Strange Euporia (Epic Legacy)

Phases & Stages


Strange Euphoria (Epic/Legacy)

There's a girliness to this box set that's subtle and befitting of Heart. Ann and Nancy Wilson are the ultimate in sister acts, too, keeping close to themselves and their ideas. That vision is beautifully realized on the sibling-curated Strange Euphoria, a yardstick of their development as two rock & roll fans who wanted to be Robert Plant and Jimmy Page and grew to realize that dream. In those hits that sold 35 million records ("These Dreams"), deep cuts ("Love Mistake"), unreleased sides ("Skin to Skin"), and live shots ("Never," "Love or Madness") beats Heart's soul: monster guitar riffs, velvety acoustic numbers, and Ann Wilson's ripping lungs. That's what keeps the four CDs and DVD here so connected; Heart sounds like Heart, no matter the decade. It was a stage devoid of competition when Heart blasted through in 1976 with "Crazy on You" and "Magic Man," heard as demos on disc one. Suzi Quatro, Fanny, and Cradle all rocked as female precursors, but it was Ann Wilson's mighty vocals that opened a superstar door shut after Janis Joplin overdosed, and her only real peer was Stevie Nicks. Discs two and three glide into Heart's second wind during the Eighties MTV era, with rumpuses "City's Burning" and the unreleased "Any Woman's Blues." The DVD then comes as a bonus for Seventies Heart fans: the band before its label dictated their look and mega-stages dictated the band. The real payoff comes on the bonus disc, a roaring five-song EP called Zeppish that tears down the walls of Mordor. Here's offshoot group the Lovemongers' soaring "The Battle of Evermore," "What Is and What Should Never Be" with John Paul Jones, and a group hug on "Misty Mountain Hop," played and sung with abandon and love. And heart.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Heart
The Poops take on the Wilson sisters

Kate X Messer, Nov. 13, 2015

At its best, this program of five choreographers riffing on 'Heart' pulled me in and provoked me to deeper exploration

Jonelle Seitz, Oct. 4, 2013

More Music Reviews
Review: Tearjerk, <i>Face to Face</i>
Review: Tearjerk, Face to Face
Face to Face (Record Review)

Kriss Conklin, May 12, 2023

Album Review: The Stacks
Album Review: The Stacks
Lay Me Down to Rest (Record Review)

Mars Salazar, Feb. 17, 2023

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle