Though their time in the spotlight was relatively short, Heatwave remains one of the most beloved groups of the 70s. That they even made it as far and as long as they did was the result of an amazing ability to overcome even the most horrific obstacles, including the death of one member and two incidents that left other members paralyzed or severely injured.
Heatwave was formed in the early 70s by a group of U.S. servicemen stationed in Germany. The band went though various changes in personnel and finally settled in England as a septet featuring vocalist brothers Johnny and Keith Wilder and keyboardist/songwriter Rod Temperton. It became the first true international dance group, with members from the U.S, England, Czechoslovakia and Spain .
After gaining a strong following in Europe as a result of its energetic, often acrobatic shows, Heatwave began recording its first album, Too Hot to Handle, in 1976. In the first of many tragedies the group would face, guitarist Jesse Whittens was killed. He was replaced and the group finished Too Hot. After a couple of moderately successful cuts were released from the album in Europe, the album's lead single, "Boogie Nights," was issued and became an international #1 hit and one of the definitive songs of the disco era. They followed it with the equally memorable ballad, "Always and Forever," which has continued to be one of the most popular wedding songs of the last three decades. Too Hot introduced the world to the funky, full beats that would become a Heatwave trademark, as well as to the songwriting of Rod Temperton, who developed into one of the most important songwriters of the next decade.