Heavy Weather (album)

Heavy Weather is the seventh album by Weather Report, released in 1977 through Columbia Records. The release originally sold about 500,000 copies; it would prove to be the band's most commercially successful album. Heavy Weather received a 5-star review from DownBeat magazine and went on to be voted jazz album of the year by the readers of that publication. On this album the lineup consisted of Weather Report founders Joe Zawinul (keyboards, synthesizers) and Wayne Shorter (saxophone), alongside Jaco Pastorius (bass), Alex Acuña (drums), and Manolo Badrena (percussion). It was produced and orchestrated by Zawinul, with additional production by Shorter and Pastorius, and engineered by Ron Malo.

Heavy Weather
Weather Report-Heavy Weather.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 1977
RecordedDecember 1976–January 1977
StudioDevonshire Sound Studios, North Hollywood, California
GenreJazz fusion
ProducerJoe Zawinul, Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter
Weather Report chronology
Black Market
Heavy Weather
Mr. Gone

Featuring the jazz standard "Birdland", the album is one of the best sellers in the Columbia jazz catalog. This opening track was a significant commercial success, something not typical of instrumental music. The melody had been performed live by the band as part of "Dr Honoris Causa", which was from Joe Zawinul's eponymous solo album. "Teen Town", a Pastorius composition where his bass takes the lead instrument role, is often considered a highlight of the album and of Pastorius's career. Although not mentioned as a live recording in the liner notes, "Rumba Mamá" (a percussion and vocals feature for Manolo Badrena and Alex Acuña) was recorded at a band's concert in Montreux, Switzerland during the summer of 1976, of which a film would be subsequently released on DVD in 2007.[1]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Rolling Stone(Not Rated)[2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide     [3]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings    [4]

Dan Oppenheimer said in a June 1977 review for Rolling Stone that he felt the band had moved away from their earlier music, losing a lot of the space, melodies and airy feel that set them apart from other jazz-rock bands, but gaining a new bassist who "has been instrumental in developing their busier, talkative style", and that while their music previously "went up and up only, becoming more ethereal as it went, the new bottom makes all the difference in the world".[2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic     [5]
Artistdirect     [6]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [7]

Richard Ginell commented in a retrospective review for Allmusic that it was released "just as the jazz-rock movement began to run out of steam", however he felt that "this landmark album proved that there was plenty of creative life left in the idiom."[5]

In February 2011, Heavy Weather was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[8]

The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

In 2000, it was voted #822 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums.[9]

The singer Bilal names it among his 25 favorite albums, citing the interplay between Jaco Pastorius and Joe Zawinul.[10]

Track listingEdit

Side one
2."A Remark You Made"Zawinul6:51
3."Teen Town"Pastorius2:51
Side two
1."Rumba Mamá"Badrena, Acuña2:11
3."The Juggler"Zawinul5:03


Weather ReportEdit


  • Joe Zawinul – Record producer and orchestrator
  • Jaco Pastorius – Co-producer
  • Wayne Shorter – Assistant producer
  • Ron MaloEngineer
  • Jerry Hudgins – Assistant engineer
  • Brian Risner – Assistant engineer and chief meteorologist
  • Frank Tozour – Sony reissue premastering
  • Nancy Donald – Design
  • Lou Beach – Illustration
  • Keith Williamson – Photography


Release historyEdit

The album was first released in LP format worldwide throughout Columbia Records, CBS Records, Sony Records, and other minor record labels. In 1984, it was first released in CD format in the U.S. on Columbia Records. In 1992, the album was remastered, and, in 2002, published in Super Audio CD format.[18]

See the table below for a more comprehensive list of the album releases.[18]
Year Format Label Country Note
1977 LP & Cassette Columbia (PC 34418) Canada, U.S.
CBS, Sony (25AP 357) Japan
CBS ([CBS ][S ]81775) Italy, Netherlands, UK, U.S.
Suzy (CBS 81775/P 1977) Yugoslavia Published as Heavy Rain
CBS (SBP 234974) Australia
1979 Supraphon, CBS (1115 2490) Czechoslovakia Published as Weather Report
1981 Columbia (HC 44418) U.S.
1983 CBS (CBS 32358) Europe
1984 CD Columbia (CK 34418) U.S.
1991 Columbia (468209 2)
1992 Columbia (CK 47481) Remastered
1994 CD, Gold CD Columbia, Legacy, Master Sound (CK 64427)
1997 CD, MD Columbia, Legacy (CK 65108) Europe, U.S.
2002 SACD Columbia, Legacy (CS 65108) U.S.


  1. ^ Kelman, John (2007). "Live at Montreux 1976 : Weather Report : Review : All About Jazz". All About Jazz. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Oppenheimer, Dan (1977). "Heavy Weather : Weather Report : Review : Rolling Stone". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  3. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 204. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  4. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 1475. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  5. ^ a b Ginell, Richard S. (2011). "Heavy Weather – Weather Report". AllMusic. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  6. ^ "Heavy Weather by Weather Report". ARTISTdirect.com. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  7. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  8. ^ Sterdan, Darryl [QMI Agency] (February 13, 2011). "Ramones get lifetime achievement". Conoe.ca. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  9. ^ Colin Larkin (2000). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 256. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  10. ^ Simmons, Ted (February 26, 2013). "Bilal's 25 Favorite Albums". Complex. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  11. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Weather Report – Heavy Weather". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  12. ^ "Weather Report, TLP". Billboard. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  13. ^ "Weather Report, JLS". Billboard. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  14. ^ "Weather Report, BLP". Billboard. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  15. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1977". Billboard. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  16. ^ "Jazz Albums – Year-End 1977". Billboard. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  17. ^ "Jazz Albums – Year-End 1978". Billboard. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  18. ^ a b "Weather Report – Heavy Weather". Discogs. Retrieved September 20, 2011.

External linksEdit