Sunday, April 22, 2007

Number 628 - Heatwave

Number 628


"Boogie Nights"

When i was preparing this entry at Number 628 and saw the cover of "Boogie Nights" i had second thoughts about doing it at all. The cover borders Village People meet George Michael on a dark night behind a bike shed *shudder*. However i shall overcome my, er, bias and remember its about the song and not the artwork. But i tell you this, there is somewhere on this mighty wide web we use that has the "The top ten worst Album covers of all time" and I'm telling you this, "Boogie Nights" has to be Number 11! By the by, England is now number 2 on the most visited rockers (on the right hand side) in the world to this site and knocked me own beloved New Zealand into 3rd! I guess next it will be the Canadians into 3rd.... *beating them off with a stick*

Too Hot to Handle was the debut album from the soul/funk ensemble Heatwave, and it was well received by R&B and pop fans. Their initial release was the disco anthem "Boogie Nights." From the suspenseful, interlude-like intro to the adamant vocal delivery, the single had a lasting effect on the charts. It peaked at numbers five and two on the Billboard R&B and pop charts, respectively. The ballad "Always and Forever" was and continues to be an ageless piece. Johnnie Wilder's vocal exhibition throughout the vamp is breathtaking. It peaked at number two on the Billboard R&B charts. These two releases were respectively certified platinum and gold singles. Heatwave did not waste any recording time. This album employs nothing but quality tracks. The moderately paced "Ain't No Half Steppin'" was received warmly by radio, and it remains a staple. While Rod Temperton was writing excellent songs, Johnnie Wilder's supreme vocals gave the songs their identity. ~ Craig Lytle

Completely cosmopolitan with international grooves to spare, Heatwave emerged as one of the disco era's funkiest dance groups. American serviceman brothers Johnnie Wilder and his brother Keith Wilder were based in Germany when they first began performing, and upon their discharge from the Army, the duo stayed in that country. Both singers, the pair gigged in clubs and bars with an assortment of bands while still enlisted. However, they were constantly looking to expand their horizons, and in mid-year they relocated to the U.K. to link up with songwriter/keyboardist Rod Temperton. The nascent Heatwave quickly came together with the addition of Spanish bassist Mario Mantese, Czechoslovakian drummer Emest Berger, and American guitarists Jesse Whittens and Eric Johns. With so many musical roots between them, it was only natural that they rapidly developed a sophisticated sound, an edge which Temperton would use to push Heatwave ahead of their peers

Jamming and ceaselessly touring the London club circuit allowed Heatwave to define and refine their music, eschewing straight disco beats for a sound that certainly contained that element, but fused it with a rich funk groove. That hard work paid off as the band signed to U.K. label GTO (Epic in the U.S) and began formulating their first album in fall 1976. They were paired in the studio with GTO house producer/session guitarist Barry Blue, who'd had his own string of hit singles, "Dancing on a Saturday Night" and "Do You Wanna Dance" among them in the early '70s. The recording sessions nearly derailed, however, when Whittens was murdered before the band had even entered the studio. He was replaced with rhythm guitarist Roy Carter, and a pair of singles, "Ain't No Half Steppin'" and "Super Soul Sister," appeared before the end of 1976, to be followed by January 1977's anthemic "Boogie Nights" That single reached number two on the British pop charts (it wouldn't appear on the American radar until later that summer, when it became a Top Five hit). The group's long-awaited debut album, Too Hot to Handle, finally appeared in late spring 1977, giving Heatwave a number 11 hit in the U.S. It cruised to number five on the R&B charts, while the next single, the sweet soul ballad "Always and Forever," closed out the year with a number two U.S. hit in December. ~ [Amy Hanson]
For Village People see Number 988, Number 973 & Number 962
For George Michael see Number 821
Rolling Stone have no view on Disco, er, i mean Heatwave.
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Heatwave? Man they need a cold shower or something) and the Album ranked at Number (Disco is an era we do not talk about @ Rolling Stone..OK?) (Whatever Trevor)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 71.4 out of 108

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