Heart - Strange Euphoria Box Set

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Heart fans have been waiting a long time for some type of comprehensive career retrospective and now it finally comes in the form of this 3-CD/1-DVD box set personally curated by Ann and Nancy Wilson. The CD portion of the set offers a nice mix of original cuts along with previously unreleased versions of known songs, presented more or less in chronological order. Fully half of the songs on CD1 will be new to fans' ears, beginning with the pre-Heart cut "Through Eyes and Glass" by Ann Wilson & the Daybreaks and continuing on with demo versions of big hits "Magic Man," "Crazy on You," "Heartless," "Dog & Butterfly" and live takes on "Barracuda" and "White Lightning and Wine." The other two CDs cover the lengthy span between the Bebe le Strange album right up to last year's Red Velvet Car, juxtapositioning huge radio hits like "Never," "Alone" and "These Dreams" with demos of "Desire Walks On," "Unconditional Love," "High Romance" and a take on "Any Woman's Blues" that features the Seattle Blues Revue Horns. Several cuts by spinoff group the Lovemongers are included as is a live version of Nancy's "Everything" and the original studio version of Annie's "Little Problems, Little Lies." The CDs hold a total of 51 cuts that make for a terrific collection in and of them selves but it doesn't end there; fans who remember when "Magic Man" and "Crazy on You" first stormed onto radio will go absolutely gaga for the DVD. Titled The Second Ending featuring Heart and filmed before a small audience in a television studio, the 1976 show finds the band performing cuts from Dreamboat Annie, giving their all to an audience that, being unfamiliar with the songs, react politely but reservedly, completely unaware that they're seeing a group that will soon explode as one of the biggest on the planet. Ann Wilson acknowledges this with her between-song patter, advising the crowd that Heart is just now "oozing down from Canada" where they have just started to break big. The band rocks hard during the film but there's also a certain innocence on display that would not be palpable in later Heart shows. The box includes a photo-filled booklet that comes with song-by-song annotation from Ann and Nancy.

Heart - Strange Euphoria Box Set

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