Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson are the creative spark behind Heart, a hard rock group who initially found success in the mid-'70s only to reach greater heights after engineering a major comeback a decade later. The daughters of a Marine Corps captain, Ann (born June 19, 1950) and Nancy (born March 16, 1954) grew up in both Southern California and Taiwan before the Wilson family settled in Seattle, Washington. Throughout their formative years, both were interested in folk and pop music; while Ann never took any formal music lessons as a child (she later learned to play several instruments), Nancy took up guitar and flute. After both sisters spent some time at college, they decided to try their hand as professional musicians, and while Nancy began performing as a folksinger, Ann joined the all-male vocal group Heart.
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Heart was actually formed in 1963 by bassist Steve Fossen and brothers Roger Fisher and Mike Fisher; initially dubbed the Army, they later became White Heart before settling on simply Heart at the beginning of the '70s. After her arrival in the group, Annbecame romantically involved with guitarist Mike Fisher; when Nancy joined in 1974, she in turn began a relationship with guitarist Roger Fisher. Soon after Nancy's arrival, Mike Fisher retired from active performing to become the band's sound engineer. After gaining a following in Vancouver, Heartwas approached by Shelly Siegel, the owner of the Canadian label Mushroom and, augmented by keyboardist Howard Leese and drummer Michael Derosier, they recorded their debut album, Dreamboat Annie, in 1975.
After selling more than 30,000 copies north of the border, Mushroom issued the LP in the U.S., where it quickly achieved platinum status on the strength of the hit singles "Crazy on You" and "Magic Man." In 1977, Heart jumped ship to the CBS affiliate Portrait, resulting in a protracted legal battle with Siegel, who in 1978 released the unfinished LP Magazine on Mushroom shortly after the band issued its true follow-up, Little Queen, on Portrait. The single "Barracuda" was another massive hit, and like its predecessor, Little Queen sold over a million copies.
In 1985, however, Heart emerged with a self-titled effort that ultimately sold more than five million copies on its way to launching four Top Ten hits: "What About Love?," "Never," the chart-topping "These Dreams," and "Nothin' at All." 1987's Bad Animals continued their comeback success; "Alone" was another number one hit, and both "Who Will You Run To" and "There's the Girl" achieved considerable airplay as well. Brigade, issued in 1990, featured the number two smash "All I Want to Do Is Make Love to You," as well as the Top 25 hits "I Didn't Want to Need You" and "Stranded." In the early '90s, the Wilson sisters took a brief hiatus from Heart to form the Lovemongers, an acoustic quartet fleshed out by Sue Ennis and Frank Cox; in 1992, they issued a four-song EP that included a cover of Led Zeppelin's "The Battle of Evermore." Heart returned in 1993 with Desire Walks On, on which Andes and Carmassi were replaced with bassist Fernando Saundersand drummer Denny Fongheiser. With 1995's The Road Home, Heart enlisted onetime Zeppelinbassist John Paul Jones to produce a live acoustic set, reprising hits like "Dreamboat Annie," "Crazy On You," and "Barracuda."
Heart picked up the pace in 2012. In June, Legacy released the retrospective box set Strange Euphoria. In September, the Wilson sisters became authors with the publication of their memoir, Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll. Capping off the year was Fanatic, a collection of all-new studio material that appeared in October. A seasonal Christmas album, Home for the Holidays, appeared in 2014. The Wilson sisters and a host of collaborators completed the recording of a new album in early 2016. Entitled Beautiful Broken (for a bonus cut from Fanatic), the album included ten tracks that balanced new material and re-recordings of songs that originally appeared on albums between 1980-1984 -- the band felt they weren't captured correctly the first time. The set also featured a guest appearance from Metallica's James Hetfield on the title cut. Beautiful Broken was released by Concord in July.