Dreamboat Annie is the debut album by American rock band Heart. It was released in the United States on February 14, 1976 through Mushroom Records. It contained three hit singles which became staples on FM radio. Producer Mike Flicker helped the group to polish their sound and obtain a recording contract with the label. Heart's first single How Deep it Goes b/w Here Song (M-7008) received little attention when released in Canada by the small Mushroom label in 1975. The second single Magic Man b/w How Deep it Goes was first picked up for radio play by CJFM – FM 96 in Montreal while the band was on tour playing small club dates. Dreamboat Annie was released following the success of the second single. The album cover was designed by current Emily Carr University of Art and Design communication design instructor Deborah Shackleton Heart's first radio success earned them a spot opening a Montreal concert for Rod Stewart in October 1975. More Canadian airplay soon followed, due in part to the fact that Heart's recordings qualified for Canadian content broadcast requirements. The album sold an impressive 30,000 copies across Canada in its first few months.
Mushroom then formed a US division and released Dreamboat Annie on Valentine's Day 1976 in the Seattle area, where Heart's members had lived and played before relocating to Canada in the early 1970s. The album was played by Seattle stations KISW and KZOK and promptly sold another 25,000 copies in the local area. The group and their label then began working together to build success for the album city by city. According to Flicker, this was part of a plan to convince record distributors that Mushroom had a hit record, so that the album would get national distribution.
The success of the album however would lead to a break between the band and label.
The first cracks appeared when the group tried to renegotiate their royalty rate to be more in keeping with what a platinum band should be earning. For this Michael Fisher, who was Ann's boyfriend at the time, stepped aside as de facto manager and Ken Kinnear was hired. Mushroom's tough stance in negotiations, and their opinion that perhaps the band was a one-hit wonder, eventually led to Mike Flicker leaving Mushroom but continue to produce for Heart.
The strained relationship was shattered when the label bought a full-page ad in Rolling Stone mocked up like a National Enquirer front page. The ad used an outtake photo from the Dreamboat Annie cover shoot showing Ann and Nancy back to back with bare shoulders. The caption under the photo read "It Was Only Our First Time". The band had not been consulted and was furious with the lewd suggestions made by the caption.
Since the label could no longer provide Flicker as producer as the contract specified, the band took the position that they were free to move to another label and signed with Portrait. Mushroom insisted that the band was still bound to the contract which called for two albums. So, Mushroom released Magazine with incomplete tracks, studio outtakes and live material and a disclaimer on the cover.
The band got a federal injunction to recall the album, but not before about 50,000 copies had been sold. The court eventually decided that the band could sign with Portrait, but that they did owe Mushroom a second album. The band returned to the studio to re-record, remix, edit, and re-sequence the recordings. Magazine was re-released in 1978 and sold a million copies in less than a month.
Shelley Siegal, the promoter behind the "First Time" ad, died a few months after the re-release and Mushroom Records went bankrupt a few years later. The episode had at least one more repercussion. Not long after the ad appeared, a radio promoter asked Ann about her lover. He referring to Nancy and implying the sisters were incestuous lesbians lovers. The encounter infuriated Ann who went back to her hotel and penned the words to what would become their signature song: Barracuda.