Archive for Bebe le Strange

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Heart- Passionworks

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2016 by 80smetalman


One of the great things I remember musically about 1983 was that Heart was back! For many, including myself, their 1980 album “Bebe Le Strange,” as good as it was, signaled the end of Heart as we knew it. Their 1982 album “Private Audition” failed to make an impact on anyone, me included there as well, which was why it got left out of the albums of that year. In the Autumn of 1983, the first single, “How Can I Refuse,” came to my attention thanks to the late night TV programme, “Video Rock.” When I heard it, I loved it. True, that song hasn’t the rocking power of classics like “Barracuda,” “Crazy On You” and “Magic Man,” but it still rocks for me. In fact, it’s number four on my favourite Heart songs list behind the three giants I have mentioned.

“How Can I Refuse” isn’t the only cool rocker on the “Passionworks” album, there are quite a few other good ones. “Blue Guitar,” “Beat By Jelousy,” “Sleep Alone” and “Heavy Heart are all great rock outs and the standouts for me on the album. “Sleep Alone” is definitely a trip back to Heart’s heavy days of the 1970s and “Beat By Jealousy has some really cool guitar hooks. True, there are more synthesizers used here as was the 80s trend but that doesn’t detract from the quality one iota. Ann Wilson’s voice is as great as it had ever been and would continue to be years after. As for Nancy, I feel a bit sexist for not including her among my list of great rhythm guitarists. She definitely belongs there!

Apart from all the great rocking to there are also three ballads and as any Heart fan can tell you, Ann’s voice can sing anything very well. “Johnny Moon” and “Language of Love” bear tribute to the fact. However, there is one ballad here that stands above everything. I even put it above the great power ballad, “Just Between You and Me” by April Wine. What’s more, there isn’t even a guitar solo in the song, so it must be that good for me to like it. If you haven’t guessed already, I’m talking about “Allies.” Play that song, and I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and I mean whatever and just rock out to it. It is the ballad of ballads in my view. The ballads with the rock, plus the song “Together Now” bridging them together, make “Passionworks” a brilliant album.

Track Listing:

  1. How Can I Refuse
  2. Blue Guitar
  3. Johnny Moon
  4. Sleep Alone
  5. Together Now
  6. Allies
  7. (Beat by) Jealousy
  8. Heavy Heart
  9. Love Mistake
  10. Language of Love
  11. Ambush


Ann Wilson- vocals

Nancy Wilson- guitar, vocals (lead vocal on track 9)

Howard Leese- lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

Mark Andes- bass, backing vocals

Danny Carmassi- drums

“Passionworks” paved the way for Heart to comeback in 1983. This album put their hard rock sound into a more marketable 1980s style without old fans like me saying they sold out. Often unremembered, this album is far better than what it has been given credit for.

Next post: Pat Benetar- Live From Earth

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Great Rock Albums of 1980: Heart- Bebe le Strange

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 1, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-BebelestrangeHeart rocked the world throughout the 1970’s with a string of hard rock albums that brought them great fame. Some of those albums have been visited in earlier posts and I stand by my claim that Ann and Nancy Wilson were the first modern rock chicks. On the flip side, many have said that their 1980 album wasn’t as good as any of their predecessors. True, by this time Heart were engulfed in internal strife and guitarist Roger Fisher left the band some months earlier. However, none of that was reflected on this album in any way in my view.

The title track sets the album in the right direction from the outset incorporating everything one knew and loved about Heart. The bluesy “Down On Me” is definitely a likeable track and as always, Nancy gets to show off her guitar talent on the acoustic instrumental, “Silver Wheels.” “Break” and “Rockin’ Heaven Down” are true rock songs even if the former song does kind of end abruptly. This leads fine to the second single “Even It Up” whose rhythm reminds a little of the classic Heart anthem, “Magic Man.” Then you get some more rocking from the next three tracks before the album ends on the ballad, “Sweet Darlin.” So I ask myself after just having had a 38 minute rock out, “What is there not to like about “Bebe le Strange?” I sure can’t find anything.

Track Listing:

1. Bebe le Strange

2. Down On Me

3. Silver Wheels

4. Break

5. Rockin Heaven Down

6. Even It Up

7. Strange Night

8. Raised On You

9. Pilot

10. Sweet Darlin



Ann Wilson- vocals

Nancy Wilson- guitar, vocals, piano, mellotron

Howard Leese- guitar, keyboards synthesisers, backing vocals

Mike DeRosier- drums, percussion

Steve Fossen- bass

It was a great way to wake up on a Sunday morning! Hearing this album again after so many years gave me such a good rock out this morning and I’ve been feeling the groove throughout the whole day. So what if Heart made this album during their infighting. It proves that once you get down to business, you can still achieve great things. “Bebe le Strange” is an underrated album by Heart and it is definitely worth a listen again.

Next post: Dire Straits- Communique

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Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London