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O.C. Fair gets some Heart

Dynamic between sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson hasn't changed after decades of performing together.

August 02, 2012|By Heather Youmans
(Photo by Norman…)

Iconic rock band Heart will return to the Orange County Fair's Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa next week to celebrate the release of their box set, upcoming album and memoir.

The group will play an hour-and-a-half set encompassing more than four decades of music, according to lead singer Ann Wilson, known for her gritty, gut-wrenching vocals.

"It's going to be a nice cross-section from every era of Heart, but we have a new album coming out Oct. 2, so we'll be doing some new stuff from that, as well — and, some surprises that I'm not even ready to divulge," she said in a phone interview.

Heart burst onto the rock scene in the mid-1970s with hits such as "Crazy on You," "Magic Man," "Alone," "These Dreams," "Barracuda," "Straight On," "Even It up" and "What about Love," which found their way to radio, TV and on motion picture soundtracks.

Thirty-five million records later, Heart boasts 21 Top 40 hits, four Grammy nominations, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination, and lifetime achievement awards from the Grammy Foundation Northwest Chapter, ASCAP, and VH1 Rock Honors, according to http://www.heart-music.com.

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And to top it off, Heart will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this fall followed by live concert webcast at a small, nearby club, Wilson said.

Heart made a comeback once again in 2010 when "Red Velvet Car" — the group's first new studio album in six years — entered the Billboard 200 best-selling album charts at No. 10.

"It felt amazing," Wilson said. "Nobody expected it. Nobody was more surprised than us, because it's been a long time since we've been top 10, probably since the '90s. It's an amazing feeling. I think we felt very studly there for a little while.

"Then again, we don't really base our self-worth on being in the charts anymore. We really have gotten past that. We really are more about playing live. So, being top 10 was like icing on the cake."

The group's follow-up album, "Fanatic," was recorded in hotel rooms and studios on the West Coast with Grammy-winning producer Ben Mink and will showcase the band's harder rock side.

The album features 10 new performances from Ann and Nancy Wilson including "Walkin' Good" — a duet with Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan — and the single "Fanatic," which will be released for radio Aug. 20.

Throughout the recording process, the sisters led the band, wrote the songs and played the instruments.

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