Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published January 13th 2021
Hot songs for everyone
It's summer here in Australia, and already we have had a few very warm days, but the Bureau of Meteorology has warned that some very hot days are ahead of us as summer goes on. This is hardly unusual; summers in Australia – and many other places in the world – are generally hot.
Of course, there are a lot of songs about heat and things being hot out there. This is because of the slang meaning of hot as the descriptor of a person that some-one finds very attractive. Yes, I know, Captain Obvious. But, to be honest, deciding which meaning of "hot" was being referred to in songs was sometimes hard because they would use the summer one as a metaphor for the attractive one. And, me being me, I miss some of these before they are pointed out to me.
And, because of that, these are simply songs about heat or being hot. Whatever that could mean… Having said that, no songs about Hot Rods – I did some columns about cars for that sort of thing.
All righty, then. One song per artist, I need to like the songs, one version of each song. Them's the rules – enjoy the list.
'Heatwave' by Martha And the Vandellas (1963)
A band that recorded some of the finest harmonies of all the girl groups of the 60s, this track is an upbeat glorious song about the guy's love being like the titular heatwave. Such a fun, danceable song, even now, almost 60 years later. They rarely write them like this anymore.
'Hot Love' by T.Rex (1971)
My abiding memory of this song is playing it in the car one day while taking my son to school. He would have been about 5 or 6 years old and when it finished he asked me to play it again. And he sang along with the "na na na na na" line over and over… and apparently (according to his teacher) all day long. I like the song anyway, and Marc Bolan had an under-rated singing voice, but this just pushes it over the top for me.
'Hot Patootie Bless My Soul' by Meat Loaf (1975)
From the soundtrack of the film The Rocky Horror Picture Show and coming out a full two years before Bat Out of Hell, this was the first introduction to most of the world of Meat Loaf. It is a fun song, a throwback to the sounds of the 50s and it works so well. Even away from the context of the musical, it is such a great song. I actually bought the 45 of 'The Time Warp' (the first 45 I bought with my own money) and this was the B-side and I played this more than the A-side.
'Hot Blooded' by Foreigner (1978)
So many great songs came from this band and yet it feels like no-one remembers them except for a few of their 1980s power ballads. But their rockers were truly great and there are few better examples than this great song about how incredible the man's girlfriend is.
'Hot Hot Hot' by Arrow (1982)
A song that has been recorded so many times it is ridiculous, especially for such an inconsequential track like this. But those three words repeated became such a strangely pervasive part of the culture that 2 years later when I went to my first Blue Light Discos they were still playing it. It's just that sort of fun song.
'Heat Of The Moment' by Asia (1982)
Asia, one of the many supergroups that formed in the 70s and 80s, this one was born of prog-rock groups Yes, King Crimson and ELP… as well as the Buggles. And yet, it worked. I think they only ever released one album (I own it) and it was awesome, and this is the best track from it. This is a superb song, and if you ever get the chance to hear Steve Hackett's acoustic version (1998, Tokyo Tapes), do so. Awesome.
From the great album 1984, this is one of so many good songs from that album. Strange story – we had an art teacher at high school and one of the guys sang this so she could hear it… and got a three-day suspension. But it was the sort of song that had that sort of effect on some people. And love the drum/guitar intro!
'The Heat Is On' by Glenn Frey (1984)
From the soundtrack of the frankly wonderful film Beverly Hills Cop, this track was everywhere in the mid-80s. Like many of his other fellow band-mates from The Eagles, he had some great solo tracks through that decade before they eventually reformed. But when he released songs like this, Glenn Frey showed he did not really need his old band.
'When The Heat Hits The Streets' by Laura Branigan (1985)
I have made no secret that Laura Branigan is one of my favourite artists ever, and this track is from my favourite album by her – Hold Me. It sounds like it should have been on the soundtrack of a film or three, but it is just a great track with some emotion in Laura's singing. She's missed.
'Some Like It Hot' by Power Station (1985)
We've already had a T.Rex song, so how about a cover of another T.Rex song? This is another 1980s supergroup, featuring Robert Palmer, Tony Thompson the drummer from Chic, and the bass player and lead guitarist (John & Andy Taylor) from Duran Duran. They only released one album, it was great, had two hit singles, and this cover song is amazing. The drumming is intense and the guitar playing is awesome (why weren't they allowed to cut loose like that in Duran Duran?) and Palmer can really sing. Wonderful version.
'Heat Of The Night' by Bryan Adams (1987)
A mid-tempo rocker, this song is a really good one, with lots of power chords, some powerhouse drumming and Adams raspy singing, this is one of his many classic songs. And he is still releasing good albums to this day.
Blow Up Your Video is not regarded as the greatest of AC/DC albums, but the opening track, and lead-off single, is regarded as one of the favourites of their canon, definitely getting the crowd pumped in the live settings when it is played. Sure, the innuendo is blatant, but this is a cool song.
'Hot Chilli Woman' by Noiseworks (1991)
One of my favourite Australian songs of all time, with that lead-in harmonica, the guitars and the great rhythm section, and Jon Stevens' amazing pub-rock voice; this song is deservedly considered an Australian classic. It just drives along with a power that so few modern acts can match.
'Hot' by Avril Lavigne (2007)
I'm allowed to like Avril Lavigne songs! Actually, I like a lot of her stuff. It was called punk-pop, but the punk bit escapes me. More pop-rock and it's fine, it's fun and this track is a great little bit of music. The chorus, especially, just belts along.
'Hot 'N' Cold' by Katy Perry (2008)
After Avril, are you surprised? I've actually praised this song before, and it still stands. The kids in my class in 2008 got me into it and I really do like the chorus and the fact it is a gender swap of an old song trope. It's fun! Leave me alone!
And there we are, fifteen songs to remind you that it's hot outside and you should be sitting in front of the air conditioner singing along to these instead of broiling under the sun. And if it is winter where you are, maybe these will make you feel warmer just by listening… or by getting you up to dance. There are enough different styles of music here that I hope everyone will find something to enjoy.