May 1977: Heart Releases "Little Queen"

MAY 1977: Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson of the rock and roll band "Heart" pose for a portrait holding gold records they were awarded by the RIAA for a milestone in sales of their second album "Little Queen" which was released in May 1977. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
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(Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Heart had broken out big with the band's 1976 debut, Dreamboat Annie. The album did so well that it landed the group in a contract dispute with Mushroom Records, which issued the first album. While the two sides battled in court, Heart was able to hit the studio and record sophomore studio effort, Little Queen, for new label, Portrait Records. The album landed in record stores on May 14, 1977. Let's take a ride in this bitchin' Camaro back to that almighty year and burn through five fun facts about Heart's Little Queen.

1. "Barracuda" was written after Mushroom Implied Ann and Nancy Wilson were incestuous lesbian lovers
Yes, you read that correctly. Angry that they were about to lose their cash cow act, Muchroom put out a Heart ad suggesting that a sexual relationship between the Wilson sisters (see the ad below). The song was inspired in Detroit after a local promoter asked Ann Wilson about her "lover," which she later realized meant her sister, not her boyfriend and band manager, Michael Fisher. The sisters knocked out the basis of the tune that night in the hotel, motivated by rage. With that, a rock and roll classic was born.

2. The album's title track stalled on the US Charts
After "Barracuda" blazed up the charts to peak at #11 on the Hot 100, the groovy title track conked out at #62.

3. "Kick It Out" did even worse than "Little Queen" as a single
Going for a more high-energy release for the third single, "Kick It Out" was only able to muster up a #79 showing on the Hot 100.

4. Little Queen was a huge success
Don't let a couple of poor mainstream chart showings fool you. While pop really had yet to truly embrace the band, Heart was blowing up big on FM rock radio, touring relentlessly and generating countless spins deep in the heartland. That hard work paid off. Released on May 14, 1977, Little Queen sold more than three million copies, and reached #9 on the Billboard 200 for the week of July 9, 1977. The #1 album in America that week: Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.

RELATED: February 1976: Heart Releases "Dreamboat Annie"

5. One of the most popular songs on Little Queen was never a single
The gentle acoustic ballad "Love Alive," featuring singer Ann Wilson on flute, was an instant fan favorite, both in concert and on the radio. Never issued as a single, the song has an official video that captures a live performance from the era. In 2005, Heart released a greatest hits collection entitled Love Alive.

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