Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Heatwave - Too Hot To Handle (1977)

"IT'S NEW TO ME" WEEK (OCTOBER 20-26, 2013) 

I ♥ disco music.  As soon as the funky opening title track from this album hits my speakers, I'm dancing like Rerun from What's Happening!!

Heatwave described itself as "part English, part American and all funky" which is accurate.  The keys to the band's sound were the fantastic vocals of Johnnie Wilder, Jr  coupled with the top-notch songwriting by Rod Temperton.  Temperton would go on to write for Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones and you can hear definite similarities between Heatwave and MJ.  I hadn't heard the entire album until very recently, but I was familiar with Heatwave because, as I've written before, their song Always And Forever is THE. BEST. SLOW. JAM. OF. ALL. TIME!  As Craig Lytle writes over at Allmusic: "The ballad "Always and Forever" was and continues to be an ageless piece. Johnnie Wilder's vocal exhibition throughout the vamp is breathtaking."  Truth.  I've loved that song from the get-go.

In related news, "Too Hot To Handle" was my nickname in college.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #11
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #5
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #13

Tracks:  I'm liking what was side one (tracks 1-4) more than side two.  My favorite track, obviously, is Always And Forever.  On the next tier, we've got the title track, Boogie Nights, and the infectious Beat Your Booty. The bossa boogie of All You Do Is Dial is a pleasant surprise, too.  The only track I'm tempted to skip is Super Soul Sister.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  I'm reminded of Friday nights in 6th grade when my buddy Charlie and I would go to the local roller rink.  I was an 11 year old roller disco fool.

1 comment:

  1. Better late than never...

    Same skating rink memories here. Man, this is a good album.

    Liked it even better as an expanded disc in a 2CD set with the similarly expanded second album Central Heating with "The Groove Line" which is now forever associated with Freaks and Geeks.

    "Always And Forever" is a great but the best slow jam of all time in my book is this one.