Complete List Of Heart Band Members

Heart Band Members

Feature Photo: Tony Norkus / Shutterstock.com

Our Complete List Of Heart Band Members presents a list of all musicians both current and former who have played in the band Heart. The group was formed in the early 1970s in Seattle, Washington, and later relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The band’s core revolves around sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, who have been the faces and voices of Heart for over four decades. With roots in folk, hard rock, and progressive rock, the band broke into mainstream success in the mid-to-late ’70s with hits like “Crazy On You,” “Barracuda,” and “Magic Man.” Their unique blend of genres and Ann Wilson’s powerhouse vocals set them apart from other bands of their era, making them one of the most commercially successful rock bands in history.

Heart’s initial lineup included Steve Fossen, Roger Fisher, Don Wilhelm, and Ray Schaefer, who joined forces with the Wilson sisters to produce their debut album, “Dreamboat Annie,” in 1975. Released initially in Canada, the album found its way to American audiences, earning the band their first commercial success. After relocating back to the United States, Heart signed with Portrait Records and released “Little Queen” in 1977, featuring the iconic track “Barracuda.”

Through the years, Heart saw multiple lineup changes. Roger Fisher and Steve Fossen departed, making way for guitarist Howard Leese and bassist Mark Andes. With this new lineup, Heart ventured into the 1980s with a more polished, radio-friendly sound, evident in albums like “Heart” (1985) and “Bad Animals” (1987). Songs like “These Dreams,” “Alone,” and “What About Love” became huge hits, establishing Heart as one of the premier rock bands of the decade.

However, like many bands that achieved great success in the ’70s and ’80s, Heart faced a decline in the ’90s, as grunge and alternative rock took center stage. Despite this, they continued to produce music and tour. The band underwent further lineup changes, adding musicians such as Denny Carmassi on drums and Fernando Saunders on bass. In 2002, the Wilson sisters took a hiatus from Heart to focus on solo projects but reunited in 2004 to release “Jupiter’s Darling.”

The band experienced a resurgence in the 2010s, receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012 and getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Their 2010 album “Red Velvet Car” and 2012’s “Fanatic” were well-received, showing that Heart still had a lot to offer even after decades in the music industry.

Heart has sold over 35 million records worldwide and has received four Grammy nominations, among other accolades.

Ann Wilson

Ann Wilson, born in San Diego, California, is one of the founding members of Heart, and she serves as the lead vocalist of the band. She joined Heart in the early 1970s when it was still an evolving project under different names such as “White Heart” and “Hocus Pocus.” Ann’s powerful vocals were critical to defining Heart’s sound, which blends hard rock and folk. She has been a constant presence on all of Heart’s albums, from their debut “Dreamboat Annie” in 1976 to their latest release “Beautiful Broken” in 2016. Ann is known for her extraordinary vocal range and emotional intensity, which is showcased in iconic songs like “Barracuda,” “Crazy on You,” and “Alone.” Outside of Heart, Ann has released several solo albums, including “Hope & Glory” in 2007 and “Immortal” in 2018.

Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson, Ann’s younger sister, was born in San Francisco, California, and officially joined Heart in 1974. She primarily plays guitar and also contributes vocals. Nancy’s acoustic guitar intro on “Crazy on You” is one of the most iconic in rock history. She has been on almost all of Heart’s albums, lending her guitar skills and occasionally taking the lead vocals, as in songs like “These Dreams” and “Stranded.” Like her sister, Nancy has been consistent in her role in the band, contributing significantly to their musical direction and songwriting. She has composed many of Heart’s popular songs either by herself or in collaboration with Ann or other band members. In addition to her work with Heart, Nancy has also had an extensive career in film scoring, working on movies such as “Jerry Maguire” and “Almost Famous.” She released her first solo album, “Live at McCabe’s Guitar Shop,” in 1999, followed by “You and Me” in 2021.

Roger Fisher

Roger Fisher was one of the original guitarists for Heart and joined the band in 1967 when it was still called The Army. Born in Seattle, Washington, Fisher was instrumental in shaping the band’s hard-rock sound in its early years. He contributed to Heart’s first four studio albums, including the iconic “Dreamboat Annie” and “Little Queen,” which featured hits like “Crazy on You” and “Barracuda.” Fisher left the band in 1980 following personal and professional tensions. After leaving Heart, he embarked on various musical projects and also released solo albums, including “Evolution” in 2018.

Steve Fossen

Steve Fossen, also from Seattle, was a founding member of Heart and the band’s original bassist. He was with the band from its inception in 1967 under various names until 1982. Fossen played on albums like “Dreamboat Annie,” “Little Queen,” and “Dog & Butterfly,” which helped solidify Heart’s standing in the rock world. After his departure, he continued to be involved in music and was part of the Heart by Heart band, which also featured original Heart members.

John Hannah

John Hannah was a keyboardist who was with the band in its early years when it was still known by names like The Army and White Heart. Though not as prominently featured as other members, his contributions in the initial years helped shape the band’s evolving sound. Information on his career post-Heart is relatively limited.

Brian Johnstone

Brian Johnstone was another early member of Heart when it was still going by different names. He played drums for the band before Michael Derosier took over. Like John Hannah, he was part of the formative years but didn’t stay long enough to see the band’s mainstream success.

Michael Derosier

Michael Derosier was Heart’s drummer from 1975 until 1982. Born in Canada, he played on some of Heart’s most successful albums, such as “Little Queen” and “Dog & Butterfly.” Derosier was known for his solid drumming skills, which contributed to the band’s unique sound. After leaving Heart, he worked with various other artists and bands, including Richard Marx and Alias.

Howard Leese

Born in Hollywood, California, Howard Leese was Heart’s guitarist and keyboardist from 1975 to 1998, making him one of the longest-serving members outside of the Wilson sisters. Leese contributed to many of Heart’s hit albums and songs, adding depth to their sound with his versatile instrumental skills. He was involved in the songwriting process and also served as the band’s musical director. After his long tenure with Heart, Leese joined the Paul Rodgers Band and later became a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame house band.

Mark Andes

Mark Andes joined Heart in 1982 as the band’s bassist and stayed with the group until 1992. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Andes brought a new dynamic to the band, contributing backing vocals and occasionally playing acoustic guitar. He played on albums like “Passionworks” and “Bad Animals,” which included the hit single “Alone.” After leaving Heart, Andes had a successful career with other bands such as Spirit and Firefall. He also teamed up with notable artists like Celine Dion and Dan Fogelberg for studio sessions.

Denny Carmassi

Denny Carmassi became Heart’s drummer in 1982 and remained in that role until 1993. Born in San Francisco, California, Carmassi played a significant role in the band’s sound during the 1980s and early ’90s. He was part of the lineup for albums like “Bad Animals” and “Brigade,” contributing to hit songs like “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You.” Outside of Heart, Carmassi has had a diverse career, drumming for bands like Montrose and Gamma, and he has collaborated with a range of artists, including Sammy Hagar and Coverdale/Page.

Fernando Saunders

Fernando Saunders joined Heart in 1993 as the bassist and provided backing vocals. He was part of the band for two years, leaving in 1995. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Saunders was present during a transitional period for the band. While his tenure with Heart was relatively short, his versatile musical skills added a unique element to the group. Saunders has a broad musical career outside of Heart, having worked with a wide range of artists like Jeff Beck, Marianne Faithfull, and Lou Reed.

Denny Fongheiser

Denny Fongheiser joined Heart as their drummer during the 1990s. Born in Los Angeles, California, Fongheiser contributed to the band’s sound during a significant period. He was part of albums like “Desire Walks On,” adding his unique drumming style to the mix. Apart from Heart, Fongheiser has an extensive resume, having worked with artists such as Tracy Chapman, Bruce Springsteen, and Stevie Nicks, among others.

Mike Inez

Mike Inez briefly joined Heart as their bassist. Although his stint with the band was not long, Inez contributed to the overall musical texture of Heart during his time. Born in San Fernando, California, he later gained wider fame as a member of Alice In Chains. Outside of Heart, Inez has also played with Ozzy Osbourne and other notable artists.

Tom Kellock

Tom Kellock served as a keyboardist for Heart, contributing to the band’s musical depth. His involvement added a unique layer to Heart’s sound, especially in their live performances. Kellock has also had a fruitful career outside of Heart, performing with artists like Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan.

Scott Olson

Scott Olson played guitar for Heart and contributed to their rich, melodic sound. He played on several of Heart’s albums and live shows, complementing the core members well. Olson has also been active in other musical projects, enhancing his reputation as a versatile guitarist.

Ben Smith

Ben Smith became Heart’s drummer in the later stages of the band’s career, and his contributions have been notable, especially during live performances. Born in San Francisco, California, Smith brought a revitalized energy to the band’s music. Apart from his work with Heart, Smith has also had a successful career as a session musician, working with a range of artists in various genres.

Craig Bartock

Craig Bartock served as a guitarist for Heart, joining the band in the early 2000s. He played on albums such as “Jupiters Darling” and “Red Velvet Car,” adding a versatile guitar layer to Heart’s established sound. Bartock has also been active in solo projects and as a session musician, collaborating with a variety of artists across genres.

Gilby Clarke

Gilby Clarke, best known for his work with Guns N’ Roses, also had a brief stint as a guitarist for Heart. Though his time with the band was relatively short, he added his own flair and musicianship to the band’s live performances. Clarke is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and has had an extensive career in rock music, both as a band member and as a solo artist.

Darian Sahanaja

Darian Sahanaja played keyboards for Heart, contributing to the band’s diverse sonic palette. He has also been known for his work with the Brian Wilson Band, showcasing his versatility as a musician. Sahanaja is not just a performer but also a composer and arranger, which adds a unique dimension to his contributions.

Debbie Shair

Debbie Shair served as a keyboardist and backing vocalist for Heart. She has been involved in various albums and has toured extensively with the band. Besides her work with Heart, Shair has had an accomplished career as a session musician, lending her talents to a host of other artists and projects.

Ric Markmann

Ric Markmann took over as Heart’s bassist for a period, adding his own flavor to the band’s intricate compositions. He has also been a part of other notable projects and worked as a session musician, contributing his skills on bass to a variety of musical genres.

Kristian Attard

Kristian Attard served as a bassist for Heart, lending his skills to enhance the band’s rhythm section. Originally from Australia, Attard has worked with a range of artists beyond Heart, showcasing his talent as a versatile musician.

Dan Rothchild

Dan Rothchild played bass for Heart and contributed to some of the band’s later albums. He is the son of famed producer Paul Rothchild and has built an extensive career of his own, both as a session musician and as a member of other bands.

Chris Joyner

Chris Joyner was a keyboardist for Heart, providing an added layer of complexity to the band’s already intricate compositions. In addition to his work with Heart, Joyner has had a varied career, contributing to numerous projects across different genres.

Ryan Waters

Ryan Waters joined Heart as a touring guitarist. Though not a permanent member, he contributed significantly to the band’s live sound. Waters has a broad musical background, including work as a session musician and collaborations with a variety of artists.

Andy Stoller

Andy Stoller served as a touring bassist for Heart, providing a solid foundation for the band during live performances. His work has not been limited to Heart; Stoller has an extensive list of credits as a session musician.

Dan Walker

Dan Walker added his keyboard skills to Heart’s lineup, providing another layer to the band’s musical arrangements. Apart from Heart, Walker has been involved in numerous other musical projects, showcasing his versatility and skill.

Complete List Of Heart Band Members article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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