Ann Wilson of Heart will release her new solo album Immortal on September 14. Fittingly titled, 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).
Songs from the album will be featured in Wilson’s first-ever solo television special (details TBA), taped this past April at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL. Air dates are to be announced and will coincide with the album’s release.
Ann Wilson says she 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,” she explains. “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”). Wilson 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,Wilson 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.”
The album also features some special guests including Warren Haynes (“Luna” and “You Don’t Own Me”) and Ben Mink (“A Thousand Kisses Deep” and “Back to Black”).
Wilson has teamed with original Heart producer Mike Flicker (Dreamboat Annie, Magazine, Little Queen, Dog and Butterfly and Bebe Le Strange, among others), explaining “Mike was the first producer to believe in me. 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.”
Ann Wilson Immortal Track Listing
“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)