Dreamboat Annie


1976: Capitol Records CDP 7 46491 2

  1. Magic Man
  2. Dreamboat Annie (Fantasy Child)
  3. Crazy on You
  4. Soul of the Sea
  5. Dreamboat Annie
  6. White Lightning & Wine
  7. (Love Me Like Music) I’ll Be Your Song
  8. Sing Child
  9. How Deep It Goes
  10. Dreamboat Annie (Reprise)

My sister had this album while we were growing up, and I was very very fond of it (possibly because Ann Wilson looked so beautiful to my just-pubescing sight), so between the two of us this album got played a LOT. That was in the mid-1970s, and I’m very happy to say that nearly 30 years later it still rocks. Well, for the most part anyway.

I suspect this is partly due to the amount of radio play its hits have had ever since its release: “Magic Man” and “Crazy On You” are rock radio staples and don’t look to be fading away anytime soon, because they’re solid rock performances and structurally sound compositions as well. I’m kind of surprised that “Sing Child” never caught on the same way, but then its lengthy flute solo does extend the song beyond classic 45" single territory (as does the psychedelic electric guitar solo which follows it and brings the song to a complete halt for a cadenza, and cadenzas really aren’t the stuff of radio-play hits).

That “White Lightning & Wine” never took off, however, doesn’t surprise me: it’s too laid-back and stylized despite Wilson’s impressive wailing and dynamic range. I could do without the sweeter songs on this, but “Soul of the Sea” was a fascinating adventure—perhaps “head trip” is a more appropriate term—which still intrigues me (and, as with all head trips, this one benefits from the sonic immersion afforded by a truly fine pair of headphones).