In the later part of this first era of rock and roll, that is, at the beginning of the sixties, we come to the growth in R&B, soul, and the Motown sound. One of the great golden oldies from one of the girl groups is “Heat Wave” by Martha and The Vandellas. The lyrics tell the story directly, as we all understand “burning with desire” and “going insane.” “Heat Wave” (also later known as “(Love is Like A) Heat Wave” was written by the team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland, who wrote, arranged, and produced many songs that helped to create the Motown sound. In 1963, the song reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard R&B Chart in 1963. This was the second hit for Martha and the Vandellas (aka Martha Reevees and the Vandellas later), who were from Detroit. Their first hit was “Come and Get These Memories.” Martha Reeves sang the lead with Rosalind Ashford and Annette Beard on the background vocals. The Funk Brothers, the studio musicians who played on so many of the Motown recordings, provided the instrumentation.
There have been many covers of the song, including those by Cilla Black, Lou Christie, The Supremes, and The Who. Linda Ronstadt had a hit with the song with her cover in 1975.