Nancy Wilson Reflects on Heart’s Early Envy of Fleetwood Mac

Nancy Wilson Reflects on Heart’s Early Envy of Fleetwood Mac | Society Of Rock Videos

via Collider Interviews / YouTube

In the competitive landscape of 70s rock music, Nancy Wilson of Heart vividly remembers a time of intense jealousy towards the chart-topping success of Fleetwood Mac. During her candid conversation on the Broken Record podcast, Wilson opened up about her emotions and the early days of Heart as they entered the music scene.

Navigating the Shadow of Fleetwood Mac’s Success

Wilson reminisced about the time when Fleetwood Mac was enjoying immense popularity with their album “Rumours,” while Heart was still making tentative steps into the industry. “They were happening right before us, kind of as Heart was just starting to tiptoe into the scene, and they already had ‘Rumours’ out there,” Wilson recalled. The feeling of envy stemmed not only from Fleetwood Mac’s commercial triumphs but from their musical style, which seemed so akin to what Heart was aiming to achieve.

“We were just trying so hard to make an album and get out there and get a tour or whatever, and they were all over the radio,” she noted. The presence of two harmonious women in Fleetwood Mac only amplified Wilson’s feelings of inadequacy. She admired the way the women in Fleetwood Mac complemented each other’s voices alongside their acoustic style, which was something Wilson herself brought fervently into Heart. “I felt so jealous of that band because there was two women in it that sounded so good together, and they had the acoustic guitar kind of thing that I felt like I was bringing a lot of into our band,” Wilson explained. The sentiment of missing out on something unique was palpable: “They kind of had it already, you know, like something we were trying to capture. They had already captured it. So I was really like, ‘Damn it! What makes us so different now?’”

Heart’s Emergence as a Unique Force in Rock

Despite these initial doubts, Heart did not remain overshadowed by Fleetwood Mac. The uniqueness of Ann Wilson’s powerful vocals carved a distinct identity for Heart. “We did sound very different,” Nancy observed. “A lot of it’s Ann’s voice, you know, very signature. The muscle and the power that she possesses and the way she sings is completely its own thing. So lucky for us, we had Ann.”

Nancy credited her sister’s voice not only with distinguishing Heart from Fleetwood Mac but also with providing the band the ability to explore a broader musical range. “Not just soft rock. We had hard rock, so we could rock very hard and as quietly as well,” she remarked, suggesting that Heart’s musical versatility was perhaps broader than that of their counterparts. This ability to diversify their sound played a crucial role in establishing Heart’s unique place in rock history.

Over the years, Heart has produced a succession of albums that reflect their wide-ranging musical abilities. Their discography tells a story of a band that has remained consistently good, avoiding the trap of releasing subpar records—a feat not easily achieved in the music industry. The discussion of Heart’s albums, ranked from worst to best, underscores the difficulty in categorizing their music linearly since each offering has a distinct flavor and quality.

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