What About Love

Album: Heart (1985)
Charted: 14 10

Songfacts®:

  • This was Heart's first single under their new contract with Capitol Records. It marked a turnaround for the band, which after a triumphant run of hits in the '70s got off to a rough start in the '80s with a decline in sales and little airplay for their new material on radio or MTV. Capitol, determined to return them to commercial glory, paired them with a new producer, Ron Nevison, and had them record songs written by outside songwriters. "What About Love" is one of these outside tracks - it was written by Brian Allen and Sheron Alton of the Canadian band Toronto, along with Jim Vallance, who co-wrote many of Bryan Adams' hits. The song was written for Toronto but they didn't record it. The demo found its way to Heart, which turned it into their first Top 10 US hit since "Magic Man" in 1976. Their next two singles did even better: "Never" hit #4 and "These Dreams" went to #1.
  • In this song, Ann Wilson addresses a guy who is not returning her affections. Trying to get through to him, she warns him that he better open his heart and accept her love, because he might need it someday.
  • Ann Wilson's vocal is much more dynamic on this track compared with previous Heart material. The verses are very restrained, but then she explodes into the chorus. She attributes this to producer Ron Nevison, who coached her to hold back her big voice at times to create more impact when she let it loose.
  • The video was directed by David Mallet, who was known for avante-garde videos like David Bowie's "Ashes To Ashes" and Queen's "Radio Ga Ga." In "What About Love," the band is in some kind of foundry, wearing lots of leather and lace. It was the first Heart video to get significant airplay on MTV.
  • This was the first Heart song to chart in the UK, where it reached #14.
  • Heart's canon is split between rock classics from the '70s ("Barracuda," "Straight On") and lite favorites from the '80s like "What About Love." Their legacy is pegged to their '70s output when they disrupted the male-dominated world of rock with an uprising of classic songs mostly written by the Wilson sisters, who were the clear leaders of the band. When they entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, it was with that '70s lineup.

Comments: 1

  • Broncobuff from SeattleLast 60 seconds of this song proves what I've been saying for years: Ann Wilson is the best (hard) rock singer ever. Ever. Yes, she's a chick, just go listen to the last 60 seconds, then you can argue. Notice the self harmonies, two and three tracks, and brace yourself for the key change, cuz it's like a runaway freight train, the power. (Personally I think Bono and Ann are tied for best singer ever, but this is a Heart song).
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