Heatwave Hurricane ➔ ⓱
Exactly 17 ago, on December 3rd, 2005, a legendary track Heatwave had its debut. It was played only several times and disappeared for many years only to have its parts used while producing a new track 10 years later.
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We’d like to begin by saying that ‘Heatwave’ was played live only four times; the first time being, as we’ve already said, on December 3rd, 2005, in Brixton for an encore. After a brief pause Maxim appeared on the stage and said “We’re gonna give you a sneak preview of some 2006 shit!”. Many people thought Maxim was talking about ‘Dead Ken Beats’ which the band planned to release, but to a big surprise of the crowd the band played a completely fresh tune. It’s worth mentioning that, as it’s been positioned, it was a really raw demo with no refined arrangement or distinct lyrics by Maxim and Keith. After the gig Liam shared some of his plans regarding ‘Heatwave’:
LH interview for TheProdigy.ru: Are you satisfied with the reaction on new track “Heatwave”?
LH: Its not ready yet ,we just wanted to put it in to see how it felt. we have to write lyrics and arrange it. thats what will happen to alot of new prodigy tunes over the next year , we will road test them until they work.
The exact same raw version of the track was also played at the Nottingham Arena gig three days later. To a great disappointment of those fans who couldn’t attend that gig, there is no good recording of ‘Heatwave’ from the concert. The only 2005 live recording available was made in Brixton but it sounds so bad that only a couple of samples and the outro are semi-audible.
It’s unknown whether the band was planning on releasing an album in 2006 which would’ve included the new track. But six month later the band, just like they’ve promised, finished the track! After ‘Heatwave’ had been completed it was tested live again: the first time being the Isle of Wight Festival (Newport, England, 09.06.2006), the second time – the Download Festival (Donington Park, England, 11.06.2006).
LH interview for Q-mag (June 2006): Are you planning anything special for ‘Isle of Wight’?
We will be performing one new song. We’ve been in the studio a month working on the new album… It’s going to be more melodic, better vocals. Not so many guests. It’s all about the group again.
Even though the track was listed as ‘Heatwave’ in the setlists, its full original title is Heatwave Hurricane. That’s the title the track went under in the licensing catalogues where it appeared after the ‘Isle of Wight’ gig.
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This time the track had complete arrangement and the full lyrics performed by Maxim and Keith. Many people thought that the lyrics were improvised right during the performance but it looks like they were pre-written. It’s worth saying that some portions of the lyrics “Ten thousand degrees” ended up being re-used in ‘Light Up The Sky’ years later.
Just as it was with the previous gigs, the fans were disappointed with the poor quality of the live recordings of finished ‘Heatwave’ made at both gigs in 2006.
- Heatwave Hurricane live @ Isle of Wight 2006
It’s weird enough but shortly after the track’s debut it became clear that Liam didn’t consider ‘Heatwave’ a track for the next album. The reasons behind it are unknown: Liam may have decided to reconsider the whole concept of the sound, just like he did back in 2002. Anyway, a few months later Liam said he had had no plans to release the track:
LH interview for Neko (17th Aug 2006):
LH: It’s wicked, it’s back on the road, getting inspirations from the gigs, you see clearly what has to be done when you play live. It kind of reminds you of what you’re about. But we haven’t been playing any new stuff just because of the Internet thing.
And the other thing is we usually play in sound checks, but we haven’t been at any sound checks because they are festivals, so we haven’t had the chance to play any of the new tracks, which is a shame. It is going really well, it is going much better, much quicker than the last record. And we’re really enjoying it, it’s not difficult so far, it has been really fun.
Neko: You said because of the Internet thing you’re not playing live….
LH: None of the tracks you’ve heard so far are going to be on the album!
Neko: Does that include the Hurricane Heatwave?
LH: Yes, everything!
Neko: How come you decided not to include that?
LH: It sounds dated! That track sounds dated now, so that won’t be going on. May tear it apart and use the best bits on something else.
As a result, almost 10 years later, ‘Heatwave’ was taken from the back burner and dissected only to be used for the production of ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ album. So, as many of you already know, the track had its rebirth as Rebel Radio with Keith andM axim on the vocals. The original ‘Heatwave’ itself became just one of many plans the band never brought to life.
Despite all that, the fans are still interested in this track. Another thing that makes ‘Heatwave’ legendary is that live recordings floating around the Internet don’t help us understand what the track actually sounds like. No live recordings are available except for the ones we’ve mentioned above.
Of course, even having all these recordings won’t make recreating ‘Heatwave’ a walk in the park. In fact, it’s almost impossible to figure out the majority of details of the track. Yet, our team was lucky enough to obtain a sound check recording of ‘Heatwave’ from the ‘Isle of Wight’ gig. The recording is not complete being only 1,5-minute long, still it was enough for us to figure out the elements of the arrangement and the beat structure. Thanks to said recording we were able to recreate ‘Heatwave’ as close to the original track as one possibly could!
Our team have recreated both versions of ‘Heatwave’.
Full updated and finished 2005 version is available for download on our relaunched Patreon!
Full rough mix of 2006 version you can find in hidden section of our site! Enjoy!
It’s an interesting track because it’s hard to put it either in AONO or IMD era sound-wise – ‘Heatwave’ is somewhere in the middle and doesn’t sound similar to anything Liam has ever done. It’s dynamic and bouncy tune.
What is ‘Heatwave’ comprised of? It’s not a secret that the majority of samples for Heatwave were taken from the compilation Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968. To be exact, Liam sampled the following tracks:
Six tracks in total – sounds like fun! The compilation was released in 1998 and included four discs, but all the samples used in ‘Heatwave’ can be found on Disc 3. It’s likely that this was the only CD out of this compilation which Liam had in his possession.
Speaking of the main guitar stab, unfortunately we couldn’t identify its original source. Anyway, we figured out that the same stab was used in ‘Poison (Radio 1 Maida Vale Session)’, so we had to extract the sample from there. It’s interesting that this stab was later re-used in ‘Rebel Radio’.
We’ve spent a lot of time looking for the original snare drum one-shot. Finally, it dawned on us: we recalled that Liam was using Propellerheads Reason in the early 2000s. After that, it took us a couple of minutes to look through the factory refill to find the sample.
Everyone knows that the main synth ended up being used in ‘Rebel Radio’. We decided not to reinvent the wheel and just extracted the synth from Rene LaVice’s remix.
We had a chance to talk to some guys who were honored to listen to the original studio version of ‘Heatwave Hurricane’. Every single one of them said that our reconstruction came out almost perfect. One of those people couldn’t even tell the difference at first. 🙂
Headmasters: CANYON HILL, SIXSHOT
Additional thanks to: Split, Faust, Break-D
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