|Single by Heart|
|from the album Little Queen|
|B-side||"Cry to Me"|
|Genre||Hard rock, Heavy metal|
|Heart singles chronology|
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 Wilson 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, Ann became angry and went back to her hotel room to write the original lyrics of the song. Producer Mike Flicker added that Mushroom was so obtuse in the contract negotiations that Heart decided to discard the album they were working on, Magazine - which the label still released in an unfinished form - and instead sign with the newly formed Portrait Records to make another record, Little Queen. As Flicker put it, "'Barracuda' was created conceptually out of a lot of this record business bullshit. Barracuda could be anyone from the local promotion man to the president of a record company. That is the barracuda. It was born out of that whole experience."
Upon its release "Barracuda" became Heart's second top-20 hit in the U.S., peaking at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. 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.
Usage at the 2008 Republican National Convention
"Barracuda" was played at the 2008 Republican National Convention in reference to John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, who claims she 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, despite the McCain campaign's claim to have lawfully purchased rights to use the song.
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. Derosier, lead drummer on the recording and song co-writer, also supports the use of the song by the RNC. 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."
- The Accüsed covered this song on their Hymns for the Deranged EP (1988).
- Joal covered this song on her album Joal (1989).
- Chastain covered this song on their 1990 album For Those Who Dare.
- A cover of "Barracuda" is featured on Rasputina's 2005 live album A Radical Recital. Rasputina has played the song on tours and while opening for Primus.
- "Barracuda" was covered by R&B, hip-hop and pop singer Fergie for the soundtrack of the 2007 animated film Shrek the Third. It was released as a promo for the film. "Barracuda" is also featured in the UK & US Deluxe Edition of her album The Dutchess.
- Alice in Chains covered this song with Gretchen Wilson at the 2007 VH1 Rock Honors.
- The jazz trio The Bad Plus played the song on their cover album For All I Care, with Wendy Lewis providing the vocals.
- Doro Pesch, a German heavy metal singer, also covered this song on the album Love Me in Black in 1998.
- Allison Iraheta performed "Barracuda" as part of her set during the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2009. She also performed it on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien on July 15, 2009.
- Superfly and The Lemon Bats covered this song on tour in 2010.
- Adrenaline Mob performed a cover of this song on their 2013 cover-focused album, Covertà.
- Indie rock band The Dismemberment Plan performed a version of the song in October 2013 for The A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover series.
- Lea Michele and Adam Lambert covered the song for the Glee season 5 episode "Trio".
- Jena Irene performed this song for the Top 6 performances on American Idol
In popular culture
- The song is featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, on the classic rock radio station 'K-DST'.
- A cover version appeared in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock while master recording was used in Guitar Hero Smash Hits.
- This song is part of the downloadable pack "Classic Rock" for Rocksmith.
- The song can be played on the radio in the bar in the 2006 video game Prey.
- The song was played in the 2010 movie You Again when Aunt Ramona (Sigourney Weaver) was tempting Gail Olson (Jamie Lee Curtis) to have a street race.
- This song was playing on the radio as Will Ferrell was driving his car playing Cam Brady in the 2012 film The Campaign.
- Ana Gasteyer (as Sheila Shay) sings this song in Suburgatory.
- Melissa McCarthy sings the song in the 2013 film Identity Thief.
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- On-air interview with Roger Fisher, by Dori Monson, 710 KIRO, Seattle
- "Heart's Nancy Wilson responds to McCain campaign's use of 'Barracuda' at Republican convention"[permanent dead link], Entertainment Weekly, May 9, 2008.
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- Wass, Mike (2014-03-03). "Adam Lambert And Lea Michele Cover Heart's Classic Rock Anthem "Barracuda" For 'Glee': Listen". Retrieved 2014-03-05.
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- "Rocksmith Classic Rock DLC pack now available through Xbox Live in Europe". VG247.com. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- "Prey (Video Game 2006)". IMDb. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- "You Again (2010)". IMDb. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- "The Campaign (2012)". IMDb. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- Nowalk, Brandon (January 24, 2013). "Suburgatory: "Chinese Chicken"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
- "Identity Thief (2013)". IMDb. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- "Australian-charts.com – Heart – Barracuda". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
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- "Top Singles - Volume 28, No. 2, October 08 1977". RPM. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
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- Brian Currin. "South African Rock Lists Website - SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (H)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
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