six of Heart's stinkbomb covers:

 6. "Dog & Butterfly," 1978. I wanted to go with five to be traditional, but I also felt like at least one of Heart's drawn album covers needed to be represented. It easily could have been 1987's "Bad Animals" (which should have been called "Bad Artwork"). But this is the real steaming pile of turd. The idea meeting for the album cover concept must have included the following genius ideas: "Let's put a dog and a butterfly on the cover," and "let's get a 3 year old to draw it," and "let's get a 1 year old to scribble lines all over it," and "let's go doo-doo on the floor."

5. "Dreamboat Annie," 1976. Yes, even this amazing, flawless, influential, all-time classic (whatever) has yet another weird sister image going on that Heart became known for. Why do they appear do be naked? Why does Ann have this look of lust on her face? To quote Harry Mayes from 97.5 The Fan: "What is goin' on back there?"

4. "Heart," 1985. Even in the 1980s, people had to realize they were sporting some pretty far out fashions. Mullets. Copious amounts of hairspray. Jackets that resembled lab coats. Colors that should never go together. Yet Heart flaunted this soon-to-be-dated look on the COVER OF THEIR ALBUM. The guy on the far right looks like Adam Ant on steroids. Come on, man!

3. "Little Queen," 1977. When Marsellus Wallace told Butch that he was "going to get medieval" on a rapist cop's ass, he meant somewhere near the opposite of this. I don't know if the any of the guys in the background were in Heart at the time, but if they were they should probably go ahead and turn themselves into walking Ken dolls right about now.

2. "Desire Walks On," 1993. From the beginning of the let's-not-admit-that-they're-getting-older period. Why is half of Ann's face cut off? Why is Nancy covering one of her eyes with a rose? Why not just have the top of their heads on the cover? Why not just cover them with picnic table covers and batting helmets and call it a day?

1. "Private Audition," 1982. The album title alone could keep Heart out of the Rock Hall; it sounds like some kind of movie you tried to watch through squiggly lines on Skinemax when you were 13 (and by "you" I mean "me"). But what about the photos? What about the dude peering through the blinds? What about the lit cigar that threatens to burn the whole place down? What about the fact that the tracklist includes titles like "City's Burnin'," "Hey Darlin' Darlin'" and "Fast Times"? Without hearing a note I know I would have to be paid a lot of money to sit through this record. In fact, I'm getting sick just looking at it.

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