Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ Wins March Riff Madness

by Matthew Wilkening April 8, 2014 9:34 AM


Congratulations to Heart, whose 1977 anthem ‘Barracuda’ defeated 31 other amazing songs to win our first-ever March Riff Madness readers poll.

Nearly half a million votes were cast during the five rounds of this competition, as we used a bracket system to cut the field of competitors in half each week. You certainly can’t say the Wilson sister-fronted group benefited from an easy draw. Look at the monster groups and riffs they defeated on their way to the finals: Van Halen‘s ‘Unchained,’ Guns N’ Roses‘ ‘Welcome to the Jungle,’ Motley Crue‘s ‘Kickstart My Heart,’ and Aerosmith‘s ‘Walk This Way.’

Once in the finals Heart squared off against another sibling act, the Kinks, and 1964′s almighty ‘You Really Got Me’ — which, terrifyingly, more than one reader identified as a cover of a Van Halen song in our Facebook comments pages. The two riffs battled neck and neck all week, but in the final hours Heart pulled away for a convincing 53 percent to 47 percent victory.

View article here.

Beta Tester Reports For Fisher Brother’s New Album, ALL TOLD

Okay here goes - no sugar coating. This is all 100% truth:

Well, the reason I've always been a fan is because Roger's so incredibly original - guitar ideas and licks that I've simply never heard from anywhere else - a true original. And it's still refreshing, whether I listen to old Heart, or to this. And the execution of all these amazing ideas has always been, and is still impeccable, played with great feel. Roger means every note. And I can see that nothing's changed. It's not just going through the motions for Roger, there's real soul in this, which to me makes the difference between good and bad music, regardless of the style.

It very much takes me back to all the music that I used to listen to day in and day out. Downright progressive with strong rock roots. Yet, there's a modernness to it that makes it relevant today. And lyrics that are always appropriately necessary.

The playing by all members is superb. The drummer is killer. My favourite song is "Pray For Love". Love the groove, the lyrics, the eastern feel and arrangements. Trippy stuff!! Really enjoyed "Father" as well. Again, great ideas, arrangements, appreciate the sentiment as well.  

Seems like there are some nods to some classics: The very beginning and end reminded me of Pink Floyd's laughter (in "Us and Them"?). There was a portion of "Taking the Torch" that seemed like a nod to "Yes" and Jon Anderson. And of course, the guitar rhythm that's reminiscent of "Barracuda". Was that intended? If I were to have any criticism - and it's not really criticism - it's just that some people might say "oh, he's trying to sound like…" I see it as part of music history wrapped up as part of Rog's musical biography. Would this be accurate?

Bottom line is that it truly satisfies, and that's hard to come by these days. The big question for any album is: will it be listened to over and over. My answer is "absolutely". To use an adjective used for web sites, this album is "sticky"! And it's about time that someone came out with a guitar and guitarist-based album again - something that us guitarists can really dive into and enjoy. 


Would be more fun to talk about it with you sometime, but know it’s a gorgeous and amazingly cohesive piece of work. Few things that strike me are that your vocals are so strong on this, the melodies are really fantastic throughout and I love the messages in the songs. Musically, there’s simply nothing like this that I’ve heard in a long, long time if ever. It’s one of those albums where I think to myself, “how’d they come up with this?” in terms of the arrangement, instrumentation and the sheer competency/incredible playing. Holy cow man, the playing on this is insane across the board. The chord progressions, the layers, parts – it’s super impressive how across all the tracks everything works together so well despite the complexity. Always melodious and lush. Inspired work, truly.

Really dig the “bookends” of the album. The opening song is awesome “classic Rog” in my mind. Always have loved your choice of chords – sets a great tone for the album. Love that it ends with your take on “Love Alive” which was always a favorite Heart song of mine. Definitely a journey which I think is what you were going for – awesome as a continuous mix. Are you releasing this as a continuous mix as well as separate tracks? 

I’m actually still making sense of this – there’s so much here and is a real journey. I’ve listened to it probably 10 times through and I can honestly thank you for letting me hear it, it’s a bit therapeutic given what’s been going on in my life this last couple of weeks. Hoping we can meet-up again sometime soon, would love to talk you more about this!


What a great story.  There is really a lot in there for everybody.   You have a marvelous understanding of mixing rhythm and feel inside a groove.  It was nice personally feeling excited hearing some of the familiar music.  ...and the drum solo was really sweet!  I think it will make a wonderful live show and I look forward to seeing your inimitable style when this music is performed.


Well I have listened to the whole “All Told” music presentation via the link you sent me.

I will be listening to it a few more times, but here are my initial comments.

Excellent mixing and guitar tone.  Your electric guitar leads have a unique sound that makes it truly special.

The transitions from one music creation (song) to the next creation (song) is well done.

I love “Taking The Torch” and the reborn version of “Love Alive”.

The song “Raindance” has always been another favorite of mine.  I do prefer the original version of it (the version that was on the “Reigning Sun” album). To my ears it had a nicer feel (less instrumentation).  The newest version of “Raindance” that is on your upcoming “All Told” release has a mix that fits well the album.


 "Roger Fisher, hope you could hit Florida...if not, DETROIT in the summer....Your just a great musician, & a ,Blast...I've met so many people in my travels, ect..rarely people stick to my memories...Your the REAL DEAL, Real, Rock N ROLL package..& Your CRAZY !! HAHA...SO MANY YEAR'S HAVE PASSED SINCE I MET YOU..I SERIOUSLY CRACK UP, REMEMBERING YOU…XO"


I’ve listened to bits and pieces and the entire 12 cuts one time through.  The music is technically excellent!  I would guess listener appeal will not be a large group of folks.  Interest may increase with the additional pieces.  Great drum solo in cut 2.  Rock On and MAY THE BLUES BE WITH YOU AND YOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!