Heart – Strange Euphoria (3-CD and 1-DVD Box Set)
Heart has released a treasure trove of music for their hardcore fan base. The box set includes many of their biggest hits, as well as many deep album cuts, rarities, demos and live performances. This was a true labor of love for the Wilson sisters, as everything from song selections, to the artwork, to the packaging is stellar.
Ann Wilson comments on Heart’s musical past, “In all the years we have been making music we have seen trends come and go. We have always felt that to try and chase the latest 'it' sound is pointless, and we have tried to remain true to ourselves as songwriters and musicians. Sometimes we have had amazing success and heard ourselves on the radio... other times not so much, but the music is always playing in our house. In this box we have included many things that until now have never seen the light of day. Also here are our favorite deep tracks and live moments that really speak to who we are on the stage and the connection between us and the people who show up to rock. Enjoy this collection. It has many facets just like we do, but the spirit running through it is all Heart.”
Hearing demos for “Magic Man” and “Crazy On You” as the band developed these classic songs is spellbinding. It is a treat for Heart fans to be able to peek behind the curtain.
The box set begins with a song by Ann Wilson & the Daybreaks titled “Through Eyes and Glass” and her amazing voice is apparent even in this pre-Heart tune. There are more interesting demos including “Heartless” and “Dog and Butterfly” and amazing live tracks including Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones guesting with the band for “Never.” Other live tunes are “White Lightening and Wine” and “Barracuda."For the every day Heart fan there are plenty of greatest hits found on the box set including “Little Queen,” “Kick It Out,” “Straight On,” “Even It Up,” “These Dreams” and “Alone.”
The DVD included is the real star of the show, however. The concert footage comes from 1976 and includes the band jamming out on “Crazy on You,” “Dreamboat Annie,” “Heartless,” “White Lightening & Wine,” “Silver Wheels” and “Magic Man” among others.
One of the most important aspects of the entire box set is that it shows Heart as a multi-dimensional band that could both rock and play folk music.
This is a great collection that proves Heart is more than just a couple of famous sisters from Seattle. Heart is a band that mixed many musical genres and created their own sound, a sound that is still heard daily on rock radio all these years later.
By Jeb Wright
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