The Heaters (aka Heats) – Live at the Showbox
The Heaters (aka Heats – they had to change their name when they learned “Heaters” was already taken) were perhaps Seattle’s 1st and best powerpop band. EVER. The band’s short history included some of the 70’s most energetic, vital powerpop tracks including regional hits like “I Don’t Like Your Face”, “Let’s Smoke” and “Have An Idea”. Their short bursts of kick-ass, no filler hook-fests were the perfect antidote to the soft rock malaise of earlier in the decade.
I won’t go into the band’s short history but suffice it to say their demise was way too premature. Their only LP, Have an Idea, is mentioned in John Borack’s book Shake Some Action – The Ultimate Guide to Powerpop as one of the top 50 powerpop albums of all time (#41).
I could not believe my eyes when I found a live radio broadcast of a Heaters show from 1979 just this past week. This recording, available through Green Monkey Records as an mp3 download, captures a moment in time when The Heats owned Seattle. This radio broadcast gives us a glimpse of the electricity and excitement that revolved around the band and it’s shows back in the day. We get an idea of the band’s influences from the unusual but fantastic covers they chose such as Bobby Freeman’s “Do You Wanna Dance”, Wilko Johnson’s “Walking On the Edge” and Dave Edmunds & Rockpile’s “Reader’s Wives”. (More on Dave Edmunds, one of the greatest guitarists ever , here).
Most of all though, we get an idea how great their originals were as they stand up extremely well to the covers they chose from other, more high profile acts. In many cases, the Heaters originals are better.
Much of the set is made up of tracks that would appear on their only LP, “Have an Idea”. These include classics like “Let’s Smoke”, “She Belongs to Me”, and “I Don’t Like Your Face”. “New Saddle” is an outstanding original that didn’t make it onto an LP but probably should have.
The Heaters Live at the Showbox brings back great memories. Seattle has produced many, many great bands but its my contention that none were as vital and exciting as The Heats. Get your copy of Live at the Showbox by clicking here.