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Unearthing Rare Albums That Deserve A Listen
Heart's Original "Magazine"
In 1976, Heart, led by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, were busy recording their second album “Magazine,” which was intended to follow their platinum selling debut “Dreamboat Annie.” This was to be part of a two album deal the band had with their label Mushroom Records. However, before the completion of the album, Heart became involved in a royalty dispute with Mushroom which disrupted work on the record. Unhappy with their affairs at Mushroom, the band left and signed a deal with CBS/Potrait Records and began recording a new album, “Little Queen.” Upon the release of that album in May of 1977, Mushroom records filed a breech of contract suit against the band.
Mushroom decided that the unfinished “Magazine” should be released and brought in producer Rolf Hennemann to prepare the tracks. The six studio tracks were re-mixed, and to fill out the rest of the LP two songs were selected from a live recording that Heart had made in 1975.
When “Magazine” began to appear in record stores in November of 1977, Heart’s members were not pleased. They wanted the LP taken off the market, and quickly took legal action to do so. The stores that were stocking the album were required to remove it. Heart’s producer Mike Flicker has stated that the original pressing consisted of 50,000 copies, some of which were supposed to have been destroyed by Mushroom. The album also saw release in Europe, licensed for issue there by Arista Records and even in Korea on the Pop label.
In early 1978 a court settlement was reached. The court ruled that Mushroom did have the right to issue “Magazine” under the terms of the two album contract with Heart. To address the band’s unhappiness with the sound of the record, Heart was granted a small window of time to go into the studio for additional recording work on the tracks.
During March of 1978, the band re-recorded all of the vocals, and replaced some of the instrumental parts on the studio tracks. All of the tracks were re-edited and/or re-mixed. Only the short “Here Song” remained unchanged from the first release.
The new version of the album was issued by Mushroom in April of 1978.
Mushroom also issued three singles from the album , “Heartless,” “Magazine,” and “Without You.” Near the end of the year, a picture disc version of “Magazine” was released. This was a numbered limited edition of 100,000 copies. In 1986 “Magazine” was issued again, this time by Capitol Records, Heart’s current label at that time. Capitol obtained the rights to the album along with “Dreamboat Annie” as Mushroom by then, no longer existed. The Goldmine Record Album Price Guide (4th Edition) lists the original 1977 pressing at a $30 value for a VG+ copy.
Back cover track list (left) of the 1977 issue of “Magazine.” The bottom of these copies state: “Mushroom Records regrets that a contractual dispute has made it necessary to complete this record without the cooperation or endorsement of the group Heart, who have expressly disclaimed artistic involvement in completing this record.” The 1978 cover (right) shows the change in the track order. “Blues Medley” has a title change, and Rolf Hennemann’s production credit has been removed.
Above (left to right): 1977 American label; 1977 European label, 1977 Korean label
Above (left to right): 1978 picture disc edition; Sticker from 1977 LP jacket