It was the 70’s. Life was pretty easy for me back then. I was really young, no responsibilities other than school. It was a warm summer day in Florida back in May of 1977. Im impatiently awaiting summer break from school and my birthdays coming up. My parents were in an argument, about what I had no clue. It was hard for my very young mind to focus on such adult things at the time. I was frightened every time they argued. This one was more intense than usual. I went into my room, closed the door and turned on the radio to drown out the yelling. Suddenly this song came on the radio that blew my mind. It was Heart’s new one, Barracuda. It was heavy, loud and angry and I found myself escaping into the music. I turned the radio all the way up to max volume. This song was fire. I was in love. This song spoke to me and I could relate completely on many levels. It was a total banger for the time.
When a piece of music is paired with a very emotional event, it can be an effective cue to bring back the strong emotion that was felt at that moment and this is what the song Barracuda does for me every time only in a positive way. For me Barracuda was my gateway song into heavier music and I began collecting vinyl and going down the rabbit hole of all the coolest rock bands out at the time and eventually metal. My journey into music became very meaningful and its still going.
Barracuda is on Heart’s third studio album, Little Queen, and was released as the album’s lead single. It was written by Ann and Nancy Wilson together with guitarist Roger Fisher and drummer Michael DeRosier. Ann Wilson revealed in interviews that the song was about Heart’s anger towards Mushroom Records, who as a publicity stunt released a made-up story of an incestuous affair involving Ann and her sister Nancy Wilson. “Barracuda” is a sonic barrage of instrumental release in response, bludgeoning any lingering inappropriateness to a pulp.
On This Day in History five months after its release on September 3rd, 1977 – HEART’s song Barracuda peaked at number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. This was HEART’s third top forty single in the United States at that time.