Out Now: ‘You and Me,’ the Awaited Solo Debut Album from Heart’s Nancy Wilson (Listen)


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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“I do get to feel like a boss, I do love that feeling. I know how to delegate when I’m inside a power structure like Heart. But I do enjoy and really love the freedom of being the boss inside my own system.” That’s Heart‘s Nancy Wilson, speaking with Rock Cellar’s Frank Mastropolo regarding You and Me, her very first official solo studio album.

The record is out today, May 7, after much anticipation and a few months of promotional work (including our April 2021 cover story, which you can read by clicking here). A creative achievement years in the making, it holds special significance for Wilson, who has released other efforts outside the Heart umbrella (such as her project Roadcase Royale), but this is truly the first Nancy Wilson solo album.

nancy wilson you and me album

Wilson worked on You and Me at her home studio in Northern California during lockdown, by herself, using a file-sharing service to distribute the raw files with her fellow musicians who in turn worked on what became a finished project.

Click here to pick up You and Me from our Rock Cellar Store

The first song shared from the album officially was a cover of Bruce Springsteen‘s “The Rising,” which had its own video:

“4 Edward” closes the record and is an especially personal statement from Wilson — an homage to her late friend, Eddie Van Halen.

As she told Rock Cellar regarding that song:

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].

Other standouts on the album include the original track “Party at the Angel Ballroom,” which features Guns N’ Roses‘ Duff McKagan and Foo Fighters‘ Taylor Hawkins.

The title track, released ahead of the album’s street date, is a loving ode to her mother:

Over the years, Nancy Wilson has carved out a legacy all her own in rock and roll — and You and Me is proof that it’s never too late to start a new chapter.

Listen to the album below.

Comments

  • Rock is not dead says:

    I’m glad to see women from the classic rock and pop era are finally getting the respect and appreciation they deserve. Thank you for covering great artists like Nancy Wilson. Her music with Heart is truly “classic” and timeless, and it’s reassuring to see that she’s forging her own way as a solo artist at this stage! Maybe more articles about other Rock era ladies would help keep them in the public eye and remind the RRHOF that their inductions are way past due (I’m thinking of Pat Benatar, Carly Simon, Cher, The Eurythmics, The Bangles, The Runaways, et al). Again, great to see Nancy remains relevant, and her version of The Rising” is terrific!


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