Apparently Heart used Mesa Boogie amps during their Nineties heyday...

IMMusicRulz

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Whilst Heart mainly used Fender Twin Reverbs, a pre CBS Fender Bassman, Music Man amps and Marshalls, they also used Mesa Boogie amps. When they started using the amps it was unclear, but they did use them along with Marshall 50-watts on the Brigade album. I recently bought a copy of their CD Desire Walks On and the liner notes said: "Heart uses Mesa Boogie Amps and Soldano custom amps." Mesa Boogie amps were used by a lot of bands back then. Think of alternative rock/grunge rock bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Bush, Faith No More etc. A lot of the guitarists in those bands used Mesa Boogies because they were being touted as the Marshall killer. I think a lot of guitarists started using Les Pauls with Mesa Boogies because they offered more distortion than Marshalls. Al DiMeola, for one instance, used both Marshall and Mesa Boogie amps with his 71 Les Paul for the Elegant Gypsy and Land Of The Midnight Sun albums.

However, whether Nancy Wilson and Howard Leese still own Mesa Boogie amps and Soldano amps is unknown. Maybe Nancy sold the amp when she remarried a few years ago? I do know, that Nancy primarily uses Orange amps and a Fender Bandmaster for her 63 Telecaster and Gibson SG. I have written to many of the Heart members, and whilst guitarist Roger Fisher wrote back to me, other guitarists such as Nancy, Howard, bassist Steve Fossen never wrote back. I also know that Steve Fossen played a 1976 Alembic fretless bass on the track Barracuda, which was cut using a Fender Showman amp, though the video shows Steve Fossen playing a Gibson Thunderbird Bass. He mainly uses Ampeg nowadays.

And even if you don't like Heart's 80s soft rock hits, this one was always a favorite:

 

Les H

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Mesa Boogies were pretty popular in the later 80s and 90s. I don't know how much they were used for recording but they seemed to be a sturdy, reliable choice for touring considering how long bands stayed on the road playing concerts promoting their albums back then, when they toured after a new album and actually played the songs from that new album instead of the same set list/greatest hits list they play year after year.

I don't know much about Howard Leese but my memory tells me had a fairy elaborate rack setup back in the late 80s as did everyone at the time. Most likely rack mounted Mesa pre and power amps.
 

arlum

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Until I discovered the boutique amps of Tony Bruno and Cornford, (Martin Kidd built rather than just designed), the Mesa Boogie Mark series were my very favorite amps. Today I use three main rigs. The 2 in the studio are my main stereo rig built around a pair of Tony Bruno Underground 30s and my main mono rig built around an early Martin Kidd build of the Cornford Hellcat. Both are too large to go carrying around so anytime I'm playing out I use a Mesa Boogie Mark V:35. It creates the tones of my old Mark III stack as well as Mark IV tones beautifully.
 

swervinbob

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I know early on, Leese used the Bassman for everything, but by the Eighties and Nineties, who knows. In the studio it’s usually anything goes to get the recorded sound. On the road, the band may have had endorsement deals and had to mention Mesa and Soldano on the album sleeve.
During the 70’s, they were trying to make it and playing what they had and could get their hands on while battling their first record label. During the Eighties, to keep up, they had to bow down to the record industry and make these big production albums with outside song writers and big production videos. This led to their biggest success, but a lot of awkward interviews later when discussing this era. So, by the 90’s who know what they had in their vaults.
 
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TheCheapGuitarist

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Brad Gillis used Mesa Boogies on the Ozzy "Speak of the Devil" album. As far as I'm aware, that's the only Ozzy Osbourne album with Mesa Boogies on it.

Incidentally, Ron Nevison produced the "Heart" album, and also "The Ultimate Sin", and both of those albums sound remarkably similar.
 

mexicanyella

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Based on observing what populated club stage backlines around St. Louis in the mid to late 90s, it seemed like Mesa dual and triple rectifier heads, Triaxis preamps and tube rack power amps were selling well. I remember admiring their cosmetics and apparent fit and finish but missing the sounds of Marshalls.

(Yeah, yeah, there may have been a little “sour grapes” going on, since those rigs cost more than my car at the time, but still.)

One band that I thought really made good use of what I heard as the spitty, fizzy crunch of those amps was Kings X, on their album “Dogman” from 1994. Even I thought that was a fresh new sound in that context...though I always liked the sounds they got from their four “pre-Mesa-era” albums, when the guitar sounds were coming from cranked-and-slaved Lab Series L5 combos.
 

Lynxtrap

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I had a Boogie revelation just the other week.
As a young teenager I was totally into the Eagles, especially Walsh and Felder. One of my biggest treasures was a VHS copy of the Hotel California video. Don't know how many times I watched it and learned every note. Likewise the Live double LP.

Couple of weeks ago I found the whole concert on Youtube and saw that Felder was plugged in to a Mesa Boogie combo. That was in 1977.
 

pbenn

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There was a good Leese interview in Vintage Guitar a long time ago:
 




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