EARTH WIND & FIRE
Jazz Related RnB / DJ/Electronica Jazz • United States

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EARTH WIND & FIRE picture
Earth, Wind & Fire were one of the most musically accomplished, critically acclaimed, and commercially popular funk bands of the '70s. Conceived by drummer, bandleader, songwriter, kalimba player, and occasional vocalist Maurice White, EWF's all-encompassing musical vision used funk as its foundation, but also incorporated jazz, smooth soul, gospel, pop, rock & roll, psychedelia, blues, folk, African music, and, later on, disco. Lead singer Philip Bailey gave EWF an extra dimension with his talent for crooning sentimental ballads in addition to funk workouts; behind him, the band could harmonize like a smooth Motown group, work a simmering groove like the J.B.'s, or improvise like a jazz fusion outfit. Plus, their stage shows were often just as elaborate and dynamic as George Clinton's P-Funk empire. More than just versatility for its own sake, EWF's eclecticism was part of a broader concept informed by a cosmic, mystical spirituality and an uplifting positivity read more...
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1976 Earth, Wind & Fire GETAWAY 7 1976 Earth, Wind & Fire GETAWAY 7" 45 RPM Single Pop Rock Funk Columbia (VG) USD $6.99 Buy It Now 2h 31m
Earth, Wind & Fire ‎– The Best Of Earth Wind & Fire Vol 1 Promo LP VGC+ Earth, Wind & Fire ‎– The Best Of Earth Wind & Fire Vol 1 Promo LP VGC+ USD $8.58 (0 bids)
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EARTH WIND & FIRE 7 SINGLE MADE IN RHODESIA (ZIMBABWE) *SERPENTINE FIRE* SSC1687 EARTH WIND & FIRE 7 SINGLE MADE IN RHODESIA (ZIMBABWE) *SERPENTINE FIRE* SSC1687 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 57m
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EARTH WIND & FIRE 7 EARTH WIND & FIRE 7" vinyl record juke box ready LET ME TALK year 1980 USD $5.31 Buy It Now 3h
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EARTH WIND & FIRE - System Of Survival - 1987 UK 7 EARTH WIND & FIRE - System Of Survival - 1987 UK 7" USD $4.65 Buy It Now 4h
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EARTH WIND & FIRE - Star - 1979 UK 2-track 7 EARTH WIND & FIRE - Star - 1979 UK 2-track 7" Vinyl Single USD $3.32 Buy It Now 4h
Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind & Fire) - Chinese Wall Vinyl LP 1984 CBS Records Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind & Fire) - Chinese Wall Vinyl LP 1984 CBS Records USD $7.58 Buy It Now 4h
Earth, Wind & Fire - The Best Of..Vol 1 Gatefold LP 1978 Earth, Wind & Fire - The Best Of..Vol 1 Gatefold LP 1978 USD $12.62 Buy It Now 4h
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''After The Love Has Gone'' by Earth, Wind & Fire, 45 RPM (c) 1979 (Bx01-200) ''After The Love Has Gone'' by Earth, Wind & Fire, 45 RPM (c) 1979 (Bx01-200) USD $2.69 Buy It Now 6h
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Earth Wind & Fire Let's Groove Instrumental 7 Earth Wind & Fire Let's Groove Instrumental 7" 45 Record Vinyl USD $5.90 Buy It Now 7h
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Robots Soundtrack CD James Brown War Earth Wind & Fire Robots Soundtrack CD James Brown War Earth Wind & Fire USD $20.00 Buy It Now 7h
 Chic / Earth, Wind & Fire ‎– The Chic Megamix (Back To Disco Mix) 12 Chic / Earth, Wind & Fire ‎– The Chic Megamix (Back To Disco Mix) 12" VG+ USD $49.00 Buy It Now 7h
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EARTH, WIND & FIRE SPIRIT LP OG 1976 VG+ EARTH, WIND & FIRE SPIRIT LP OG 1976 VG+ USD $5.99 (0 bids)
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Earth Wind & Fire With The Emotions Lp Record Ex 23-10950 Boogie Wonderland Earth Wind & Fire With The Emotions Lp Record Ex 23-10950 Boogie Wonderland USD $7.99 Buy It Now 9h
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R&B 45 Earth Wind & Fire R&B 45 Earth Wind & Fire "Serpentine Fire (2 Versions)" Columbia 1977 VG+ USD $3.00 Buy It Now 10h
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XXL Maxis & Mixes 3 CD Earth Wind Fire Megamix Herbie Hancock The Jacksons 12 XXL Maxis & Mixes 3 CD Earth Wind Fire Megamix Herbie Hancock The Jacksons 12" USD $20.00 Buy It Now 11h
EARTH WIND & FIRE Powerlight CBS ‎– 40-25120 9tr Holland 1983 Cassette Tape MC EARTH WIND & FIRE Powerlight CBS ‎– 40-25120 9tr Holland 1983 Cassette Tape MC USD $6.99 Buy It Now 11h
MAURICE WHITE-EARTH WIND&FIRE The Best JAPAN MASTER SOUND LP w/OBI 30AP1876 MAURICE WHITE-EARTH WIND&FIRE The Best JAPAN MASTER SOUND LP w/OBI 30AP1876 USD $69.99 Buy It Now 11h
EARTH WIND & FIRE The Love Songs CD Eur 1995 Columbia 467768 2 16trks EARTH WIND & FIRE The Love Songs CD Eur 1995 Columbia 467768 2 16trks USD $1.32 Buy It Now 11h
Earth, Wind & Fire - Let's Groove [Sony] (CD 1996) Earth, Wind & Fire - Let's Groove [Sony] (CD 1996) USD $5.31 Buy It Now 12h
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EARTH, WIND & FIRE - BOOGIE WONDERLAND: THE BEST OF EARTH,WIND & FIRE  2 CD NEW+ EARTH, WIND & FIRE - BOOGIE WONDERLAND: THE BEST OF EARTH,WIND & FIRE 2 CD NEW+ USD $15.60 Buy It Now 14h
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Earth, Wind & Fire WPCR-1042 CD JAPAN 1997 OBI Earth, Wind & Fire WPCR-1042 CD JAPAN 1997 OBI USD $75.00 Buy It Now 15h
1979 EARTH WIND & FIRE 1979 EARTH WIND & FIRE "BOOGIE WONDERLAND" VINYL 12" SINGLE RECORD USD $7.96 Buy It Now 16h
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Earth Wind & Fire - Let Me Talk - CBS 8982 VG+ Condition Earth Wind & Fire - Let Me Talk - CBS 8982 VG+ Condition USD $2.99 Buy It Now 17h
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BOOGIE WONDERLAND (The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire) (CD 1996) - Excellent used CD BOOGIE WONDERLAND (The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire) (CD 1996) - Excellent used CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 17h
Earth, Wind & Fire - Now, Then and Forever - Japan Import - Bonus Tracks + 2 Earth, Wind & Fire - Now, Then and Forever - Japan Import - Bonus Tracks + 2 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 17h
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Earth Wind & Fire Boogie Wonderland 2K 12 Earth Wind & Fire Boogie Wonderland 2K 12" Remixes Tiefschwarz Mixes USD $7.98 Buy It Now 18h
Earth, Wind & Fire-All 'n All-1977-33 1/3 rpm-LP-EX/VG+ Earth, Wind & Fire-All 'n All-1977-33 1/3 rpm-LP-EX/VG+ USD $7.49 Buy It Now 18h
EARTH, WIND & FIRE Open Our Eyes MHCP-401 CD JAPAN 2004 OBI EARTH, WIND & FIRE Open Our Eyes MHCP-401 CD JAPAN 2004 OBI USD $82.47 Buy It Now 18h
The Best Of Earth Wind & Fire Vol. I Gatefold Cover Record ARC Columbia FC 35647 The Best Of Earth Wind & Fire Vol. I Gatefold Cover Record ARC Columbia FC 35647 USD $21.99 Buy It Now 19h
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Earth, Wind & Fire - The Promise - New 2003 CD! 17 Songs! Earth, Wind & Fire - The Promise - New 2003 CD! 17 Songs! USD $3.99 Buy It Now 20h
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Earth Wind & Fire - I Am - 12 Earth Wind & Fire - I Am - 12" Vinyl - Mint Condition USD $16.95 Buy It Now 20h
EARTH, WIND & FIRE : September - Original 1978 UK issue 7 EARTH, WIND & FIRE : September - Original 1978 UK issue 7" single EX USD $5.32 Buy It Now 21h
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Earth, Wind & Fire ‎Avatar Japan CD Earth, Wind & Fire ‎Avatar Japan CD USD $22.50 Buy It Now 21h
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MELODY MAKER 1979 MAR 10 GEORGE HARRISON EARTH WIND & FIRE UNDERTONES TOTO ROXY MELODY MAKER 1979 MAR 10 GEORGE HARRISON EARTH WIND & FIRE UNDERTONES TOTO ROXY USD $13.28 Buy It Now 21h
Earth Wind & Fire - Touch The World VG++ 1st Columbia 40596 Record 1983 Tested Earth Wind & Fire - Touch The World VG++ 1st Columbia 40596 Record 1983 Tested USD $7.00 Buy It Now 21h
Earth Wind & Fire - I AM - VG++ 1st press Columbia 35370 Record 1979 Tested Earth Wind & Fire - I AM - VG++ 1st press Columbia 35370 Record 1979 Tested USD $7.00 Buy It Now 21h
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Earth Wind & Fire - Star - Vinyl Single - 1979 (Ex) Earth Wind & Fire - Star - Vinyl Single - 1979 (Ex) USD $6.65 Buy It Now 21h
Earth, Wind & Fire ‎– All 'N All (Columbia ‎– JC 34905) Earth, Wind & Fire ‎– All 'N All (Columbia ‎– JC 34905) USD $2.50 Buy It Now 21h
EARTH, WIND & FIRE -CBS- Be Ever Wonderful- UK SOUL 45 EARTH, WIND & FIRE -CBS- Be Ever Wonderful- UK SOUL 45 USD $4.50 Buy It Now 21h
The Promise by Earth, Wind & Fire CD (Brand New, Factory Sealed) The Promise by Earth, Wind & Fire CD (Brand New, Factory Sealed) USD $0.99 Buy It Now 21h
Earth, Wind & Fire ‎– The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. I- LP–S CBS 83284-EX. Earth, Wind & Fire ‎– The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. I- LP–S CBS 83284-EX. USD $1.32 (0 bids)
21h
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EARTH WIND & FIRE Discography

EARTH WIND & FIRE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Earth, Wind & Fire
Jazz Related RnB 1971
.. Album Cover 2.75 | 2 ratings
The Need of Love
Jazz Related RnB 1971
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 3 ratings
Last Days and Time
Jazz Related RnB 1972
.. Album Cover 2.25 | 2 ratings
Head to the Sky
Jazz Related RnB 1973
.. Album Cover 3.84 | 3 ratings
Open Our Eyes
Jazz Related RnB 1974
.. Album Cover 4.14 | 5 ratings
That's the Way of the World
Jazz Related RnB 1975
.. Album Cover 3.36 | 3 ratings
Spirit
Jazz Related RnB 1976
.. Album Cover 4.67 | 7 ratings
All 'n' All
Jazz Related RnB 1977
.. Album Cover 1.50 | 3 ratings
I Am
Jazz Related RnB 1979
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Faces
Jazz Related RnB 1980
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 2 ratings
Raise!
Jazz Related RnB 1981
.. Album Cover 1.17 | 3 ratings
Powerlight
Jazz Related RnB 1983
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Electric Universe
Jazz Related RnB 1983
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Touch the World
Jazz Related RnB 1987
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Heritage
Jazz Related RnB 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Millennium
Jazz Related RnB 1993
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Avatar
Jazz Related RnB 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In the Name of Love
Jazz Related RnB 1997
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Soul Source: Earth, Wind & Fire Remixes
DJ/Electronica Jazz 2002
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Promise
Jazz Related RnB 2003
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Illumination
Jazz Related RnB 2004
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Now, Then & Forever
Jazz Related RnB 2013
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Holiday
Jazz Related RnB 2014

EARTH WIND & FIRE EPs & splits

EARTH WIND & FIRE live albums

.. Album Cover 4.93 | 5 ratings
Gratitude
Jazz Related RnB 1975
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Plugged in and Live (aka Greatest Hits Live)
Jazz Related RnB 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest hits live
Jazz Related RnB 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
That's the Way of the World: Alive in '75
Jazz Related RnB 2002
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Rio (aka Rio After Dark)
Jazz Related RnB 2002

EARTH WIND & FIRE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

EARTH WIND & FIRE re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Volume 1
Jazz Related RnB 1978
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Volume II
Jazz Related RnB 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dance Trax
Jazz Related RnB 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Best of Earth Wind & Fire
Jazz Related RnB 1991
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Best
Jazz Related RnB 1992
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Let's Groove
Jazz Related RnB 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Love Songs
Jazz Related RnB 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Definitive Collection
Jazz Related RnB 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Let's Groove: The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire
Jazz Related RnB 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Elements of Love: The Ballads
Jazz Related RnB 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Super Hits
Jazz Related RnB 1998
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Greatest Hits
Jazz Related RnB 1998
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Ultimate Collection
Jazz Related RnB 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Dutch Collection
Jazz Related RnB 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Essential Earth, Wind & Fire
Jazz Related RnB 2002
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Last Days and Time / Head to the Sky
Jazz Related RnB 2007
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Greatest Hits
Jazz Related RnB 2010

EARTH WIND & FIRE singles (0)

EARTH WIND & FIRE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
In Concert
Jazz Related RnB 1981

EARTH WIND & FIRE Reviews

EARTH WIND & FIRE That's the Way of the World

Album · 1975 · Jazz Related RnB
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Although as the 80s dragged on, they eventually became a talented, yet sometimes bland pop group, this was not how Earth Wind and Fire started. Many would be surprised to know that the roots of this group go back to Chicago’s avant-garde AACM, and their first album was the soundtrack to the outsider classic, “Sweet Sweetback’s Badass Song”, on which EW&F played furious psychedelic fusion in the style of Herbie’s Sextet. After this rather obscure beginning, founder Maurice White decided to keep the creativity intact, but also aim for some radio play too. With all this in mind, EW&F grew to be a powerhouse in the world of RnB, fusion, rock and pop during the 70s, and many would agree that they hit their first major peak with the 1975 studio masterpiece, “That’s the Way of the World”.

In the mid 70s, no other RnB or rock band carried as much pure talent as EW&F, their horn section could outplay many jazzers, their rhythm section could hold their own against WAR, Santanna or Weather Report, vocally they took arrangements to new heights in harmony and range, and finally, their compositions were modern, complex and way ahead of the field. Throughout the 70s, EW&F’s compositional approach was more influential on fusion artists than most other jazz artists. All through “That’s the Way”, EW&F tops driving syncopated African rhythms with floating abstract harmonies that recall Ellington and Debussy.

Almost every song on here is a classic, with only one sore thumb, the rather cliché ballad, “All About Love”. Modernist ballads with soaring harmonies were EW&F’s trademark, so its hard to understand how this less than stellar cut made the grade, but its all made up when it is followed by a short and attractively bizarre synth instrumental. For fans who already like this album, you need to check out the album “Gratitude”, on which the band plays these songs live and takes their mix of Ellington, Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Ohio Players, to new levels. As mentioned earlier, as the 80s dragged into the 90s and beyond, EW&F, much like their musical compadres Chicago and Genesis, became more wind and earth, and much less fire.

EARTH WIND & FIRE Greatest Hits

Boxset / Compilation · 1998 · Jazz Related RnB
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Chicapah
I’m often surprised at how many “Best Of” CDs and LPs I’ve accumulated over the years in amassing my humble collection of music. I’m one of those old-school dudes who believes that if an artist’s or a band’s material piques your interest then the only proper way to explore their art is to invest in one or two discs in their catalogue of albums and find out what they were doing on the “deep cuts” that didn’t get any airplay. That’s where you’re likely to find either the core of their un-commercial creativity or a lot of mediocre, time-wasting filler but you won’t know until you investigate. Unfortunately, my walk doesn’t always match my talk and I find myself being rather hypocritical as evidenced in the case of my buying Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Greatest Hits” at one point. The harsh truth is that economics more often than not trump my idealistic intentions and I’ll willingly spring for such a deal as this because I know I’ll like most of the songs it contains from hearing them previously and I won’t rue the investment of my limited funds. Someday if I become independently wealthy I may acquire every note of music they’ve ever recorded but until that glorious day arrives I’ll be content with this compromise.

Let me just say that this group has always hovered on the edge of my musical consciousness since the dawning of the 70s. What I mean is that I found them intriguingly original when I had the opportunity to hear their tunes but, with my principal focus being firmly ensconced in the exclusive realm of rock & roll, jazz and classical for most of my life, I didn’t take the time to investigate their brave excursions into progressive R&B at all. Ergo, I had none of their records. It wasn’t until I caught them in concert with Chicago a few years back that I realized how many of their songs were very familiar to me and how much I liked them in general. This album seemed to have most of the tunes I really desired to possess so the next time I got one of those I-didn’t-know-what-else-to-give-you-so-I-took-the-easy-route-and-got-you-this-gratuitous-gift-certificate presents I used it to purchase this CD. With all 17 cuts remastered utilizing state-of-the-art digital technology, it more than meets all its obligations and requirements and it sure comes in handy when I need an emotional lift in my mood.

The disc starts off with “Shining Star,” a great mix of rock and funk spread across an imaginative arrangement that provided them with their first crossover chart-topper in 1975. It superbly showcases their rhythmic approach to vocalizing that became so revolutionary at the time. “That’s the Way of the World” follows and this excellent R&B ballad sports a smooth, sensual groove that demonstrates they could apply tasteful restraint when the number called for it. The joyful “September” is next and it’s a fine example of how dance music doesn’t have to be trapped inside a monotonous, throbbing disco beat to get the job done. It’s a foot-tapping tune for folks that don’t readily tap their feet. “Can’t Hide Love” owns a slower funk vibe that allows their talented horn section to erect a fluid backdrop and also reveals leader Maurice White’s respect for the cool style of one of his early mentors, Ramsey Lewis. Their exciting rendition of “Got to Get You into My Life” is one of the finest covers of a Beatles’ song EVER. They pay homage to the original melody line by keeping it intact but they also make it their own by creatively expanding it exponentially in fantastic ways. “Sing a Song” is a positive statement of optimism that never stoops to patronize the listener. Their subtle use of deep synthesizer lines in this mid-70s recording proves that they were willing to let their music evolve as keyboard innovations sprang up in the industry right and left.

“Gratitude” has a detectible Sly Stone atmosphere surrounding it but, while it’s not a bad tune at all, in the midst of so many jewels it comes off a bit dull in comparison. “Serpentine Fire” follows and it’s a funky-as-all-get-out track that digs far down into your gut and never lets go. Verdine White’s bass work is exceptional. “Fantasy” is next and its slightly schmaltzy opening belies the energetic pace the tune soon adopts. The whole romantic shebang comes off more as a vehicle to highlight Philip Bailey’s amazing falsetto-dominated voice than anything else. “Kalimba Story” has a strong rock attitude but it’s a step down in the intensity department at this juncture. Save for the inclusion of the African Kalimba itself it’s rather pedestrian in nature. A never-flagging-for-a-moment driving momentum and a host of red-hot singers propel “Mighty Mighty” from beginning to end, making it a funky treat. “Reasons” is a big, fat & lush ballad that lets Bailey cut completely loose with uncanny soprano chops that shouldn’t be emanating from the gullet of an adult male. The man’s a freak. “Saturday Nite” is a return to what the ensemble does best. It establishes an accessible rhythm and installs it to stroll beneath an involved yet classy chord progression on the bridges.

1981’s “Let’s Groove” is another highly-contagious dance number that sails like a hawk and the sound quality is extraordinary but, for my money, it’s only a warm up for “Boogie Wonderland.” I’ll concede that it’s blatantly disco fare but I don’t give a poot. This track is one of the few in that genre that I have an unabashed affection for so I guess I’ll just chalk it up as a guilty pleasure. I’m no dancer but I feel like John Travolta when this song plays. It’s the nazz. I’m also a sucker for elaborate, over-the-top pop extravaganzas and the splendid “After the Love Has Gone” is one of my all-time favorites. Written by Bill Champlin, David Foster and Jay Graydon, the compositional structure is exhilarating and the combined vocal performances are the absolute bomb. Don Myrick’s sultry saxophone ride is worth a shout-out, too. The caboose on this train is “Getaway.” The song’s tricky onset is very dynamic and it’s also one of their tightest tracks. The punchy horns kick tail and my overall impression is that if Frank Zappa had been allowed to produce one of their sessions this might have been the result. It’s just odd enough to be fun and unpredictable.

Earth, Wind and Fire’s glory days are behind them but I can testify that they still put on one hell of an entertaining show when they take the stage. In the 70s they blew a fresh breeze into what was becoming a too self-indulgent and overly sarcastic R&B scene. They then went on to demonstrate that dance material didn’t have to be boring when the disco craze was making millions settle for an inane repeating kick drum and a catchy hook. Also worth mentioning is that group founder Maurice White contributed to the writing of 12 of these songs and 7 of those went to #1 on the R&B charts, a feat that only a handful of artists have ever equaled. These guys were (and still are) the real deal.

EARTH WIND & FIRE All 'n' All

Album · 1977 · Jazz Related RnB
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Catcher10
Earth, Wind & Fire are my most listened to and without a doubt my favorite R&B group....All due to this album. This their 9th album, show cases the amazing musical creativity of Maurice White. After the group took a long trip to Brazil and I also believe Egypt, they were inspired by the sites and sounds of both. This album has many musical references to Brazil, the album artwork is directly related to Egypt with futuristic references in the artwork too. It started with the pyramids and then ends with space flight....

Serpentine Fire starts the album and sets the bar very high. The slow beat of drums, percussion, cow bells and rhythmic motion helps this one get the album going. Maurice's singing is some of the best here, and ofcourse the EW&F horn section (eventually named the Phenix Horns) is at its best on this one.

Fantasy, the megahit of this album. About a man who takes a ride on a spaceship to find his dreams, finds the place called Fantasy. Verdine White's bass playing is so tight, sets the pace on this one clearly and Phillip Bailey's amazing voice...just superb.

Then we get one of the many "interludes" of this album, which is kind of a EW&F trademark. This first one features Maurice playing his kalimba, which is an African finger piano, as he plucks it to make the distinctive African sound, again this becomes a trademark sound of EW&F. Jupiter continues their theme of space/fantasy travel and features Al McKay's great rhythm guitar work and some of my favorite EW&F horn work. The whole group shows off their vocals on this one.

Earth, Wind & Fire are known for many things, on this album they solidified one long standing attribute of the group.....the funky, hot, mesmerizing love songs. Back in the 70's in Jr high, I soooo remember doing the thang on the dance floor with that cute girl to the tunes of Earth, Wind & Fire. To this day if I play a bunch of their slow songs, the wife knows what comes next! This album has three of the most amazingly written slow/love songs in R&B Loves' Holiday, I'll Write A Song For You and Be Ever Wonderful.

The 2nd one features Phillip Bailey at his best vocally, so smooth in his falsetto voice...also some great 12 string acoustic work by Al McKay. Maurice White sings lead on the other two, but Maurice and Phillip together is vocal harmony, literally.

Magic Mind, a quick funky tune featuring all the singers at their best, catchy chorus keeps this one afloat. Runnin' (instrumental) just showcases the groups high level of instrumental talent, starting with a nice keyboard/synth entry by Larry Dunn. Much Brazilian musical influence on this one, percussion, horns, drums and the trademark EW&F vocal harmonies.

EW&F encompass all that is good about music....Jazz, Fusion, Blues, Rock and World musical influences. This album has it all. A perfect place to start if you have any interest in one of the most influential R&B groups of the 70' and 80's......I have seen them live 6 times, their shows are amazing, you will not sit down, your feet, body, head are moving the whole time.

Nothing less than 5 stars....simply a classic.

EARTH WIND & FIRE Last Days and Time

Album · 1972 · Jazz Related RnB
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Abraxas
With the great Mati Klarwein cover work, I knew I had to get this. Last Days & Time, Earth, Wind and Fire's third album (first for Columbia Records), was my first introduction to the band, without counting the well-known dance hits. This album made me realise that this band was more than just a popular disco band, they knew how to groove and rock in their own R&B-ish way.

Although the album is made of mostly R&B tunes full of light strings and smooth vocals, there’s the occasional jazzy and funk headed composition, like the superb instrumental, 'Power', demonstrating how good they are at their instruments and at making hot funk, featuring Maurice White on the marvellous, overlooked instrument, the kalimba. 'Time is on your Side' and 'Remember the Children' are also great funky songs full of clavinet and catchy guitar riffs.

As for the typical R&B songs, 'They Don't See' and 'I'd Rather Have You' are very entertaining and good at it, while the remaining songs, of course decent, I don't find anything particularly good/memorable in them.

Definitely not one of EW&F's best albums, but still an enjoyable one, with some noteworthy compositions, that shows their transition of pure funk of their first two albums to the more R&B of later albums.

Recommended, but if you're new to the band and want to hear something that makes them a worthy band, check the live album Gratitude where there’s the perfect sum-up of the band, their whole funk potential plus sweet poppy and dancing songs.

EARTH WIND & FIRE Gratitude

Live album · 1975 · Jazz Related RnB
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js
If I had to pick an all-time favorite modern RnB record it would be this masterful blend of pop, jazz, funk, progressive rock and African fusion. Released in 1975 when this band was at its peak, this two record set contains a mix of live material and new studio cuts as well. I saw the tour from which this live material was pulled and EW&F at this time was one of the most incredible music ensembles I have ever witnessed.

The show opens with Africano/Power Medley which is a high energy blast of big band rock-funk groove that features blistering sax solos from David Myrick. From here the pace doesn’t let up as the band heads straight into the fast funk energy of ‘Yearnin Learnin’ and then bam!!, everything stops so Phillip Bailey can step to the mic and deliver his soaring vocals on the beautiful ballad, ‘Devotion’. This was the EW&F formula at the time, furious fusion energy mixed with soulful ballads that featured soaring vocal harmonies. EW&F could do it all; the fastest horn section around, polyrhythmic percussion section, unreal falsetto vocal harmonies and some of the best progressive song writing for the time.

Despite all the other talents and attributes of this group, its always been the songwriting that has impressed me the most. EW&F chord progressions and structures are unique and they stood far apart from the other RnB artists of their era. I’m not sure what the exact inspiration for some of their harmonic progressions are; possibly modern fusion bands, Ellington‘s orchestrations, 70s progressive rock and classical music are all possible contributors to their unique sound. There was always something very modern and even futuristic to the EW&F sound, and it is a sound that still sounds modern to this day. This is a band that followed no one and charted a brave new musical world of their own.

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