Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Heart will release their 16th album, Beautiful Broken, on Friday, but Billboard is premiering it exclusively below. The band’s Concord Records debut and first new release in four years features new songs written by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, revisiting some of their favorite catalog tracks in fresh recordings and a title track with guest vocals from Metallica‘s James Hetfield.
“There is really a seventies feel to this record both in the sound, and the way we got to the emotional core of each song,” Nancy Wilson said in a statement. “We picked songs that we always wanted to re-do, plus we’ve added three new tracks. On both new and old, we have the band playing together the way we used to. This is classic Heart.”
Among the previously released songs they’ve gone back and reworked are “City’s Burning,” “Down on Me” and “Sweet Darlin’,” tunes the band often performs live, but which featured production they wanted to tweak. Two tracks were pulled from the albums Passionworks (1983), Private Audition (1982) and 1980’s Bebe Le Strange. The title track was originally a bonus song on Heart’s previous album, Fanatic, but the new version is an almost entirely new song with vocals and some new lyrics from Hetfield.
Listen to the exclusive premiere of Beautiful Broken below:
“It blows the previous version out of the water,” Nancy Wilson said. “James just took the song on, and what he added was perfect with a bite and a rock accent.” The album was co-produced by Nancy Wilson with Heart bassist Dan Rothchild, with Rothchild saying his goal was to recapture the band’s live feel in the studio. “On these classics, some of which had suffered from eighties-era over-editing-production-curse, we stripped the paint off and found the beauty underneath,” he said. Four of the songs feature string arrangements from Paul Buckmaster (The Rolling Stones, Elton John).