David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Day 62: Heart (Barracuda)

June 27, 2020

I have a friend who hates Heart. How do you hate Heart? I can see not overly liking them, but to have such distaste across the board? I admit I could do without their lavish fawning over Led Zeppelin, and especially believe we never needed a cover of Zep's "Rock And Roll."

The thing is I dislike confrontation, especially over musical opinions. Nothing can be gained from it, and in the end, to each his own. This one gets stuck in my craw a little bit, though. I wonder how our debate might go. I envision this entirely fictional exchange. To protect the parties, let's call my Heart-less friend, oh, "Bacon," and call my Heart-Healthy self, oh, "Scotch."

Scotch: O.k., I don't get how you can't at least kind of get Heart. Let me play "Barracuda" as an example.

Bacon: Wait, stop right there, look at that album cover!

Scotch: What about it?

Bacon: What's with the period piece costumes, the hand mirror, the dudes in the background. Is this the Renaissance Fair?  Pretentious, you think?

Scotch: This was the 70's, Bacon. I know you are too young to have experienced it, but this was nothing. We had Freddie Mercury in kimonos, Robert Plant in shirts that were too small for him, David Crosby in fur coats, and Mick Fleetwood in whatever that he was wearing on Rumours. If you are going to judge the book by the cover . . .

Bacon: Whatever! I'm just saying they look all too dolled up.

Scotch: What do you want? On Dreamboat Annie, they are seen just from bare-shoulders and up.

Bacon: Exactly.  Is it about the sex appeal or the music?

Scotch: To teenage boys in the 70's, it really could be about both.

Bacon: Whatever! Just play the dumb song.

Scotch: Listen to those guitars. Don't they send chills down your spines.

Bacon: Not very subtle. Guitar-playing histrionics, if you ask me.

Scotch: Well, they were playing in the hard rock sandbox, what should we expect?  But, listen to it. You have Nancy Wilson cranking out the rhythm guitar, Roger Fisher filling in with classic guitar licks. His use of the whammy bar to create all that vibrato and tremelo accentuate what Ann Wilson is doing with her voice.

Bacon: There you go! Those piercing vocals. Those high-reaching belted octaves that come out of nowhere. That's what I can't stand.

Scotch: Ann Wilson's voice is impressive, right? To hit those octaves over and over.

Bacon: I'd like to hit her. They are so shrill and so random. Listen to that: "No right, no wrong, you're selling a song, a NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEE . .  a whisper game." My ears, my ears.

Scotch: I guess I can't argue with you but if you have pipes like that, shouldn't you use them?

Bacon: Wait, now the lyrics are just getting downright stupid. Listen: "'Sell me, sell you,' the porpoise said." What the heck does that mean? I know you literary types love your extended metaphors, but this ocean is too deep for me.

Scotch: I have to admit I don't get the purpose of the porpoise, but overall the lyrics are pretty brilliant.

Bacon: Brilliant? Really, isn't this the group that supposedly wrote "Magic Man" about Charles Manson?

Scotch: Ugh! No, that is as fictional as this dialogue. Actually, "Barracuda" is their response to some journalist who implied that the sisters were having an incestuous relationship.

Bacon: Get out!

Scotch: No. Honest.  It was also an attack on their first record company.  Makes the lines "you lying so low in the weeds/I bet you're gonna ambush me" much more meaningful.

Bacon: Ooooh, Barracuda. Now I get it.  O.k. cool back story but I still don't like them.

Scotch: Whatever. I will agree with you when it comes to "These Dreams."

"Barracuda." Little Queen. Heart. Portrait. 1977. Link here.

*The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of said Bacon or even said Scotch.

Day 61: Ringo Starr "It Don't Come Easy."

Day 63: Rasputina. "Brand New Key."

See complete list here.