Heart has enjoyed a longer career spanning multiple decades, but the band has definitely had to evolve along the way.

During an appearance on the Broken Record podcast, Nancy Wilson noted the challenges her group faced going from the ‘70s to the ‘80s.

“We were kind of victims of longevity in a certain way because the styles change and you want to not change that much,” the guitarist explained, noting that the “mind-expanded perspective” which permeated during the ‘70s gave way to the “cocaine perspective, which was a little more money and ego driven.”

Following mainstream success in the ‘70s, Heart struggled in the early part of the ‘80s. The band tried to evolve and stay commercially relevant, without fully abandoning the rock sound that made them an initial success. In 1985, their new record label, Capitol, brought outside songwriters in to work with the band, creating a dynamic that Nancy and her sister, Ann, weren’t totally comfortable with.

READ MORE: How Heart Survived the '80s

“A stable of L.A.'s hit songwriters were employed in tandem with these record companies to create the formulaic hits that were expected at the time and those big power ballads,” Nancy recalled, describing the style as “hairband music.” “We were reluctantly going along for survival reasons.”

Having an MTV Image ‘Irritated’ Nancy Wilson

The dawn of MTV also impacted Heart, as the band had to worry about their public image more than ever before.

“We were kind of irritated with the whole atmosphere of that,” Wilson confessed. “The weather system just felt wrong to us, you know, around all of that image-making type of stuff. Because we were cool, kind of apple cheek girls from Seattle without makeup when we first started, and then it was all about the artifice and what you can wear.”

READ MORE: Heart Albums Ranked Worst to Best

Heart did their best to not get caught up in the superficial trends, eventually scoring some of the biggest hits of their career in the ‘80s. Looking back, Wilson is grateful for the era, even if aspects of it were too artificial for her liking.

“[Image] was never important to us,” the rocker reaffirmed. “So we muddled through pretty good in the ‘80s because we got a couple of really gorgeous songs out of that time, like ‘These Dreams’ and ‘Alone,’ ‘What About Love’ and a few more. They're just gorgeous, well written, structured pieces of music that we still enjoy doing today. So if that's the booty that we snuck out of the '80s, then it's well worth it.”

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Gallery Credit: UCR Staff

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