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Old 06-20-2022, 02:39 PM
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Thumbs up Passionworks - Heart (1983)

One of the lost albums of the 80s is Heart's 1983 album Passionworks. This was supposedly the bottom of Heart's career before their big mid 80s comeback that made them a hit machine for the next 6 years and 3 more albums. Passionworks had luke warm reviews and is produced by Keith Olsen and a new bassist Marc Andes (who would later play bass for Stevie on her 1991 tour). I love this album and has 2 of my all time favorite Heart songs; How Can I Refuse and Allies. How Can I refuse just missed the top 40 (#44) but was #2 on the rock charts. Allies has great piano and amazing drumming and vocals. It was not that successful and Heart blamed Epic records for not promoting it. However, it was the last album in their contract and Heart was almost considered a washed up band by 1983. If you ever have time check out this lost 80s classic. Its great music not chasing pop charts. Here are the 2 singles from the album. I bet you heard these before.

How Can I Refuse
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL5-9enCa_s

Allies
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okIF1hcjavc
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Old 06-21-2022, 07:02 AM
On Ice On Ice is offline
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Passionworks certainly is a lost album of the 80s, I'm surprised that with the success of the self titled album it didn't get a second chance. How Can I Refuse was on the set list at the Heart tour and I remember in '85 it was well received by the audience. Allies, now, I would say is a better song than the wonderful Alone and is powerhouse Ann Wilson. The one weakness I would say is the weird drum effects which make the album slightly dated sounding but in retrospect, it deserved a lot more attention than it got. I really enjoyed it at the time, but it was evident Heart had changed as a band and there was no going back.
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Old 06-21-2022, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by On Ice View Post
Passionworks certainly is a lost album of the 80s, I'm surprised that with the success of the self titled album it didn't get a second chance. How Can I Refuse was on the set list at the Heart tour and I remember in '85 it was well received by the audience. Allies, now, I would say is a better song than the wonderful Alone and is powerhouse Ann Wilson. The one weakness I would say is the weird drum effects which make the album slightly dated sounding but in retrospect, it deserved a lot more attention than it got. I really enjoyed it at the time, but it was evident Heart had changed as a band and there was no going back.
A-men. Allies is the better song and really displays Ann's powerhouse vocals. Its a power ballad with the crashing drums and guitars along with the beautiful piano. It always drove me nuts how such an incredible song did not break through the charts. There are a few videos of Heart performing these songs live in 1983. They sound exactly like the record. No trickery just real singing and real playing.
I must say I love the album cover too. The title is a favorite too. I remember Heart was not bringing big crowds in 1983. They did arena tours with Kansas and the arenas were not full. On my local rock station WDVE Pittsburgh, the Wilson sisters appeared in the studio to promote the show. They flipped a coin in the studio to see who would open the show and Heart opened the show for Kansas. OMG think about that. Things were about to change with #1 album, song and a sold out tour in a few more years. However the Wilson sisters felt they sort of sold out for their success with performing other people's songs, embracing the glam Vixen look of the 80s, etc. In some way Passionworks was an end to a Heart era.
I so agree with your point. People fawned over Ann with her power ballad Alone performance. I too was like, has anyone not heard Allies?
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Christine on Stevie 1984: "10 years ago she really had her feet on the ground but she seems to have developed her own fantasy world, somehow, which I’m not part of. We don’t socialize much."

Last edited by Macfan4life; 06-21-2022 at 07:50 AM..
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Old 06-22-2022, 07:16 AM
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Here is a great live version of Allies from 1983. Sounds just like the recording. Ann on flute around the 3:00 mark. This woman is incredible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcIOjmJVzLE
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Christine on Stevie 1984: "10 years ago she really had her feet on the ground but she seems to have developed her own fantasy world, somehow, which I’m not part of. We don’t socialize much."

Last edited by Macfan4life; 06-22-2022 at 07:18 AM..
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Old 06-22-2022, 08:13 AM
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That was awesome and what a showcase of a gifted singer- some comments in the thread about the song being cheesy but I strongly refute that- it's brilliant in every way and captures the times and the band going through a transition. How this was not the smash breakthrough hit is beyond comprehension.
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Old 06-24-2022, 08:54 AM
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Because of the failure of this album, Heart stopped writing their own songs until the end of the 1990s when they didn't care about success anymore. They were the corporate rock band of the mid 1980s.
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Old 06-24-2022, 12:57 PM
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In 1982 I was in college up at UC Santa Barbara. We went to see Heart and El Rayo X with David Lindley perform at one of the theaters downtown — the Granada or the Lobero, possibly. Heart opened with “How Can I Refuse,” which was a favorite of mine at the time. I used to mishear the lyric “Should I drop my guard” as “Should I drive my car.”

I think that may have been the only time I saw Heart live?
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Old 06-24-2022, 09:21 PM
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Passionworks is the last Heart album that I like. The band continued to make successful, well-arranged music, but they were no longer an album band.

My favs on it are How Can I Refuse (of course) and Sleep Alone.
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