"The band had been 
  trying to get Linda 
  to add it to her set 
  for quite awhile," 
  recalls pianist 
  Andrew Gold, "but we 
  never got around to 
  working up an arrange-
  ment.  One night at a 
  Long Island club 
  called My Father's 
  Place we received six 
  encores.  We'd run
  out of tunes.  One of 
  us yelled out 
  '"Heat Wave" in D' 
  and we did it.  We 
  were awfully sloppy 
  but the crowd really liked it.  So we
  kept the song in our set."

  "Heat Wave," the first single to be
  drawn from Linda Ronstadt's Prisoner
  in Disguise album, is one of her
  fastest-selling records to date. It and
  its flip side, "Love Is a Rose," are
  getting equal airplay  ("Love" is
  stronger on country music stations).

  "Heat Wave" is a collaboration involving
  Ronstadt, bassist (and fellow former
  Stone Poney) Kenny Edwards, multi-
  instrumentalist Gold and producer Peter

  Asher, whose experience as producer 
  includes work with John Stewart, Barbara
  Keith and James Taylor, likes "things to
  be sort of fairly perfect" in the studio.
  This philosophy led to many, many hours
  of work on "Heat Wave," in a process that
  would amuse the old-line Motown musicians
  involved in the almost assembly-line
  approach that resulted in hits including
  Martha and the Vandellas' 1963 recording
  of the song.

  "We tried cutting rhythm tracks several
  different times," said Asher, "each with
  a slightly different group of musicians.
  None of them sounded right.  So eventually
  we got down to Andrew playing drums and
  Kenny playing bass. Andrew is a remarkable
  musician, but even then just getting a
  bass and drum track took a few days to do."

  Gold then overdubbed two electric and two
  acoustic guitars, piano, percussion and
  an Arp string synthesizer.  Asher joined
  in for the hand clapping, rerecorded four
  times to get the effect of eight people.

  Eventually, Ronstadt came in to overdub
  her lead vocal, in what might outwardly
  seem her only contribution to the record.
  "Not so," said Asher emphatically. "She'd
  come in from time to time to check our
  progress and indicate whether she was

  In contrast, "Love Is a Rose" was
  completed quickly.

  The song was originally written by Neil
  Young in Hawaii for an album scheduled for
  1975 release under the title Homegrown. 
  The album, at Young's insistence, was post-
  poned and he offered the song to Ronstadt
  at Asher's request.  Young's version was,
  according to Gold, "much different. Slower
  without any of that funky barn dance
  quality on Linda's record."

  The vocal, fiddle (David Lindley),
  bass (Edwards), drums (Russell Kunkel),
  banjo (Herb Pedersen) and acoustic
  guitar (Gold) were recorded live in what
  Gold remembers as being about an hour's
  time.  Subsequently, Gold added a second
  acoustic guitar.  Jim Connor, an associate
  of John Denver's, dropped by the studio 
  and wound up adding the harmony part.

  It's an irony not lost on the participating
  musicians that the two sides were recorded
  in such dramatically contrasting fashion:
  one the deliberate and arduous creation 
  of an intended hit single, the other a
  spontaneous, just-for-the-fun-of-it gambol.
  That irony makes no difference, though,
  in the two sides' assault on the charts,
  proving once again that "it's what's in
  the grooves that counts."