Barracuda (song)

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"Barracuda"
Single by Heart
from the album Little Queen
B-side "Cry to Me"
Released January 1977
Format 7" single
Recorded 1976
Genre Hard rock
Length 4:22
Label Portrait Records
Writer(s) Ann Wilson
Nancy Wilson
Michael DeRosier
Roger Fisher
Producer(s) Mike Flicker
Heart singles chronology
"Dreamboat Annie"
(1976)
"Barracuda"
(1977)
"Little Queen"
(1977)

"Barracuda" is a song written and recorded by the rock band Heart. It was released as the first single from the band's second album Little Queen (1977).

Reception[edit]

The song is an aggressive hard rock number notable for a galloping guitar riff and its use of natural harmonics.[1]

Upon its release "Barracuda" became Heart's second top-20 hit in the U.S., peaking at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] The song has become the band's signature song and is a staple on American classic rock radio playlists.

In 2009, it was named the 34th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.

Catalyst[edit]

Ann Wilson revealed in interviews that the song was about Heart's anger towards Mushroom Records' attempted publicity stunt involving her and her sister Nancy in a made-up incestuous affair. The song particularly focuses on Ann's rage towards a man who came up to her after a concert asking how her "lover" was. She initially thought he was talking about her boyfriend, band manager Michael Fisher. After he revealed he was talking about her sister Nancy Wilson, Ann became angry and went back to her hotel room to write the original lyrics of the song.[3]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1977) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[4] 15
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[5] 16
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 30
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[7] 2
Germany (Media Control Charts)[8] 8
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[9] 29
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10] 37
South African Singles Chart[11] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 14
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 11

Usage at the 2008 Republican National Convention[edit]

"Barracuda" was played at the 2008 Republican National Convention in reference to John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, who was known as "Sarah Barracuda" as a high school basketball star (and as "Sarracuda" after the convention, a play on her name). The Wilson sisters disapproved, as they disagreed with Palin's politics, and sent a cease-and-desist letter to John McCain's campaign,[14] despite the McCain campaign's claim to have lawfully purchased rights to use the song.[15]

In an appearance on a Seattle talk show, song co-writer and lead guitarist Roger Fisher announced he was thrilled with the RNC's use of the song, because it both resulted in royalties for the band and gave them an opportunity to publicly point out that he is a "staunch" supporter of Barack Obama.[16] DeRosier, lead drummer on the recording and song co-writer, also supports the use of the song by the RNC.[17] The McCain campaign continued to use the song, despite Nancy Wilson's statement to Entertainment Weekly that "Sarah Palin’s views and values in no way represent us as American women."[15][18]

Covers[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Saulnier, Jason (March 15, 2012). "Roger Fisher Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ Epic Expands Vintage Heart Albums by Jonathan Cohen, Billboard magazine
  3. ^ Behind the Music: Heart episode VH1
  4. ^ "Australian-charts.com – {{{artist}}} – Barracuda". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  5. ^ "{{{artist}}} – Barracuda – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – {{{artist}}} – Barracuda" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  7. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 28, No. 2, October 08 1977". RPM. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  8. ^ "{{{artist}}} – Barracuda". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment.
  9. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – {{{artist}}} – Barracuda" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  10. ^ "Charts.org.nz – {{{artist}}} – Barracuda". Top 40 Singles.
  11. ^ Brian Currin. "South African Rock Lists Website - SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (H)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – {{{artist}}} – Barracuda". Singles Top 60.
  13. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/303367/heart/chart?f=379
  14. ^ "Heart to Sarah Palin: Don't Play 'Barracuda'" Fox News
  15. ^ a b "McCain and Palin once again play 'Barracuda'". CNN. 
  16. ^ "Heart's Roger Fisher thrilled with RNC 'Barracuda' play" Summary and link to streaming audio. KIRO 97.3 FM
  17. ^ On-air interview with Roger Fisher, by Dori Monson, 710 KIRO, Seattle
  18. ^ "Heart's Nancy Wilson responds to McCain campaign's use of 'Barracuda' at Republican convention", Entertainment Weekly, May 9, 2008.
  19. ^ "The Dismemberment Plan covers Heart". Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  20. ^ Wass, Mike (2014-03-03). "Adam Lambert And Lea Michele Cover Heart's Classic Rock Anthem "Barracuda" For 'Glee': Listen". Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  21. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Various-Grand-Theft-Auto-San-Andreas-Official-Soundtrack-Box-Set/release/480570
  22. ^ http://www.pcworld.com/article/138987/article.html
  23. ^ http://www.vg247.com/2012/10/23/rocksmith-classic-rock-dlc-pack-now-available-through-xbox-live-in-europe/
  24. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0466931/soundtrack?ref_=tt_trv_snd
  25. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1414382/soundtrack?ref_=tt_trv_snd
  26. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1790886/soundtrack?ref_=tt_trv_snd
  27. ^ http://www.avclub.com/review/suburgatory-chinese-chicken-90909
  28. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2024432/soundtrack?ref_=tt_trv_snd

External links[edit]