Saturday, April 19, 2008

Crazy On You, Heart (1976)

If ever there was an anthem for a certain part of my life when I was without a doubt certifiable due to a tempestuous relationship that brought me to rack and ruin, Crazy On You is it. Ask me to construct my Top Ten list of songs that have the power to stop the heart, this goes right on the top of the heap.

Here's the thing about Ann Wilson - she might be the best female rock singer the world has ever seen. No one commits to a song like she does - this is just one of so many that I consider great - or does so with more power and sheer guts. I just found this video of Crazy On You from a performance nearly 25 years after the song's release, and I literally had to pick myself off the floor and go blow my nose from the experience.

Among the song's virtues is its dramatic structure. Ann's opening solo, followed by sister Nancy's possessed acoustic intro before jumping into the main event of the song - as Elvis Costello said, God give me strength.

The rock musicianship overall was stellar. Longtime Heart lead guitarist Howard Leese, on, said, "My main job is the guitar solos. I take it real seriously. When you think about it the solo is one of the big points in the song. When Ann sings the second chorus, there's usually a scream, and it's like 'Take It', and you have to come up to that level of intensity and play for awhile, and then give it back to Ann.

"So, that's quite a responsibility, especially if you're playing on a song you think is gonna be a number one record. You have to be very careful with the solo and make it something people aren't gonna get sick of after they hear it a million times. What I try to do, is come up with a melody that I think is as good or better than what the writer wrote for the singer."

I see the song was used in the film Juno (although was not included in the soundtrack - what's up with that?), which just landed on my doorstep from Netflix, so I guess I know what I'll be doing later today. I cannot wait to see how it's used! (UPDATE: Here's how it's used - not at all! Don't believe everything you read on wikipedia!)


Linda G said...

OMG...picking myself up off the floor now. Her passion has never changed...she's as incredible as ever.

But doesn't it just piss you off when someone watches something like that and can only comment on her weight gain.

Mombi said...

I'm so stoked by your post on Heart that my eyes can barely focus enough to read the post. It will require several readings. Heart is one of my guilty pleasures that I will NOT apologize for. Did you know they're playing Blossom this summer with JOURNEY!??! Match made in heaven!!

cornbread hell said...

"...something people aren't gonna get sick of after they hear it a million times."

cornbread hell said...

linda g - i just read the comments on the video you must be referring to...what a bunch of morons.

Linda G said...

Rack and ruin...yes, you did. No wonder I liked it so much in the Monday puzzle ; )

tree said...

That's my 2nd favorite Heart song - behind the cover of Zeppelin's "Battle of Evermore".