A truly international affair, Heatwave came together in the mid-1970s, founded by American brothers Keith and Johnnie Wilder who were living in Germany. They split for the UK to team up with Rod Temperton, and soon drafted a Czech drummer, Spanish bassist and two more American guitarists. They played relentlessly all over England, perfecting a unique sound steeped in soul and funk, easily danceable, but not nearly as cheesy as most disco. Their debut LP Too Hot To Handle was produced by Bobby Blue and released in 1977, spawning three hits, including the hugely popular "Boogie Nights." The group's second album Central Heating came out the next year, and furthered their hit-maker status thanks to singles like "Mind Blowing Decisions" and "The Groove Line." Though their career was soaring, problems within the group threatened to tear them apart. Some members were leaving the band, Rod Temperton started writing hits for other artists (including Michael Jackson during his classic Off The Wall and Thriller period), and their bassist was nearly killed in a car wreck. With a few new faces, Heatwave regrouped for their third record Hot Property. Though still a great album, it failed to produce any major hits. After more line-up changes and another near fatal auto accident, they released Candles and Current in '81 and '82 respectively, but by now the group was a shell of its former self. An attempted comeback in 1989 also floundered. Regardless, Heatwave are fondly remembered for their first several LPs and their effortlessly soulful classic songs. They put out a live album in 1997 and remain extremely popular on classic funk and R&B radio.
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