Heat Exchange started out as a high school blues band called Cloud - originally four members which expanded to a six piece band influenced by British progressive bands such as Jethro Tull and ELP. Their big break came after being booked at the 3-day Rock Hill festival (held near Shelburne ON) - they picked up a manager and recording contract with local ARC/Yorkville records, turning down a potential offer from RCA. They immediately stopped touring to go into the studio where they were given free reign to compose and record their first album. They also changed their name to Heat Exchange due to an existing band named Clouds.
At the time the CRTC was promoting Canadian content by picking a single each week to be played across the country and one week Heat Exchange’s first single (Can You Tell Me / Inferno) was selected for guaranteed airplay. According to flute/sax player Craig Carmody, “…programmers resented being told they had to play this (or any other) song and so deliberately buried it in the dark of night“.
A decidedly FM band was now being asked to create AM pop singles (their contract was revised at the time to focus on hit singles as opposed to an album) - they put 2 more singles (Scorpio Lady / Reminiscence and She Made Me All Alone / Philosophy) neither of which received any attention - the record company lost interest and the band faded away into obscurity. Neil Chapman later turned up as the guitarist for Pukka Orchestra in the 80s.
Recently, the singles and remaining tracks from what would have been their first album were compiled into an excellent set called Reminiscence - it’s a shame the LP wasn’t released at the time, as it’s really something. Below is the track ‘Scat’ which is a superb slab of psychedelic jazz.
Mike Langford: vocals
Neil Chapman: guitars
Marty Morin: drums, vocals
Gord McKinnon: keyboards, harmonica
Ralph Smith: bass
Craig Carmody: saxaphones, flute