Little QueenLittle Queen is the second studio album by American rock band Heart. It was released on May 14, 1977, by Portrait Records. The album was recorded and mixed at Kaye Smith Studios in Seattle, Washington, from February to April 1977. On June 29, 2004, a remastered version of Little Queen was released by Epic Records and Legacy Recordings with two bonus tracks.
OverviewThe group intended Magazine to be the official follow-up to their debut album Dreamboat Annie. However, a contract dispute with their label, Mushroom Records, resulted in the group signing with the newly formed Portrait Records, a division of CBS Records (now Sony BMG).
The Mushroom contract called for two albums and the label took the position that they were owed a second one. On that basis, Mushroom attempted to prevent the release of Little Queen and any other work by Heart. They took the five unfinished tracks for Magazine and added a B-side and two live recordings. The first release of the album in early 1977 included a disclaimer on the back cover.
The dispute dragged on and ended with the court deciding that Heart was free to sign with a new label, but added that Mushroom was indeed owed a second album. Therefore, Heart returned to the studio to re-record, remix, edit, and resequence the Magazine recordings in a marathon session over four days. A court-ordered guard stood nearby to prevent the master tapes from being erased.
Little Queen was released on May 14, 1977, and Magazine was re-released on April 22, 1978. With the successful single "Barracuda", Little Queen outsold Magazine handily, eventually earning a triple platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). However, the almost simultaneous release also gave the band the distinction of having all three of their albums on the charts at the same time.
"Barracuda"After the first album became a million seller, Mushroom took out a full-page ad in Rolling Stone magazine touting the band's success, using the headline "Million to One Shot Sells a Million". The ad looked like the front page of a tabloid newspaper and included a photo from the Dreamboat Annie cover shoot. The caption read: "Heart's Wilson Sisters Confess: 'It Was Only Our First Time!'".
After this ad surfaced, a Detroit radio promoter asked Ann Wilson where her lover was (referring to sister, Nancy). Ann was outraged and retreated to her hotel room to write a song. When she relayed the incident to Nancy, she, too, was outraged. Nancy joined Ann and contributed a melody and bridge. The song became "Barracuda", which peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains one of the band's signature songs.