Heart – Bebe le Strange (1980/2015) [HDTracks 24bit/192kHz]

Heart – Bebe le Strange (1980/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 37:36 minutes | 1,37 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | @ Portrait Records

Bébé le Strange is the fifth studio album by the American rock band Heart. It was released on February 14, 1980 through Epic Records. It was the first album without founding member Roger Fisher on lead guitar, who had left the band months prior along with his brother Michael.

The album was a commercial success, peaking at number five on the U.S. Billboard 200 and staying in the charts for 22 weeks. It also was certified Gold by the RIAA. However it did not sell as well as their previous albums (which had gone Platinum and Multi-Platinum). The record contained the singles “Even It Up” (backed by the Tower of Power horns section) and the title track. Some of the backing vocals were provided by Don Wilhelm, who had been in a group called The Army with Steve Fossen and Roger Fisher in the 1960s.

Bebe le Strange, Heart’s entrance into the 1980s, was a rough one. Heart were certainly questioning their identity here, as evidenced by their feeble attempt at punky new wave on “Break.” It was the band’s first without guitarist Roger Fisher — longtime co-writer and guitarist Sue Ennis stepped in for the sessions — and his absence is felt here; there is a distinct lack of his elegant approach to acoustic guitar and his tasty lead work. Much of the deeply textured sonic lushness of the band’s earlier records is relegated to the back burner and production touches are focused on compression. Instead of creating spaces, they seem to break them down. Perhaps the Wilson sisters were feeling the pressure of punk and new wave and trying to update their sound for the new decade, but it was a mistake. Heart’s trademark sound is timeless, and there are flashes of it here on cuts such as Nancy Wilson’s gorgeous ballad “Silver Wheels” and the rocked-up single “Even It Up,” but overall, Bebe le Strange feels unfocused and restless. The urgency on tracks like “Raised on You” and “Down on Me” (not the Janis Joplin tune) feels forced, and Ann’s “Sweet Darlin’” falls too late in the proceedings — it might have made a wonderful addition to the middle of the set, but here, one of the album’s best melodies falls into near obscurity by its placement. Finally, the keyboard and drum production on this set were so gimmicky that they dated the record before it was even issued. -AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek

1 Bebe Le Strange 03:37
2 Down On Me 04:46
3 Silver Wheels 01:24
4 Break 02:34
5 Rockin’ Heaven Down 05:54
6 Even It Up 05:10
7 Strange Night 04:17
8 Raised On You 03:21
9 Pilot 03:15
10 Sweet Darlin’ 03:18

Ann Wilson – lead and backing vocals, bass on tracks 1, 6 and 10, acoustic guitar, flute (Alto), drums and piano on track 10, tambourine, producer
Nancy Wilson – lead and rhythm guitar, acoustic guitars, mellotron, lead vocals and bass on track 8, backing vocals, producer
Howard Leese – lead and rhythm guitar, acoustic guitars, synthesizer, backing vocals, producer
Steve Fossen – bass guitar
Mike DeRosier – drums, percussion
Sue Ennis – guitar on track 1, acoustic guitar and piano on track 10, producer
Chrissy Shefts – guitar on track 1
Greg Adams, Emilio Castillo, Steve Kupka, Lenny Pickett, Mic Gillette – Tower of Power horn section on track 6
Gary Humphrey, Don Wilhelm – backing vocals on track 5