Welcome to Popblerd’s latest column. Each week, I (or another member of the staff) will pick an unrecognized cut from one of our favorite albums-past or present. While you’re probably familiar with the hits from these albums, these album cuts were as good as the hits, if not better.

Multi-national group Heatwave...the UN of funk.

Multi-national group Heatwave…the UN of funk.

Heatwave might not be familiar to you younger cats, but…ask your parents about “Boogie Nights,” “The Groove Line” or the immortal “Always and Forever,” and you’re sure to get nods of recognition mixed with the occasional “That was my JAM!!!” The  multi-talented band was led by American Johnnie Wilder, his brother Keith, and British songwriting machine Rod Temperton.

“The Star of a Story” was the penultimate track on Heatwave’s second album, 1978’s Central Heating. It’s expertly arranged, almost cinematic. Wilder’s singing is exquisite, and the band’s musical touch is light but effective. It almost begs for an instrumental treatment by a jazz band (which I’m sure has happened already, I’m just not aware of it.) George Benson did remake it on his 1980 album Give Me the Night, which was produced by Quincy Jones. By that point, Heatwave’s Temperton and Q had struck up quite the relationship-Rod wrote “Rock With You,” “Burn This Disco Out” and the title track for Michael Jackson’s Q-produced Off the Wall album.

After you listen to (and hopefully download) this track, make sure you check out their installment on TvOne’s UnSung. Heatwave, sadly, was one of the more star-crossed bands in music history. Nevertheless, the great music lives on.

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