The tale of two sisters, Ann and Nancy Wilson, and how they took over hard rock is the epitome of Heart’s Little Queen. With two albums already under the belt, the third did not come without struggle and controversy. During the recording of the album, Heart was battling to escape their old label, Mushroom Records.
With an air of uncertainty looming around the band with regards to whether or not they would be barred from creating new music (thanks to pending court battles with Mushroom Records), they were forced to record in just three weeks. Yet after being on the road for a year and truly honing and growing into their own sound, Heart had finally become a band and thus made the recording of Little Queen easier.
Oddly enough, the album doesn’t feel or sound rushed. You don’t even sense the mountains of stress lingering behind the scenes—it’s cohesive, it’s balanced, and its Heart to the core. Adopting some of the Zeppelin aesthetic that was typical of the 70s, Heart explores hard rock in songs like “Barracuda” and “Kick it Out” but takes the edge off with more folky, acoustic songs like “Sylvan Song” and “Dream of the Archer”.
Barracuda is one of the album’s most prominent and possibly most popular songs, and rightfully so. With deep, hard hitting riffs and Ann Wilson’s powerhouse of a voice, the rage against the patriarchy song highlights the struggles the Wilson sisters experience in the male-dominated music industry. The song was born after Mushroom Records’ attempted publicity stunt concerning a made-up incestuous love affair between the Wilson sisters. Naturally, an unspeakable rage led Ann to storm out and return to her hotel room, and Barracuda came from it.
Little Queen balances the hard-hitting rock with the gentle, reflecting soft acoustic—this juxtaposition is part of Heart’s charm, and what makes the album balance so well together.