Heat Wave chords by Martha and the Vandellas


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Heat Wave | Chords + Lyrics


Intro

||: Bb Bb6 Bb Bb6 Bb :|| x3
| Bb N.C (Bb C Bb G) |
||: Fm (Gbm) | Gm (Bm) | Cm (Bm) | Cm :||
| Fm (Gbm) | Gm (G) | Ab (A) | Bb |
||: Eb Ab/C Eb Ab/C Eb :|| x3

Verse 1

| Eb N.C (Bb C Bb G) | Fm (Gbm) | Gm (Bm) | Cm (Bm) | Cm |
Whenever I’m with him, (oh, oh, oh, oh) something inside (inside),
| Fm (Gbm) | Gm (Bm) | Cm (Bm) | Cm |
starts to burning (oh, oh, oh, oh), and I’m filled with desire.

Bridge 1

| Fm (Gbm) | Gm (G) | Ab (A) | Bb |
Could it be a devil in me or is this the way love’s supposed to be (ah, ah, ah, ah).

Chorus 1

||: Eb Ab/C Eb Ab/C Eb :|| x7
It’s like a heatwave, burning in my heart (like heat wave).
I can’t keep from cryin’ (heat wave), it’s tearing me apart.

Verse 2

| Eb N.C (Bb C Bb G) | Fm (Gbm) | Gm (Bm) | Cm (Bm) | Cm |
Whenever he calls my name. Soft, slow, sweet and plain,
| Fm (Gbm) | Gm (Bm) | Cm (Bm) | Cm |
right then, right there, I feel that burning flame.

Bridge 2

| Fm (Gbm) | Gm (G) | Ab (A) | Bb |
Has high blood pressure got a hold on me or is this the way love’s supposed to be? (Ah, ah, ah, ah).

Chorus 2

||: Eb Ab/C Eb Ab/C Eb :|| x7
It’s like a heat wave, burning in my heart (like a heat wave).
I can’t keep from crying (heat wave), It’s tearing me apart.

Chorus tag 1

| Eb N.C (Bb C Bb G) | Fm | Gm | Cm | Cm |
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh. Ooh, heat wave.
| Fm | Gm | Cm | Cm |
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh. Ooh, heat wave.
| Fm (Gbm) | Gm (G) | Ab (A) | Bb |
||: Eb Ab/C Eb Ab/C Eb :|| x7

Verse 3

| Eb N.C (Bb C Bb G) | Fm (Gbm) | Gm (Bm) | Cm (Bm) | Cm |
Sometimes I stare in space, tears all over my face.
| Fm (Gbm) | Gm (Bm) | Cm (Bm) | Cm |
I can’t explain it, don’t understand it, I ain’t never felt like this before.

Bridge 3

| Fm (Gbm) | Gm (G) | Ab (A) | Bb |
Now that funny feeling has me amazed, don’t know what to do, my head’s in a haze. (Ah, ah, ah, ah).

Chorus 3

||: Eb Ab/C Eb Ab/C Eb :|| x7
It’s like a heatwave (heat wave), burning in my heart (like heat wave).
I can’t keep from cryin’ (heat wave), it’s tearing me apart.

Chorus tag 2

| Eb N.C (Bb C Bb G) | Fm (Gbm) | Gm (Bm) | Cm (Bm) | Cm |
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (but it’s all right, girl). Oh, oh. (Go ahead, girl).
| Fm (Gbm) | Gm (Bm) | Cm (Bm) | Cm |
Yeah, yeah. (Well, it’s all right, girl). Oh (Can’t miss it, that’s love, girl).

Bridge 4

| Fm (Gbm) | Gm (G) | Ab (A) | Bb |
I feel it, burning (don’t pass up this chance), right here in my heart (it sounds like a true romance)

Chorus 4

||: Eb Ab/C Eb Ab/C Eb :||
Don’t you know it’s like a heat wave?


Heat Wave chords and progressions

The intro is a BbBb6 (chord V) for three bars, played in the same way as we’ll hear during the chorus later on, although then, it’s using different chords!

This is followed by the verse and bridge chords, the verse having sliding chords a semitone below. I’ve indicated this by putting the slid chord in brackets, like this:

||: Fm (Gbm) | Gm (Bm) | Cm (Bm) | Cm :||

Next, we play the bridge progression, very similar to the verse at first, just finished off with a IV – V, like this:

| Fm (Gbm) | Gm (G) | Ab (A) | Bb |

Finally, we play the chorus chords, but only for three bars. Later on, this chorus is played for seven bars.

||: Eb Ab/C Eb Ab/C Eb :|| x3

In a nutshell, Heatwave is this pattern five times.

||: Fm (Gbm) | Gm (Bm) | Cm (Bm) | Cm :||
| Fm (Gbm) | Gm (G) | Ab (A) | Bb |
||: Eb Ab/C Eb Ab/C Eb :|| x7
| Eb N.C (Bb C Bb G) |


Heat Wave was Martha and the Vandellas’ first hit!

Also known as (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave, this was Martha and the Vandellas’ first hit.

Written by the main songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland, it peaked at #4 in the charts in 1963 and would come to be listed as #257 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.

The vocal group would go on to have more hits for Motown in Dancing In The Street, Nowhere To Run, and Jimmy Mack. Dancing In The Street is Motown’s signature song.

In total Martha and her Vandellas released ten studio albums between 1963 and 1972.

Heat Wave is a popular choice for Motown/Soul bands, study the chords and lyrics above carefully to find out how this one was put together so you can play it too.

Also, check Linda Ronstadt’s version for ideas, it is included in the playlist at the top of this page.


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Together they had seven years of hits including Jimmy Mack, Nowhere To Run, and perhaps Motown’s biggest hit of them all, Dancing In The Street.


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