Ann Wilson Addresses ‘The Legal Mess’ Heart Had With Former Label

Heart frontwoman Ann Wilson recently joined an interview with Guitar World. She revealed that Heart couldn’t finish their second studio album, ‘Magazine,‘ in the way they wanted due to the conflicts with their former label.

The disagreement between the record label and Heart members started right after the band’s debut album, ‘Dreamboat Annie. Although the album was highly successful, the two sides argued over an advertisement celebrating the album’s sales. Eventually, Heart decided to move to another label and signed a contract with Portrait Records.

However, Mushroom Records asserted that they had to stay with the label for two albums according to their contract. Thus, they released Heart’s ‘Magazine’ album in 1977 without the band’s permission. The band had been still working on the album, so it was partially completed. The label released the album with studio outtakes and some live material.

The change in the labels caused a legal battle between Mushroom and Heart. The record label insisted that they had the right to release their second album due to their contract. Heart sued the label to stop the distribution of the album. Later on, the album was ordered off the shelves with the court’s decision. Heart released the authorized version of ‘Magazine’ in 1978 by editing and re-recording the songs.

During her recent interview, Ann Wilson was asked about her thoughts on these legal issues with Mushroom Records at the time. The singer stressed that the whole process was a terrible experience for them. They had other ideas regarding the direction of the album, but they didn’t have enough time to complete it in the way they wanted due to all these conflicts they had with the label. Wilson also added that they could compensate for it with their follow-up album, ‘Little Queen.’

When asked about the legal issues they had with Mushroom Records, Ann Wilson replied:

“The whole convoluted legal mess that happened back then was too bad. We had a concept for ‘Magazine’ that was really good, but we didn’t have enough time to finish it before all these legalities set in. We never got to create that piece of art the way we wanted to because our timing was thrown off. We recovered with ‘Little Queen,’ but for a time, it was high drama and really scary because it was threatening to take us out of the studio altogether.”

You can listen to Heart’s controversial album, ‘Magazine,’ below.