The Headhunters

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The Headhunters
Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters in 1975
Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters in 1975
Background information
OriginUnited States of America
GenresJazz fusion
Years active1973–present
LabelsColumbia, Verve Forecast, Basin Street, P-Vine, Owl Studios
Past members

The Headhunters are an American jazz fusion band formed by Herbie Hancock in 1973. The group fused jazz, funk, and rock music.

History (and name)[edit]

Hancock had grown dissatisfied with his prior band, Mwandishi, and wanted to make a band with a stronger funk component.[1] He chose the name of the group, "Headhunters", while doing Buddhist chanting.[1] The name pleased him because it made a triple reference to the jungle, to intellectual concerns, and to sexual activity.[1]

In 1973, the band comprised Hancock (keyboards), Bennie Maupin (saxophone, clarinet), Harvey Mason (drums), Paul Jackson (bass), and Bill Summers (percussion). Their first album, Head Hunters, sold more than one million copies.[2]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions


Head Hunters
(Herbie Hancock album)
(Herbie Hancock album)
  • Release date: 1974
  • Label: Columbia
Survival of the Fittest
  • Release date: 1975
  • Label: Arista
126 12
Straight from the Gate
  • Release date: 1977
  • Label: Arista
Return of the Headhunters!
(with Herbie Hancock)
  • Release date: 1998
  • Label: Verve
Evolution Revolution
Speakers in the House
  • Release date: Nov 4, 2022
  • Label: Ropeadope Records/Devil Hills Entertainment
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details
On Top: Live in Europe
  • Release date: 2008
  • Label: BHM Productions


  1. ^ a b c Shteamer, Hank (2020-04-12). "Flashback: Herbie Hancock Scores a Jazz-Funk Smash With 'Head Hunters'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  2. ^ Henderson, Alex. "The Headhunters | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Peak chart positions for albums and singles charting on the United States charts:

External links[edit]