Heart – All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You 12″ PICTURE DISC. Check video


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“All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You” is a song by American rock band Heart. It was composed by veteran songwriter and producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange and released as the lead single from the band’s tenth studio album, Brigade, in March 1990. The song was first recorded as “All I Want to Do Is Make Love to You” by Dobie Gray in 1979, though with different lyrics. The Heart version tells the story of a woman who sets out to seduce a hitchhiker in order to become pregnant because although there is a man in her life, he is infertile.

“All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You” was a success, spending two weeks at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number eight on the UK Singles Chart (becoming their last top ten in the US and UK), and reaching number one in Canada and Australia. At the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards, the song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, and is the only one of Heart’s singles to have been certified gold by the RIAA. On the Adult Contemporary chart, the song climbed to number six, becoming the third of Heart’s four top-ten AC hits (after “These Dreams” and “Alone”).

The single was Heart’s last pop chart top ten hit in the US to date. The band had one more top ten Adult Contemporary chart hit with the follow-up “Stranded”; “Stranded” and two singles from 1994’s Desire Walks On (“Black on Black II” and “Will You Be There (In the Morning)”) were also top 10 Album Rock chart hits.

In the liner notes of Heart’s album The Road Home, Ann Wilson commented on the band’s dislike for the song, stating, “Actually we had sworn off it because it kind of stood for everything we wanted to get away from. It was a song by ‘Mutt’ Lange, who we liked, and it was originally written for Don Henley, but there was a lot of pressure on us to do the song at the time.” Ann Wilson has made a number of comments on her dislike for the song, calling the song’s message “hideous” in an interview with Dan Rather. In that same interview, Ann mentions that she’s surprised at how many of their fans, especially in Australia and New Zealand, want to hear the song to this day when Heart plays live. Although Heart does not perform this song any more due to Ann’s dislike of it, Ann did eventually perform this song on her 2017 tour, though her version of the song had a few changes.

The 7-inch single features an edited 4:29 version of the album track (5:10). The 12-inch and CD versions featured the non-LP track “Cruel Tears”. In the UK, a very limited ‘tour edition’ 12-inch single was released, on clear vinyl.

The original song as recorded by Dobie Gray in 1979 was a love song without a storyline, unlike the later version by Heart.

In the Heart version of the song, which is also played out in the accompanying music video, interspersed with sequences of the band performing the song, singer Ann Wilson sings of a one-night stand with a handsome young male hitchhiker. After an implicit agreement to remain anonymous, they make their way to a hotel room in which to have sex. The lyrics make the suggestion that this may not be the first time the female protagonist has engaged in such behaviors, noting her familiarity with this particular hotel. The song explicitly highlights the sexual prowess of the young man, and his ability to easily and repeatedly bring the female protagonist to orgasm. She leaves a note with instructions for the man to make no attempt to contact her or track her down. It is subsequently revealed that her intent all along was to use the encounter as a way to become pregnant. The lyrics explain later, when she accidentally crosses paths with the one-time lover, that her baby is the result of their tryst and she did it only because the man she is in love with is not able to father children.

Charts and certifications
Weekly charts
Chart (1990) Peak
Australia (ARIA) 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 30
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 4
Canada Top Singles (RPM) 1
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM) 12
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100) 18
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) 5
Ireland (IRMA) 11
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 5
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 4
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 4
Norway (VG-lista) 3
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 12
UK Singles (OCC) 8
US Billboard Hot 100 2
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard) 6
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard) 2
West Germany (Official German Charts) 23

Year-end charts. Chart (1990) Position
Australia (ARIA) 5
Belgium (Ultratop) 28
Canada Top Singles (RPM) 7
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100) 63
Germany (Official German Charts) 92
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 42
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 14
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 18
US Billboard Hot 100 16
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard) 50

Decade-end charts Chart (1990–1999) Position
Canada (Nielsen SoundScan) 81

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA) Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada) Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ) Gold 5,000*
United States (RIAA) Gold 500,000^
* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Halestorm has covered “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You” multiple times live and released a studio version on their Reanimate: The Covers EP album. The music video was directed by Andy Morahan and shot by Mike Southon. “We covered ‘All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You’ very carefully, because you don’t want to ruin a Heart song,” remarked Lzzy Hale. “It’s a very underrated track. I did it like that first version I heard on [Heart’s 1995 album] The Road Home.”

“All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You,” Heart
Honestly, Heart could sing a list of the most popular AllRecipes (“Jaaaamie’s Cranberry Spinach Saaaaalad/World’s Best Lasaaaaagna/Sour Creeeeeam Cutouts”) and it would make me want to bawl my eyes out in the arms of a tall, dark stranger at the end of a pier.

This song is perfect. You should always be listening to it. If you’re not listening to it now, smack yourself in the face and Google it. It’s just that important.

I am singing the phone book. You are weeping like a tiny baby. Photo by FatCat125/Wikimedia Commons.

So much passion. So much pain. So much hair.

Here’s why it sounds romantic:

Over pounding drums and a soaring melody, Heart sisters Nancy and Ann Wilson deliver a primal tribute to the one true romantic fantasy shared by every living being on Earth: picking up an unnervingly attractive man for one night of mind-blowing sex and then releasing him back into the wild to bone — but never quite as compellingly ever again.

They sing:

It was a rainy night when he came into sight

Standing by the road, no umbrella, no coat

So I pulled up alongside and I offered him a ride

He accepted with a smile so we drove for a while
I don’t have to go on because you know what happens next, and it’s awesome.

Now, here’s why this song is not romantic at all:

The relationship in “All I Wanna Do” seems too good to be true. And it is. Because it’s not an equally loving ,or even equally lusty, pairing at all.

It’s a…

It’s a…

Well. You know what it is:

For a while, things are humming along just fine, like any wholesome, illicit, anonymous affair should:

I didn’t ask him his name, this lonely boy in the rain

Fate, tell me it’s right, is this love at first sight?
Sure, many of us might hesitate to pick up a strange leather-jacket-clad man standing on the side of the road for a no-strings-attached screw, but our narrator just has a feeling about this guy, and sometimes, you gotta go with your gut.

I can respect that.

We made magic that night

He did everything right
Great! Seems like it was a good decision. Bonking the hitchhiker is payin’ off big time.

But then, without warning, the song starts to sound less like an all-time great romance and more like a story men’s rights activists tell each other as they vape around a campfire:

I told him “I am the flower, you are the seed

We walked in the garden, we planted a tree

Don’t try to find me, please don’t you dare

Just live in my memory, you’ll always be there”
I’m not a poet. Symbolic language often eludes me. But unless “flower,” “seed,” “garden,” and “tree,” suddenly mean wildly different things in the context of human reproduction than they have since sex was first invented in the early-1970s, we’re talking about a surprise, non-mutually-consensual pregnancy!

Of course, metaphors are opaque, interpretations vary, etc., etc., etc. You might be tempted to think, “Maybe Heart meant something else by that.”

To that I say, no, they definitely meant it:

Then it happened one day

We came round the same way

You can imagine his surprise

When he saw his own eyes
There are two possibilities here.

One: The narrator of the song is recently-deceased Jerry Orbach from this creepy New York City subway ad from nine years ago:

Or two: She totally conned a dude into whipping up a baby on the sly.

I said, “Please, please understand
Ah, sure. Yeah. No worries.

I’m in love with another man
Cool, so this all makes sense and is in no way the nightmarish scheme of a deranged sociopath who has now wrecked not one but two lives.

And what he couldn’t give me, oh, no

Was the one little thing that you can”

The best you can say about that is that it’s not technically illegal, and that leather-jacket man probably should have been responsible for his own birth control. Or, at the very least, asked more questions .

But … it’s not cute. It’s not romantic (even the Wilson sisters themselves agree).

And at the end of the day, the shadiest character in this song is somehow not the rain-soaked hitchhiker wandering to nowhere in the night.

Which… is saying something.

But there is a love song that is truly, madly, deeply perfect. An unassailable track in a sea of problematic faves.
A song that does everything right.

A song that paints a portrait of a healthy partnership built to last.

A song that can double as a manual for the ideal human romantic relationship.

No matter which era or style of Heart’s incredible career is your favourite, you’re well catered for.

The 70’s gave us such mega rock anthems as Crazy On You, Magic Man and Barracuda, not to mention more acoustic offerings as Dog & Butterfly. The big-haired pomp of the 80’s saw them enjoy a huge career resurgence with hits Alone, Never and These Dreams. Their electric works truly do electrify, while the sisters Wilson can hypnotise with their gentler, folkier outings.

Ann’s vocals and Nancy’s extraordinary guitar playing are a potent combination, but their trajectory has been up and down. After a fantastic run during the 70’s, in the 80’s they’d had a few flops and their record company insisted they bring in outside writers to help them craft another hit.

The strategy yielded excellent results with their self-titled so-called ‘comeback’ album, coupled with a new, glammed and pompadoured image.

But by the third album of this new cycle of success, 1990’s Brigade, they were slaves to record exec profiteering.

All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You, released over thirty years ago on  14th March, 1990. Written by producer Mutt Lange, apparently with Don Henley of The Eagles in mind to record it, it was originally recorded in 1979 by Dobie Gray, he of the smash hit Drift Away.

Heart wrote a new set of lyrics, tweaked the title from All I Want To Do… to All I Wanna Do…, then knuckled down and finished the recording.

[As a quick aside, Heart did pretty well out of grunge, when their Seattle recording studio Bad Animals, which they owned from 1991 to 1997, was used with great results by such luminaries as Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Radiohead, R.E.M., Neil Young and many more, including Heart themselves]

In Heart’s version of the song, the narrator picks up a hitchhiker standing forlorn in the rain.

It was a rainy night when he came into sight
Standing by the road, no umbrella, no coat
So I pulled up alongside and I offered him a ride
He accepted with a smile so we drove for a while
I didn’t ask him his name, this lonely boy in the rain

It doesn’t take long for our heroine to start feeling a bit randy towards her new, nameless friend, so she seduces the hitcher into a one-night stand, professing a magical, instantaneous and profound love for him.

Fate tell me it’s right, is this love at first sight
Please don’t make it wrong, just stay for the night

That’s okay in itself – sometimes you gotta get it where you can find it. But hold on, it seems this lady has done this before…

So we found this hotel, it was a place I knew well

Hmmm, alrighty, I’m not here to judge. It seems like everyone had a good time, and that’s what matters… especially her…

We made magic that night. Oh, he did everything right
He brought the woman out of me, so many times, easily

But it appears that this “love at first sight” was not to last, and she bolts out the door as soon as she has had her fill of multiple orgasms and the guy has finally collapsed, exhausted…

And in the morning when he woke all I left him was a note

Now it gets a bit dark. We learn that the lady in question wasn’t looking for love at all – in fact it was she who was after a ride – and she has deliberately used her new friend (still sans name, despite him being such a generous lover) to conceive a child WITHOUT DISCUSSING IT WITH HIM AT ALL.

I told him I am the flower you are the seed
We walked in the garden we planted a tree

That’s not how fauna biology works, in my understanding. But as confused as the analogy is, we all get the point, right? She’s pregnant. Our narrator has got what she wanted – ovaries full of man gravy.

Her note goes on to emphatically declare that she is not interested in a friendship, let alone a relationship. She doesn’t even want the guy to have any involvement with the child which she is dead certain that they’ve conceived a few hours ago (despite her knowing the hotel well, so I’m guessing she’s done this before without the desired result). This all seems rather premeditated, don’t you think?

Don’t try to find me, please don’t you dare
Just live in my memory, you’ll always be there
All I want to do is make love to you
One night of love was all we knew
All want to do is make love to you
I’ve got lovin’ arms to hold on to
Oh, oooh, we made love
Love like strangers
All night long
We made love

Well, it turns out that she was right – she was indeed the flower, and he did indeed supply the seed, and now there is a tree in her belly – so to speak. But the story does not end there…

Then it happened one day, we came round the same way
You can imagine his surprise when he saw his own eyes

Erm – excuse me? He’s surprised to see the kid is the spitting image of him? Why is he surprised when you left him a note telling him – albeit very poetically – that you’d used him to inseminate you?!?

All of this is pretty shitty behaviour, but the worst is yet to come.

I said please, please understand
I’m in love with another man
And what he couldn’t give me
was the one little thing that you can

We discover that the lady is in a serious relationship, and she loves him very, very much… but he is infertile, and all she wanted the hitchhiker for is “the one little thing” that he can give her that her partner can’t. Doesn’t it seem pretty drastic, as well as dishonourable, to pick up a total stranger, use him for his sperm then abscond in the night, and (presumably) lie to her partner about the genesis of their progeny?

And then she finishes off the story with some contradictory statements along the lines of – we only had one night together, but we still want each other, amirite?

All I want to do is make love to you
One night of love was all we knew
All I want to do is make love to you
Come on, say you will, you want me too
All I want to do is make love to you
One night of love was all we knew
All I want to do is make love to you
Say you will, you want me too
All night long…

Sure, there is a feministic angle that turns the tables on men using women for sex, but this song takes that to an unacceptable extreme. The narrator lied to the hitcher, and presumably lies to her husband about their child’s conception. Nothing about that is cool – and yet somehow the song was immensely popular. It reached #1 in Canada and Australia, #2 in the United States and Sweden, and top ten in the UK, Belgium, Norway, Finland, New Zealand, The Netherlands

It should come as no surprise that – to their immense credit – the Wilson sisters have since disowned the song. Wikipedia quotes singer Ann Wilson as rebelling against the musical style of the track: “Actually we had sworn off it because it kind of stood for everything we wanted to get away from. It was a song by Mutt Lange, who we liked, and it was originally written for Don Henley, but there was a lot of pressure on us to do the song at the time.”

In a 2015 interview with US TV personality Dan Rather, Ann spoke of her distaste for the lyrics, summarising the plot as “It’s like, you’re a hitchhiker and I don’t know you, so let’s get in the car and exchange fluids, and now get out”

Rather comments how successful the song was and how people still want to hear it, leading guitarist Nancy Wilson to sums up her sister’s distaste for performing the song thusly: “the thing is, that unless you’re Ann Wilson and you have to stand there and deliver this message that’s in the words, you know – most people when they hear something that they love, they’re not thinking into all the corners of the song, they’re just feeling good and listening to it.”

Heart now refuse to play the song live no matter how much their fans request it. Setlist.FM shows that they have played the song only three times since 1998, most recently in early September 2011 in Las Vegas.

All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You is undeniably catchy and as mentioned above, it does boast a certain measure of female empowerment to its lyrical story, but it is without a doubt morally repugnant. Oh well!