3 Songs You Didn’t Know Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson Wrote as a Duo for Heart

Heart is making headlines again thanks to a recent reunion from frontwomen sisters, Ann and Nancy Wilson, in Southern California. Due to a personal rift, the two talents have not made music together in years. Now they are set for an upcoming New Year’s Eve show at Climate Pledge Arena in their hometown, too, leaving fans atwitter. Tickets for the New Year’s Eve show are available through StubHub, where orders are 100% guaranteed through StubHub’s FanProtect program. StubHub is a secondary market ticketing platform, and prices may be higher or lower than face value, depending on demand.

Videos by American Songwriter

Heart, which also has new music coming in 2024, is famous for songs like “Crazy On You” and “Barracuda,” among many others. Some of the band’s most indelible tracks are ones written by the sisterly duo. Below, we highlight three such songs that Ann and Nancy wrote for their debut LP, Dreamboat Annie.

[RELATED: Heart’s Nancy Wilson Says New Music Is Coming “Early in the Year” 2024]

1. “Magic Man

Written by Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson

From the classic rock band’s debut LP, Dreamboat Annie, which was released in 1975, this song is about a love affair between a young woman and an older man—much to the chagrin of the gal’s mother who begs her daughter to leave the man’s seductive clutches and return home. Since the song’s release, Ann has said that the song was about Mike Fisher, Heart’s manager at the time.

In an interview with American Songwriter, Ann told the backstory of the track. “It’s absolutely my leaving home song,” she said. “My mother wasn’t all too sure that the best thing for me was to—even though I was already 21, she wasn’t sure that I should be jumping into this full-time sexual cohabitational relationship with somebody in a whole other country [Ann moved from Seattle, Washington, to Vancouver, B.C. with Fisher]. And she was calling me, going, ‘What are you up to? C’mon, I don’t know if you should be doing this. Come on back! Be careful, give it some thought!’ And I was just like, ‘Nope, nope, I’m gone! I’m in!’ And it was love at first sight that lasted for about eight years! But ‘Magic Man’ was definitely written about the spell that I was under and my conversations with my mother about it at the time.”

Cold, late night so long ago
When I was not so strong you know
A pretty man came to me
I never seen eyes so blue
You know, I could not run away it seemed
We’d seen each other in a dream
Seemed like he knew me, he looked right through me, yeah

“Come on home, girl” he said with a smile
“You don’t have to love me yet, let’s get high awhile
But try to understand, try to understand
Try, try, try to understand, I’m a magic man”

2. “Dreamboat Annie

Written by Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson

The title track from the sisters’ 1975 debut LP, this song opens with an almost lullaby-like acoustic riff from Nancy. Strangely, there are three versions of the song on the LP: “Dreamboat Annie (Fantasy Child),” “Dreamboat Annie” and “Dreamboat Annie (Reprise).” In the end, the track released as the single is performed softer and more “adult contemporary” than flat-out rock and roll, showcasing something of a mellower side from the sisters. But on the track, Ann soars like a condor, singing about sunlight, ocean waves, and a welcoming breeze, among other picturesque elements.

Heading out this morning into the sun
Riding on the diamond waves, little darlin’ one

Warm wind caress her
Her lover it seems
Oh, Annie
Dreamboat Annie my little ship of dreams

Going down the city sidewalk alone in the crowd
No one knows the lonely one whose head’s in the clouds

3. “Crazy On You

Written by Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson

Perhaps Heart’s best-known song, “Crazy On You” is a rollicking rampage of music complete with sticky guitar riffs and lightning bolt vocals. The song’s lyrics are about experiencing torrid feelings amidst troubled times.

In an interview with American Songwriter, Nancy discussed the track. “When Ann was writing the lyrics, I know that she was—the times were very troubled, kind of like today. Very much like today. And, you know, it was kind of a call to your partner to be like, ‘I know the world is just insanely crazy here right now. But I just want us to go crazy together. To let it all just fall away so it’s only just you and me here!’ So, I think that’s a really cool thing that she did in those words for sure.”

If we still have time, we might still get by
Every time I think about it, I wanna cry
With bombs and the Devil, and the kids keep comin’
No way to breathe easy, no time to be young

But I tell myself that I was doin’ all right
There’s nothin’ left to do at night
But go crazy on you
Crazy on you
Let me go crazy, crazy on you, oh

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

*Purchases you make through our links may earn American Songwriter a commission.

Leave a Reply

The Beatles

Watch ‘Parks and Recreation’ Star Break Out a Melancholy Rendition of Beatles Hit “Yesterday”

Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson

Jelly Roll Recalls ‘American Idol’ Run-in With a Frazzled Lainey Wilson That Proved Her “Next Level” Work Ethic