Not bad as its reputation--Heart still passes the audition
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 06/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"True, Heart were trying to progress following the hard-rocking Bebe Le Strange so it could be said that Private Audition and its followup Passionworks were a transition stage. That said, it's actually not a bad album. The writing is good, but not at the heights of Dreamboat Annie or Dog & Butterfly."City's Burning" begins with a quick acoustic guitar that is overridden by Howard Leese's intense and grinding KISS-like rock guitar. Ann belts out the lung power in a song about a couple on the edge.That segues into the quick rocker "Bright Light Girl" supported by guitar and piano. The girl in this song is a naif here, a wide-eyed romantic naif who's a "bright light girl in a disbelieving world.""Perfect Stranger" is another preview of power ballads that Heart would excel during their Capitol Records period. One of their better tracks.The title track is a bouncy piano and guitar rocker and the private audition turns out not to be singing standards but "casting for his couch." Another price some women have to pay to break into show business."Angels" has a nice acoustic melody that would later recall Nancy's "Elevator Beat" for Vanilla Sky. The dreaming protagonist tells of clouds being faces she can see, and later asks the angels "what did you see in me/will my time go very far?"Urgh--they did it again--the "Even It Up" syndrome. Why this for a single? "This Man Is Mine" is an announcement to other girls about a man being hands-off to them. It has a beat similar to "Private Audition" with a prominent bassline, but is merely okay.A Rock And Roll Over era KISS-style guitar rocker, which is relief after the previous song. What is "The Situation"? Basically about how people are media-zed, channeled, hypnotized, and that people must wake up and shake up the situation. Ann's vocals are nice in the interim between verses when the synth comes on.Then comes two lush ballads--"Hey Darlin Darlin" and "One Word." The string-laden first has to do with hanging onto one's ideals without selling out: "they didn't make us and they can't break us." This may also be about Heart itself--still holding on. Nancy sings solo on "One Word" and she does some darn good piano work. What word? "Dreaming never looked so true/one word ain't enough/heaven's finding eyes in you/how can I say love?" The song rises to a crescendo with a stomping piano and a great Leese guitar solo.The final hard-rocker "Fast Times" is a disillusioned protest against the mechanistic morning bell to evening bell drudgery of a day, just to make another dollar. Ann really lets loose here--whew!The ballad "America" tells of the generation divide between a racist Southern father and the daughter who marched with King. The chorus goes "America, are you losing your mind."Sue Ennis co-writes on nearly every track here, except for "One Word" and "The Situation." And the album was co-produced by Connie (Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, and Sue Ennis) so the Wilsons are really cutting their teeth in handling a business normally made for men.Mostly a collection of strong rockers--thanks to Howard Leese, a real backbone to this album--along with a few ballads, but not as bad as its reputation. Leese also does the string scoring for "Perfect Stranger", "Hey Darlin Darlin" and "America." Following this album, original alumni Steve Fossen and Michael Derosier left the group, to be replaced by the artists who would propel Heart to glory... but that's two albums away."
Innovative and striking
Butch (email@example.com) | New Jersey | 07/10/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first album Heart put out that really got me interested in the band; after hearing this, I went out and bought all of their earlier records. While there are some weak tracks here (Fast Times, Bright Light Girl), it is also a last hurrah for the original band (minus Roger Fisher) and they are at full throttle. Ann's voice really whoops (Perfect Stranger), their songwriting is sharp and on-target (Angels) like their earlier records, and some of the arrangements are unlike anything they've done before (This Man Is Mine, the title track). This will always be my favorite Heart record and I'll always be bummed out that they really started to sound bad after Private Audition, even though all their biggest hits came afterward. With a few exceptions (Never, There's the Girl, Who Will You Run To), most of their ensuing work is sappy or goofy, and missing the earlier edge."
Private Audition A Private Matter?
Michael Risner | Lima, Ohio USA | 06/30/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hearts Private Audition album of 1982 was a hard hit to a drop in their music sales of this period of music for the band. Their early successful albums even the second album which was recorded but 3rd to be released. After the band fired Roger Fisher and his brother Michael Fisher who was the bands manager, Heart released Bebe Le Strange. It was a sock in the gut when Private Audition was released. However it wasn't a bad album it was the music industries promotion of the album that made Private Audition the most distant album Heart recored with Epic/Legacy/Sony records. This album shows Hearts style of music and the art of the song writers and the talents of Ann & Nancy Wilson. Heart then moved up on the scale 3 years later when they signed contract with Capitol records and got their first #1 hit. However most Heart fans enjoy the music from the Capitol days but for Ann & Nancy the pressure really hit them with the recording company with the albums Heart, Bad Animals & Brigade. Ann & Nancy are glad that their first 4 albums with Capitol were hits (after Brigade was the Live version of Brigade "Rock The House Live") However the pressures led to another change in the bands line up and after the Brigade tour Mark Andes left the band. It is believed that the Desire Walks On album was a rocky one to record but it is smooth however Ann & Nancy went back to their own writing soul with fellow friend and future music artist Sue Ennis to give the fans a great album. With the reviews in late 1993 through 1994 during the release of Desire Walks On Denny Carmassi left Heart and Desire Walks On got a little better credit than Private Audition did. Is it perhaps that recording companies don't like the lyrics of Ann & Nancy? Private Audition should be purchased and listed to by any Heart fan its an album for the fans now!!! One day I pray that Private Audition will be remastered and re-released, because I only have the 33 record of it and the cd is out of print (grrrr) All in all I couldn't give it 5 stars because that would be an over exaggeration of the integrity of Private Audition. And just little note from myself to other Heart fans, I think Heart has really left a lot of awesome songs without music videos to them.
Buy This CD Private Audition it's not something you should pass up. P.S. if anyone has a Private Audition cd the would like to sell me contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org"
Give it a chance
Lisa Francis | Bel Air, MD United States | 11/22/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"True Heart fans will enjoy much of this disc, even though it's a little different from favorites like "Little Queen" and "Dreamboat Annie". It has some great tracks - Anne really shows her stuff in City's Burning and Perfect Stranger. Angels is a nice mellow track, and Nancy gets to sing on The Situation."
You have to give it a chance
Lisa Francis | 10/27/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this CD and really didn't care for it at first, but after giving it some time it grew on me. True it is not their best, but it's not too bad. No Heart collection is complete without it."