Special thanks to reader/listener Ed Cruwys for reminding me of some of the bands who were overlooked, and underappreciated during the late 70s/early 80s – those bands who didn’t last long, didn’t release a lot of material, yet were game changers who went on to become major influences in music genres years, if not decades later.
This Heat, like In Camera (who I ran last night) were one of those bands who were, perhaps ahead of their time, but were pivotal in the grand scheme of things.
Sadly, I missed This Heat the first time around. I heard about them, but never got a chance to actually hear them – and certainly missed the opportunity to hear them live (being in Los Angeles and not having the same kind of access that living in London at the time afforded). I regret that; but you have to remember that from 1976 into the 1980’s, it was a dizzying wave of new music, and keeping up with it was a full-time job. Particularly with the distance and availability of new releases from record stores or friends. I was busy consuming Sex Pistols, The Damned, X-Ray Spex, Wire and most of the high visibility bands who were descending on the Music scene and to later become the backbone of MTV. So it was impossible to check everything out – and as is always the case, some gems get missed. This Heat was one of them. But listening to this session, their first for John Peel recorded on October 26, 1977 and broadcast on November 17th, I was struck by how much they reminded me of the German Avant-garde bands of the early 70s and how there was a sincere effort to bridge Progressive Rock with Punk and Post-Punk at the time. It was surprisingly successful and completely ahead of its time.
Might take some getting used to if you aren’t familiar or if experimental music isn’t your go-to music. But it’s worth a listen for a lot of reasons – not the least that you can hear what they were doing in so many bands who came after them.
Sometimes the biggest compliment to pay a band is to acknowledge they got under your skin and stayed there.