THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE: Kick It Out

This was originally written as a part of one of my weekly 10 Songs entries. The version seen here has been tweaked ever-so-slightly for eventual inclusion in my proposed book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1).

An infinite number of songs can each be the greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. Today, THIS is THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE!HEART: Kick It Out

Written by Ann Wilson
Produced by Mike Flicker
Single from the album Little Queen, Portrait Records, 1977

Heh. Speaking of the unique ways in which we discover new songs….

When I was 17, I met a girl whose short-term goal was to pose for Playboy. It was a brief and casual platonic meeting, we were not alone at any point (nor would anything noteworthy have been likely to occur anyway), so there’s not much more to the story than that. When you’re a 17-year-old boy, hearing a girl about your age say she wants to remove her clothing for a magazine pictorial tends to get your attention. I don’t remember her name, I can’t quite remember what she looked like (except that she was definitely cute), and I don’t think she had quite yet achieved the legal age required for one to take off her shirt for the cameras. Nor had I, for that matter, not that anyone was asking. She was, I presume, just planning ahead.

It’s likely I’m always going to associate “Kick It Out,” a track from Heart‘s 1977 Little Queen album, with the afternoon when I met this prospective Miss August. I knew Heart’s hit single “Magic Man” (I bought the 45), and I must have heard and probably liked Little Queen‘s first hit single “Barracuda” by then. “Kick It Out” was new to me. And it was the apprentice Playmate’s favorite song on the album, so she had to play it for me. In her room, by the way, but again: never alone. No moral boundaries were breached in the making of this story.

My fond memory of “Kick It Out” illustrates the occasionally fleeting nature of a Greatest Record Ever Made. I mean, “Kick It Out” was never really my all-time favorite song. Even in that summer of ’77, it had too much competition, from old stuff by the Beatlesthe Kinks, and the Monkees to then-recent goodies by Fleetwood MacSweet, and the Rubinoos. But in that specific giddy moment, as a pretty girl shared her passion for a song she liked, Heart’s “Kick It Out” was the only song in the world.

I have no idea if this particular angel was ever a centerfold, though I suspect she was not. “Kick It Out” was released as a single by the end of 1977, but it wasn’t a hit. It remains one of my favorite Heart songs, its status enhanced by the memory of its introduction to me. When you’re a 17-year-old boy, the allure of a pretty girl about your age can have an immediate and pervasive effect, even if it means nothing. The moment fades. The soundtrack remains.

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