Nancy Wilson Debuts Eddie Van Halen Tribute, “4 Edward,” from Her New Solo Album ‘You and Me’ Out 5/7


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On May 7, Nancy Wilson of Heart will step out on her own with You and Me. It’ll be the iconic guitarist/songwriter‘s very first proper solo album, and she has been previewing it in recent weeks with a handful of tracks.

One of the album’s most affecting compositions is “4 Edward,” a tribute to her late friend. The song’s origins hold special significance to Nancy, as she told Rock Cellar’s Frank Mastropolo in our new feature interview — more on that in a bit. Here’s the song, as shared Friday:

Wilson’s story behind the track:

Nancy Wilson: Eddie was one of the sweetest souls, a really beautiful soul. He had a lot of joy, you could just see it when he played. He always had a big Cheshire cat grin, a big, happy energy that came with him. And those guys would party like no other partiers in the world. Heart was on a tour with them here and there and they introduced us to the Kamikaze at a bar in some hotel one time. And we were like, “Whoa! Wow! How do you drink more than one of those?”

He said one time, “The way you play your acoustic guitar, you’re a really good player.” And I said, “Oh no, you can’t tell me that,” because here’s the wizard. “Why don’t you play more acoustic?” And he said, “I don’t really have an acoustic.” And I said, “Well, that’s impossible, you have to have an acoustic right now.” So I gave one to him.

And then fast forward to the break of dawn the next morning, it’s still dark outside, and he calls my room, “Listen, listen, listen, listen, I’ve made this song, you gotta check it out.” He played me this beautiful piece of instrumental acoustic music, just beautiful, kinda classical, and then a little rock, and a bit of classical at the end. After he left us and I was making this album, I said, “I gotta do something to pay tribute to my friend Eddie.” So I talked about it in the press before I even started it because then I had to face the challenge of actually doing it. So I painted myself into a terrible corner [laughs].

I was determined to make something great, something beautiful, at least. I used a little bit of the melodic content from “Jump” in there, just a tip of the hat to “Jump.” It all came together finally. I was so nervous when I was trying to record that. My hands were shaking. It was like, “Can I really do this for Eddie?” He must be looking down from the Angel Ballroom going, “Oh yeah, good luck with that” [laughs].

Click here to pre-order You and Me on CD from our Rock Cellar Store.

You and Me is a blend of original songs and inspired covers from Nancy Wilson, including this spirited take on “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen, which Wilson and her band debuted during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown:

As detailed previously, You and Me will be released via Wilson’s Carry On Music label. Said Nancy in a statement:

“Being off the road last year from touring with Heart, and at home with my good guitars and amps out, I felt like I was once again able to reconnect with my pre-Heart self, my college-girl self, creating poetic, intimate and romantic songs, which pretty much is what I first brought in to Heart.”

In addition to original songs, the album also features some specially selected covers, from the Springsteen tribute to Pearl Jam‘s “Daughter,” Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” (featuring Sammy Hagar) and the Cranberries’ “Dreams,” featuring Liv Warfield (of Prince’s band, as well as Nancy Wilson’s Roadcase Royale project).

“Party at the Angel Ballroom,” meanwhile, features Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan, while the album-capping “4 Edward” is a somber memorial to the late Eddie Van Halen.

The album’s title track finds Nancy reconnecting with Sue Ennis, who contributed co-writing credits to many of Heart’s classic tunes alongside Nancy and Ann Wilson“I’ve known Sue since I was 12,” Nancy said in a news release. “Back then she was a high school friend of Ann’s. We’ve always worked well together.” That track, as well as album pre-orders, is set to launch on March 8.

As for what took so long for her to put together an actual solo album?

“I don’t know why it took me so long to do this,” said Nancy. “Maybe I was stuck in traffic, maybe I was stuck in the Heart vortex of it all.” But in a year with “no traffic,” Wilson finally found a place for the music she’s been writing in her head for decades.

The album track listing:

1. You and Me
2. The Rising
3. I’ll Find You
4. Daughter
5. Party at the Angel Ballroom (with Duff McKagan & Taylor Hawkins)
6. The Boxer (with Sammy Hagar)
7. Walk Away
8. The Inbetween
9. Dreams (with Liv Warfield)
10. The Dragon
11. We Meet Again
12. 4 Edward

Comments

  • Steve Harris says:

    I have read that a vinyl variant of Nancy’s new tracks will be released, eventually. Any idea if / when this will happen?

  • David Maceira says:

    What a great story about her connection with EVH. I can’t imagine how she must have felt when Eddie created a song out of the blue the very next day!


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