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Heatwave's legacy is one that was shortened by tragedy.  The German-based band developed a strong reputation via constant touring in Europe before being signed by Epic in 1976.  Able to cover uptempo jams and smooth ballads with equal conviction, they scored repeatedly with "Boogie Nights," "Groove Line," and the perennial favorite "Always and Forever."  At the peak of their success, the band was hit with a series of misfortune that devastated them:   Multi-instrumentalist Jessie Whitten was stabbed to death in 1977, bassist Mario Mantese was in a serious car accident, and lead singer Johnnie Wilder was paralyzed following an accident. The band continued to record into the 1980s, but was never able to recover from these incidents.  However, the band continued to impact music through the solo careers of its members.  Keyboardist Rod Temperton went on to work with Quincy Jones, where he contributed mightily to albums by Michael Jackson, George Benson, and the Brothers Johnson. Roy Carter became a noted producer of British jazz-funk acts Light of the World and Central Line. 

Johnnie Wilder, who switched to gospel music, finally succumbed to his injuries May 13, 2006. 

Heatwave's Deepest Grooves

Too Hot To Handle (Epic, 1976)
For a band making its first steps into the studio, Heatwave sounds remarkably confident on this record.  In addition to the hits "Boogie Nights" and "Always and Forever," this is home to the slamming title cut, "No Half Steppin'," and the very gentle "All You Do Is Dial."   

Central Heating (Epic, 1978)
Builds upon the success of the debut with the enduring dancefloor burners "Put the Word Out" and "Groove Line" while improving their sense of balladry on "Star of A Story."   "Mind Blowing Decisions" falls somewhere between the two categories.  This was to be the last album with heavy involvement by Temperton.

Current (Epic, 1982)

Best of Heatwave : Always and Forever (Legacy, 1996)
Compilation that brings together the best material from the band, including later works such as "Candles."  

Copyright 2001-06  All rights reserved. 

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