Beautiful Broken

Album: Beautiful Broken (2016)
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Songfacts®:

  • This is the title track of Beautiful Broken, an album containing a mixture of new songs and re-interpretations of music from Heart's earlier records. The tune was originally a bonus cut on Heart's 2012 CD, Fanatic, but the new version is an almost entirely new song with vocals and some new lyrics from Metallica's James Hetfield. "It blows the previous version out of the water," Nancy Wilson told Billboard magazine. "James just took the song on, and what he added was perfect with a bite and a rock accent."
  • Ann Wilson wrote the song's lyrics in 2012 or 2013. She told Rolling Stone: "The vision I had for it was of a sort of fabulous disaster chick - kind of in the form of someone like Courtney Love. She's complicated, she's gorgeous, she's got it all wired tight, but she has a design flaw upstairs that makes her unable to live in the world normally. It's a character study, really."
  • It was Nancy Wilson's idea to get James Hetfield to sing on the new version. "James is a really old friend of my husband's," the Heart guitarist said. "We were listening to the bonus-track version of Beautiful Broken that came from the Fanatic album, and it had such a great, raucous spirit. It had that aggression and that rock thing and so he said, 'Well, why don't we see if James might want to give it a listen and try to do some stuff on there?'"

    "James came back and said that he loved it," Nancy Wilson added. "So we sent him the new track that we had just recorded. He took it to his studio and he did amazing work. He added a new part, some new lyrics, all the background vocals. I think he brought the song more into focus than it had been."

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