Album: Little Queen (1977)
Charted: 11
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  • This was written by Ann and Nancy Wilson together with guitarist Roger Fisher and drummer Michael DeRosier. According to the band, the song is a statement about the record industry in general. It was written at a time when there was friction between the band and their label. Little Queen was the first album Heart released for the CBS-Portrait label. Their old label, Mushroom Records, sued the band and in 1978 released Magazine, an album made up of previously recorded material that Heart did not want released. (Thanks to Sovereign Records for this information.)
  • The Wilson sisters revealed in various interviews that the song was about Heart's anger towards an ad Mushroom Records placed in trade publications implying that Ann and Nancy were lesbians having an affair. The song focuses on Ann's rage towards a promoter who came up to her after a concert in Detroit asking how her "lover" was. She initially thought he was talking about her then-boyfriend - band member Michael Fisher. After the promoter revealed he was talking about her sister Nancy Wilson, Ann became angry and went back to her hotel room to write the song. Nancy put suitably angry music to the words to complete the song comparing the sleazy side of music to a dangerous fish.
  • This song can be heard in the movies Wag the Dog (1997), Charlie's Angles (2000), Roll Bounce (2005), You Again (2010), The Campaign (2012) and Identity Thief (2013).

    TV series to feature the song include The Sopranos, Chuck and My Name Is Earl. It was also used in a 2009 episode of Glee where it was performed by Lea Michele and Adam Lambert.
  • Fergie performed this with Heart at the 2008 Idol Gives Back charity special on American Idol. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • During the 2008 presidential campaign, this song was used as the as the unofficial theme song for Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin. The Alaska governor originally earned the nickname "Sarah Barracuda" when she played basketball in high school, because of her fierce competitiveness. The name was revived after Palin became mayor of her hometown, Wasilla, in 1996 and it was played at the 2008 National Republican Convention, after she gave a speech. The next day, Ann and Nancy Wilson issued a statement that said: "The Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission. We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We hope our wishes will be honored."

    Their wishes were not honored, and the song was played at the convention that night after their presidential nominee John McCain spoke and Palin joined him on stage. As the Republican campaign pointed out, they had obtained the proper performance rights to the song and were under no obligation to get further permission to use it (they would have if they wanted to use it in a commercial or video).

    With no legal recourse, the Wilson sisters retaliated in the media, telling Entertainment Weekly: "Sarah Palin's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late 70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there."

    The song's co-writer Roger Fisher was also anti-Palin, but he saw things differently, telling Reuters he was "thrilled" that the song was being used as it was a win-win situation. He explained that while Heart gets publicity and royalties, the Republicans benefit from "the ingenious placement of a kick-ass song." He added that he would use some of the proceeds in a donation to the Obama campaign, and thus, "the Republicans are now supporting Obama."
  • When Heart entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, they played "Barracuda" last in a 3-song set. By this time, the Wilson sisters were the only original members still with the band, but it was the Little Queen lineup that got inducted: Roger Fisher, Howard Leese, Michael DeRosier and Steve Fossen. There was some bad blood between the Wilsons and their former bandmates, and at first, Ann and Nancy ruled out a reunion. In the end, they appeased fans by performing "Crazy On You" with the classic lineup, but did "Barracuda" with their current band along with some of their Seattle-based friends: Chris Cornell (who inducted them), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) and Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains).
  • While contributing guest vocals to Alice in Chains' 1992 Sap EP, Ann Wilson refused the bands' request to sing the "Barracuda" chorus on the song "Right Turn." She told them they wouldn't find it funny when people were still hounding them to play "Man In The Box" 10 years later.

Comments: 41

  • Dorice from Providence,riLove this song. Heard it the other day in the car coming home from the office. Great song & lyrics. These sisters really rock! I have their Greatest Hits. Awesome CD!
  • Dorice from Providence, RiJust heard "Barracuda" by Heart. Love this song, still a great tune after 44 years! These girls can sing & rock!
  • Dee F from TexasHeart, Your politics and your music do not mix. It alienates your fans There's nothing more freeing for your mind and soul than music. Keep it that way.
  • Brent from Cleveland"People always ask who the porpoise is in the lyrics ["'Sell me, sell you.' the porpoise said"]. Nancy is the porpoise. We used to call each other that. I think it was an evolution of the walrus, because we were big Beatles fans. We used to have all these pet names for each other, and that was the one at the time."

    -Ann Wilson, from a Rolling Stone Interview
  • Brent from ClevelandAbout Barracuda: if you're attempting to play this on the guitar, don't even try it if you don't have a whammy bar. It won't work.
  • George from Vancouver, CanadaWhat kind of piece of sh*t producer/label accuses two sisters of having sex together? Publically, even! Some people need to keep their sick fantasies fully contained in their diseased brains!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 22nd 1977, "Barracuda" by Heart entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #84; fifteen weeks later on August 28th, 1977 it would peaked at #11 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for 20 weeks...
    And on October 8th, 1977 it peaked at #2 {for 1 week} on the Canadian RPM Singles chart; and the week it was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "Telephone Line" by the Electric Light Orchestra...
    Between 1976 and 1993 the group had thirty Top 100 records; eight made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, "These Dreams" for 1 week in 1986 and "Alone" for 3 weeks in 1987...
    They just missed having a third #1 record when "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" peaked at #2* {for 2 weeks} in 1990...
    * The two weeks that "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "Vogue" by Madonna.
  • Jim from Bloomington, IlI'm reluctant to state this as fact. But I have read somewhere that the original title of Barracuda (now remember how this song was born of Ann's anger at the sleezy record dude) was Again, don't know if it's really true. But it's a cute thought. And it's entirely logical, given (a) their anger, (b) their more innocent family roots (read Kicking and Dreaming), and (c) MF would never make a truly marketable song title... especially in the late 70s. So every time I see them perform the song, I wonder if they somehow chuckle -- though certainly, by now they must perform it out of 'muscle memory.' Cheers.
  • Manoel from São Gonçalo, BrazilBarracuda is a Marvel Comics character, an enemy of the Punisher. "He is a mercenary gangster of great physical strength, endurance, fighting ability, and exceptional intelligence. He shows an incredible sense of optimism and "glass half full" thinking (even maintaining a cheerful attitude as the Punisher cut off all the fingers on his right hand), profane humor, and a tendency to betray anyone if he can benefit from it. (Wikipedia) Who know the same Barracudas of whom Michael Jackson talked about before he died. (
  • Wendell from Milton, PeThis particular hit reached #11 on the billboard hot 100. While in Canada it went to the top 5. This could have been because many people believed that Heart were Canadian'
    while they were actually from Seattle. I heard that either a band member or manager or somebody was a draft dodger. I have often wondered why many Heart songs were bigger hits in Canada until I
    heard that. Notice how big they were in the later 80's. To my ears none of their later hits matched Barracuda. Wendell Milton PEI.
  • Patricia from Pueblo, Co@Don from KY
    Yes, for a time Ann and Nancy addressed each other or referred to each other as "porpoise."
  • Rick from Belfast, Mewhy isnt there GREATEST song included here?....The dog And Butterfly...
  • Don from B G, KyWho is the "porpoise" mentioned twice in the lyrics? Is it Ann's sister Nancy? Anyone know?
  • Rod from Gainesville, FlJust goes to show that extreme anger can be chanelled into a kick-ass song!!!!!
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaThis is a transcendant, tight rock n roll song. The incessant driving riff, Ann's soaring vocals, the piercing guitar solos. Rock n roll perfection! Great band, Great song!
  • Nick from Seattle, AlbaniaThis is the BEST led zeppelin song! (haha, get it?)
  • Alma from Laredo, TxIn 2006, Ann Wilson made atribute cover album of Led Zepellin songs. she pretty much nailed them all especially Immigrant Song.
  • Saff from Melbourne, AustraliaErr, Scott in Perth Western Australia, I think you would find that it was released in Australia in 1977 the same time it was released to the rest of the world. Along with Magic Man and various other songs of theirs from the 70's and 80's. Check out their other songs, you'll be pleasantly surprised..
  • Billy from Baton Rouge, Lalol, if anyone thinks this song was made by guiater hero you are retarted! Because some of my friends think so and its impossible and if you look at the top where the song is it says Atrist:Heart! I'm sure that gives it away!

    Note:I really hope it does if not thats sad...
  • Mickey from Kamloops, BcHmmmm... who took the million dollars to go with Columbia? Let's sign a contract that says if either of you leaves the label, we get out. We're not in this for the money.
  • Austin from Seminole, FlIt is so catchy Uhhh Barracuda!! I heart this song!@ lol
  • Mayra from Whittier, CaIt's only natural that Heart would emulate Led Zeppelin's sound; they idolized the band, for goodness sakes! They have always admitted that publically. I don't mind Heart using Zep songs as inspiration to their songs. The gals rock!!! Their hits are some of the most memorable rock songs out there.
  • Joey from Rabbidtown, InLol, my friend told me it said:
    'And if he dn't do the trick, then you better suck his dick'
  • Evil Joe from Suffragette City, CoI heard from a DJ on a radio station that Heart used to play Led Zeppelin songs before they hit it big and that could be why the riff sounds like it's from Achilles Last Stand to some of you. They might have been used to playing it and kind of accidentally copied it without thinking (or purposely).
  • John from Angola, InIf you think that song makes you want to hit the open road in a car, don't forget there was a muscle car at that time made by Plymouth called the "Barracuda", or 'Cuda.
    In 1976, I met this 'Dukes of Hazard' type dude in my hometown, who worked at a small gas station and always said hi to me, and who had a purple sparkly painted 'Cuda, and so his nick name to all of us was 'Barracuda, because his real name was Barry, and it kind of fit.
    Somehow, I went on a double date with him, me sitting with my girlfriend in the back seat of his 'Cuda, him and another girl (her friend) in the front. Big car, but a cramped back seat. The band Heart was already big then with Dreamboat Annie, but hadn't yet released "Little Queen", it was late '76, still the year before, but the stuff was probably being recorded as we cruised, actually. Seems only a dream now, and I wonder how I ever got away with it, because I was only about 15 at the time, and barely allowed out of my house. He was already out of school, or in college, but not averse to a fling with a 15 year old girl, (my girlfriends friend).
    Afterwards, I always attributed that Barracuda song to him, as if Nancy and Ann had written it especially with him in mind, or guys like him, , They very well might have,really, because every town seems to have dudes like him with good wheels, and little else to show. Still the 'Cuda was a nice car, and '76 was still the muscle car era.
  • Ryan from Cincinnati, Ohthis is lk exactly lk achilles last stand..same type of galloping bass line...lots of effects on guitar tht sound similar..and drumming is like the off..Led Zeppelin-Gods of Rock
  • Christopher from Kingston, Canadasorry chow,from saint louis,but i read it that ann wilson did get the idea from,Achilles,i think i read it from creem mag ,some years ago.
  • Kara from Cadillac, MiIf you like songs with a heavy (and or) fast opening guitar riff you should check out The Power of I and I or Eternity Is Within by Shadows Fall. Or just pick up just about any of thier cds. You could also check out Lamb Of God. Also Phantom of the Opera by Iron Maiden is another good one. As a guitar player myself I've found these songs very compelling and hard to learn because they are so technical. Personally I'm a pretty big fan of Heart
    and like most of thier music. True Mike & Roger set the "rock & roll" foundation for Heart, Heart is still one of the most recognized and known rock bands in the world. Sorry to hear that this wasn't released as a single in Australia but, you can easily resolve the situation by picking up the Little Queen cd. My personal favorite Heart album is Dreamboat Annie. Roger & Howard Leese (Heart's current guitar player but at that time was playing for Spirit also) with Nancy Wilson played the guitar parts. all of that aside, this is an awesome song and was written by Ann Wilson about thier current manager who started a rumor about Ann and Nancy being lesbian lovers for publicity. Which was not true by the way. He based it on the cover of Dreamboat Annie which shows them standing back to back appearing to be topless. even if they where "gay lovers" they still made great music and are still 2 of the biggest rock icons in the world. Who still influence musicans all over the world today. Including myself. Would be cool to see what would come out if Roger Fisher came back for an album or even a song. -Rob Cook
  • Kara from Cadillac, MiThis song is an absolute classic- the music, the lyrics, and the beautiful yet powerful voice of Ann Wilson- everything about it is rock and roll at it's very best. Heat has, for many, many years, been a favorite band of mine and they still are. Couple of comments though: with all due respect Tom, Mike and Roger made incredible music with Heart, and helped Heart to achieve a solid footing in the rock world, but they weren't the ones that gained and/or maintained the level of super-stardom that they have had for all of these years. Ann and Nancy, with Howard Leese, too, did that on their own. Sure, I'd like to see (hear) them together again, because I think they could do something extraordinary having experience and maturity on their side- nevertheless, Heart will continue to be rock icons with or without them. Incidentally, Ann was quoted in a rock music publication as saying that the song was about their at the time manager who had "leaked a rumor" that Ann and Nancy were lesbian lovers, using the cover of Dreamboat Annie as "evidence" of that relationship. She said it had been done behind their backs for publicity's sake and Ann was so furious that she wrote Barracuda as a way of venting her anger at him. Sounds like it may have been a little personal. Perhaps it depends on who ya ask. Since she wrote the song, or at least the lyrics, I'll stick with her view. Heart has had their ups and downs, like everyone does, but they've been giving us awesome music for more than 30 years- whoever their influences were, no doubt the've inspired others as well, and continue to do so.
  • Christopher from Kingston, Canadai read somewhere that ann wilson said they got the idea for this song from achillies last stand
  • Jameson from Lexington, KyBest opening guitar riff of all time. This is a song that makes you wish for a Ferrari, 200 miles of open road and no cops. :)
  • Chow from Saint Louis, MoActually heart attributes the influance of barracuda to a nazereth tune Razzmataz (sp?). not anything LZ has done.
    Best Regards, CHOW
  • Vivek from Delhi, IndiaReally rocking song, though why not as popular i wonder.
  • Scott from Perth, Western Australia, AustraliaThis is a fantastic song with something very original to offer. I first heard the song when I played Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. I'm in Australia and I don't believe the song was ever released here as a single. Heart had a top five hit here in the 90's with "All i wanna do is make love with you". I honestly believe they should rerelease Barracuda as a single here in Australia. I think they would be quite surprised, it would certainly make the top five, if not definitly the top ten. I would love to see Heart collaberate with Linda Perry (4 Non-Blondes) on an album, now there would be some awesome music made there.
  • Jeremy from Warren , RiMake sure you have a five speed for this one and plenty of open road, oh and most important, make sure your car is fast!
  • Ferris from Ohio, OhThis song was also used for VH1's "I love '76" Or was "I love '77"?
  • Ross from Independence, MoAnybody who likes Heart should really comment on their other songs. Magic Man and Alone only have 2 comments each!
  • Tom from Wenatchee, WaBarracuda's lyrics were a group effort, check the credits. Last time I talked to Mike DeRosier, he told me the song "Barracuda" was about the music industry, and it is not personal. Mike and John Bonham do have very simular styles, thus the "Achilles Last Stand" flavor. I listened to Heart's last CD, Mike and Roger are needed badly.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI noticed that too Marlon. I also think that the drumbeats from "Achilles Last Stand" were used in the song. That's just my personal oppinion though. After all they have the same beat, and they're in the same key too.
  • Marlon from Nyc, NyThe riff is from Led Zeppelin's "Achilles Last Stand"...still a great song.
  • Shanny from Detroit, MiBarracuda's lyrics were written by Ann Wilson of Heart out of rage and and disgust of an incident that happened backstage at a show in Detroit early in Heart's career. Basically a dirt-bag reporter who thought he was the king of kings asked Ann how her 'lover' was doing. She replied that Micheal, (Fisher), was fine. The man then said, no I mean your lover, you know, your sister" - this man assumed that because of the album cover of Dreamboat Annie, showing sisters Ann and Nancy back-to back, and is led to make you think they are topless - this man assumed they were lesbian lovers as well. In retaliation - Ann wrote the lyrics to Barracuda that night in their hotel room. It has been one of their best known works of music.
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