ANN WILSON of HEART, one of rock's most distinctive and powerful vocalists, will release her new solo album September 14 on BMG, marking her debut for the label. Fittingly titled IMMORTAL, the album features 10 musically diverse tracks that pay homage to some of the singer's favorite songs and artists, all of whom have passed away in recent years and whose music poignantly lives on (the full track listing is below). For the new release, ANN has teamed with original Heart producer Mike Flicker (Dreamboat Annie, Magazine, Little Queen, Dog and Butterfly and Bebe Le Strange, among others). Look for the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee to perform some of the album's songs when she tours North America this summer with Jeff Beck and Paul Rodgers for the "Stars Align Tour" (see below for full upcoming tour itinerary). The songs will also be featured in ANN's first-ever solo television special (details TBA), taped this past April at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL, to coincide with the album's release.
ANN chose the album title IMMORTAL after revealing some working titles early on in the project. "The original working titles evolved as the concept for the album evolved; a little bit at a time," explains ANN. "As my understanding of what I had undertaken grew and clarified, I realized a larger truth; that the souls may have departed but the songs will forever be their resonances. These are the poets of our time and their expressions must be handed down. Poetry is lasting and elemental like carvings in rock."
The finely etched tracks that comprise IMMORTAL cover a lot of musical ground, with many highlights including songs by Leonard Cohen ("A Thousand Kisses Deep"), Amy Winehouse ("Back to Black), David Bowie ("I'm Afraid of Americans"), Lesley Gore ("You Don't Own Me") and Tom Petty ("Luna"). ANN says the criteria for choosing this collection of songs was easy. "First of all, I had to LOVE them! They had to be songs I could get inside of authentically as a singer. Lyrics are important to me but the most important thing is always the marriage of words and melody that makes the song magic!"
With sexism at the forefront of the national conversation, ANN says this did factor into the inclusion of "You Don't Own Me." "'You Don't Own Me' was originally an early feminist anthem in the 1960's and '70's. Since then the idea of self possession has grown to be more universal?This song is about refusing to be objectified and owned. By anyone."
IMMORTAL includes some very special guests as well. "Warren Haynes plays on Tom Petty's 'Luna' and 'You Don't Own Me,'" ANN reveals. "Ben Mink is featured on Leonard Cohen's ?A Thousand Kisses Deep' and Amy Winehouse?s ?Back to Black.? They are both musicians and great people whom I admire. It?s always a pleasure and an honor to work with them. Their souls shine through on these songs!"
Producer Mike Flicker brings an important element to IMMORTAL. "Mike was the first producer to believe in me," ANN says. "He was my first teacher in the studio and knows how to provide that special support needed to bring out my soul in the recording process. It is exciting to work with him for the first time since 1980. I have traveled many, many miles since then but the old feeling is still there and fresh on Immortal. He has fearlessly helped me bring my ideas to life once again and it?s been a great collaboration."
The IMMORTAL track listing is as follows: "A Different Corner" (George Michael)
"A Thousand Kisses Deep" (Leonard Cohen)
"Back to Black" (Amy Winehouse)
"Baker Street" (Gerry Rafferty)
"I Am the Highway" (Chris Cornell, Audioslave)
"I'm Afraid of Americans" (David Bowie)
"Life in the Fast Lane" (Joe Walsh, The Eagles) in honor of Glenn Frey
"Luna" (Tom Petty)
"Politician" (Cream) in honor of Jack Bruce
"You Don't Own Me" (Lesley Gore)
Following a year-long successful solo tour, iconic vocalist ANN WILSON of HEART spent the early part of 2018 recording her new solo release and debut album for BMG. Due out this summer (exact release date TBA) and with a working title of SONGS FOR THE LIVING: VOL. 1, ANN has teamed with original Heart producer Mike Flicker (Dreamboat Annie, Magazine, Little Queen, Dog and Butterfly and Bebe Le Strange, among others) for an album that will pay homage to musicians lost in the past few years.
"It's a project very dear to me: a collection of songs by artists who have departed in the last several years including Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Tom Petty, Chris Cornell and Amy Winehouse to name a few," ANN explains. "I feel these souls have made a real, lasting contribution to the art of the popular song and to honor them is my deepest pleasure."
The album will feature some of the singer's favorite musicians, with the full track list to be announced in the coming weeks. With the recording still in progress in Los Angeles, the first three songs confirmed are Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me," Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black," and The Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane" in honor of Glenn Frey.
"Once again I am pushing my limits as a singer and it is thrilling work," ANN says. "It's my way of showing gratitude for these amazing expressions in words and music. This record was made in the old school way?on an actual tape recorder, so the sound is vibrant, present and powerful. This sound will not just massage the listener's ego, it will stoke their heart and soul."
Following a handful of solo headlining tour dates this past spring, WILSON will join Jeff Beck and Paul Rodgers for the "Stars Align Tour," as the album is released. Kicking off July 18 in West Valley City, Utah, the tour stops in 19 cities across the U.S. and Canada including Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Toronto and Nashville, before wrapping August 26 in Tampa. At these upcoming shows, ANN's fans can expect to hear an assortment of Heart hits, along with tracks from her solo career.
"I am thrilled to have been asked to perform on the 'Stars Align Tour' with Jeff Beck and Paul Rodgers," shares ANN. "They are both long time favorites of mine! They are masters at their craft and it is an honor to share the stage this summer."
Stars Align Tour with Jeff Beck and Paul Rodgers:
Wed 7/18 West Valley City, UT USANA Amphitheatre
Fri 7/20 Irvine, CA Five Point Amphitheatre
Sun 7/22 Chula Vista, CA Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
Tue 7/24 Houston, TX Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
Wed 7/25 Dallas, TX The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Sat 7/28 St. Louis, MO Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Sun 7/29 Chicago, IL Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
Tue 7/31 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
Wed 8/1 Toronto, ON Budweiser Stage
Fri 8/3 Boston, MA Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
Sat 8/4 Camden, NJ BB&T Pavilion
Wed 8/8 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
Fri 8/10 Indianapolis, IN Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
Sun 8/12 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
Tue 8/14 Wantagh, NY Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
Fri 8/17 Nashville, TN Nashville Municipal Auditorium
Sun 8/19 Charlotte, NC PNC Music Pavilion
Sat 8/25 West Palm Beach, FL Coral Sky Amphitheatre
Sun 8/26 Tampa, FL MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
"STARS ALIGN TOUR" WITH JEFF BECK AND PAUL RODGERS THIS SUMMER