The SRO Show – Ann Wilson
The Queen of Rock
Produced by Lawrence Standifer Stevens
Written by Joseph E. Casanova
You know Ann Wilson as the lead singer for Heart, the Seattle band that produced some driving rock anthems in the ‘70s. But you may not know that she has a new solo album out. . . and it may surprise you.
Heart’s Ann Wilson, the vocal powerhouse behind Magic Man and Crazy on You, has finally released her first completely solo effort entitled The Ann Wilson Thing! - #1, a collection she called simple, down to earth and raw.
The four-song EP includes Buffalo Springfield’s 60’s anthem, For What It’s Worth and the bluesy Fool No More, a track she co-wrote with guitarist Craig Bartok.
The set also features a slightly overproduced cover of Ray Charles’ Danger Zone and a live version of Aretha Franklin’s Ain’t No Way.
The Heart frontwoman recorded a compilation of covers earlier this year called Hope & Glory with guest appearances by younger sister Nancy and country diva Gretchen Wilson on CCR’s Bad Moon Rising.
Wilson paid homage to Led Zeppelin with a rendition of Immigrant Song. She cited Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page as major influences on her music and career.
But it was her show-stopping performance of Stairway to Heaven that brought the Zeppelin front man to tears the night of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2012.
Plant said in later interviews that it was the best version of the immortal classic he had ever heard.
During a career spanning over 40 years, Wilson and Heart have amassed several multi-platinum albums, numerous radio standards and a worldwide fan base.
Now the question remains – is Ann Wilson the Queen of Rock?
Other contenders range from Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar to Joan Jett. All viable candidates in their own right.
All four are still consistently played on local classic rock stations, mainly dominated by male artists and groups.
For me, hands down, the title goes to Ann Wilson.
She and her sister broke down barriers in the mid-70s. Rock radio mostly ignored female artists, barely having enough room for one girl on the roster.
In 1985, Heart changed labels and garnered some of the biggest hits of the 80’s and early 90’s such as These Dreams, Alone, and All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You.
In the late 90’s the sisters explored a more acoustic sound with the Lovemongers project.
After all these years, Ann Wilson still has a special place in our "hearts."