The Heat Is On (Glenn Frey song)

"The Heat Is On"
Single by Glenn Frey
from the album Beverly Hills Cop
A-side "The Heat Is On"
B-side "Shoot Out" by Harold Faltermeyer
Released 1984
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1984
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:45 (7" / album)
5:51 (12")
Label MCA Records
Producer(s) Glenn Frey
Glenn Frey singles chronology
"Sexy Girl"
"The Heat Is On"
"Smuggler's Blues"

"The Heat Is On" is a song written by Harold Faltermeyer and Keith Forsey, and recorded by Glenn Frey for the American film Beverly Hills Cop (1984). The song was published as a single and as the fourth track of the album Beverly Hills Cop: Music From the Motion Picture Soundtrack (1984).


According to Frey, he was invited to an early screening of the film, and about two months later was sent a demo of a song written by Keith Forsey and Harold Faltermeyer to be used in the film to see if he was interested in singing the song. Frey agreed, and recorded the vocal part in one day. The following day he played the guitar and recorded the background vocals, and was paid $15,000 for the work.[1]

The mid-to-up-tempo recording featured a steady drumbeat, synthesizer, and guitar, with a repeated saxophone riff framing the lyrical message. The guitar solo is played by Frey himself.[2]

The song became a major hit single, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in March 1985, behind "Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon.[3] It was also popular internationally, reaching No. 2 two on the Australian Singles Chart in 1985 and gaining peaks of No. 8 on the Canadian Singles Chart and No. 12 on the UK Singles Chart.[4] In the United States, it is the highest charting solo single by any member of the Eagles.

The music video for the song received heavy MTV airplay. It showed a film editor assembling scenes for Beverly Hills Cop while Frey and a band played the song in the adjacent room, with action scenes from the movie then directly interspersed. Among the musicians shown in the video is saxophone player Beverly Dahlke-Smith (the actual recording being made by session horn player David Woodford[5]) and Frey's long-time drummer, Michael Huey.

The recording subsequently appeared on Frey's albums Glenn Frey Live (1993) and Solo Collection (1995) as well as on some various-artists "top hits" collections.

The song was ranked 784th out of 2006 songs by voting featured in the Triple M "Essential 2006 Countdown".

Track listings

7" single
No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "The Heat Is On"  Keith Forsey, Harold Faltermeyer 3:45
2. "Shoot Out"  Harold Faltermeyer 2:44
Total length:
12" single
No. TitleRemixer Length
1. "The Heat Is On (extended version)"    6:04
2. "The Heat Is On (dance version)"  Brian Reeves 5:40
3. "The Heat Is On (dub version)"  Brian Reeves 2:39
Total length:


Chart (1985-1986) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 27
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[7] 27
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[8] 8
France (SNEP)[9] 47
Germany (Official German Charts)[10] 4
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11] 19
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[12] 22
Norway (VG-lista)[13] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[14] 5
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[15] 5
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[16] 12
US Billboard Hot 100[17] 2
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[18] 4

The song was used in sporting events such as Big East basketball tournament.[19] "The Heat Is On" became Ottawa Senators star forward Dany Heatley's goal song. It is also the song played when the Omaha Lancers junior hockey team scores, making reference to the United States Hockey League. During the mid-to-late 1980s, it was also played at New York Mets home games following a home run by a Mets player. It is the walk-on music for English darts player Denis Ovens.

The song's title expression has been directly used in marketing slogans, such as for Australian television operations TVW and Seven Network. It was also a slogan the St. Louis Cardinals used during their 1985 pennant drive.

Most notably, it has been a theme song for the Miami Heat since the franchise's creation in 1988, and is played after home wins.

It was also covered by Alvin and the Chipmunks in the 1985 Alvin and the Chipmunks episode "Every Chipmunk Tells a Story". In 2009, it was used in a political context as well, becoming the theme song for the British Columbia Liberal Party Member of the Legislative Assembly for Vancouver-Fraserview, Kash Heed. It was played at Fraserview Hall on May 12, 2009, when Heed was declared the winner over New Democratic Party of British Columbia rival Gabriel Yiu.

The song was also played during the car chase sequence in the film 30 Minutes or Less.

The song was also used in a February 2012 Coca-Cola ad campaign featuring many NASCAR drivers.

The song was the inspiration for a digital short written by then-Saturday Night Live veteran writer Adam McKay called "The H is O" [20] about Glenn Frey starring Will Ferrell as Frey and Ben Stiller as a fan who tries to win a bet and pick up Frey with three lines or less. Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz are also in the skit. McKay would go on to write a number of hit movies starring Ferrell, including Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy and Talladega Nights.

In 1985, the song was in the sixth year anniversary of Eat Bulaga!, the longest-running and top-rating noontime show on RPN 9 and hosted by Tito, Vic and Joey with Coney Reyes.

The song is featured several times in the South Park episode Taming Strange, where the school's computer interface program fails miserably, causing sprinklers to go off and toilets to flush.


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