Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, better known as the veteran rock duo Heart, have influenced dozens of other female performers with their aggressive, guitar-driven rock. Hits include "Magic Man," "These Dreams" and "Never." Heart has just released Jupiter's Darling, their first new studio album in more than a decade.
Since the 1970s, Heart has sold more than 30 million albums, and has scored 20 Top 40 hits. After record company conflicts over the past 10 years and some health problems, Ann and Nancy Wilson are making a triumphant return. Although they haven't recorded as Heart since 1993, the Wilson Sisters were involved in a side band called The Lovemongers, Nancy has written for film soundtracks such as Vanilla Sky and Almost Famous, and both have toured as solo acts.
Ann tackled a long-time physical problem by undergoing dramatic weight-loss surgery, which was televised on-line. The sisters also resolved a legal dispute with their former record company.
"When we finally decided to go back into the studio as Heart, we thought about what would be a dream album for our fans," says Nancy. "We went back to our own roots, the dream we had of giving Led Zeppelin a run for their money." Ann comments, "There is a real hunger out there for authentic rock. That was all the encouragement we needed."
Explaining the name of their new album, Ann and Nancy Wilson say, Jupiter's Darling is the story of a temptress who lures men of power away from making war. The planet Jupiter herself is also a protector. With superior gravity, she pulls many catastrophic space rocks away from Earth. So we are Jupiter's Darling."
"We went for songs that were simple, powerful, at times slightly political, but always emotionally honest," says Ann. "We think our fans, no matter how young or old, are smart, passionate people. They've stayed loyal because we've never underestimated them." Nancy agrees, "We'll never be a jukebox band, recycling our greatest hits. We may have the same goals and ideals we started with, but we're always finding new ways of expressing them."
The Wilson Sisters have launched a new fan club called Heart Mongers. Members who purchase an annual membership have the first chance at concert tickets before they go on sale to the general public, plus other benefits. Earlier this year, the duo released Heart Alive in Seattle, a DVD version of their 2002 television concert, which introduced the band members who play on their new album. Ann and Nancy Wilson are backing up their new CD with a major tour of North America that runs through September.