From the Vault...


Earth, Wind & Fire

© Columbia Records

Year of Release: 1975

track listing
  • Introduction By
    MC Perry Jones
  • Africano/Power
  • Yearnin' Learnin'
  • Devotion
  • Sun Goddess
  • Reasons
  • Sing A Message To You
  • Shining Star
  • New World Symphony
  • Interlude #1
  • Sunshine
  • Sing A Song
  • Gratitude
  • Celebrate
  • Interlude #2
  • Can't Hide Love
  • Live Bonus Medley:
    Serpentine Fire/
    Saturday Nite

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Earth, Wind & Fire related sites:
    Earth, Wind & Fire Website
    Previous Review: #1433
    Boney James--The Beat
    Next Review: #1435
    Katy Perry--One Of The Boys
    Earth, Wind & Fire

    Earth, Wind & Fire returns this week, with a live album, originally released in 1975 -- Gratitude. This album reached #1 on the Billboard Albums chart, for three weeks. For not being a devoted fan of live albums, this album has its moments. It's musically that sets the impressive buttons on this, and more importantly, the music stands out more, because it was performed live.

    Trying to classify the genres of music throughout this performance as well: Some songs have the standard EWF-soulfulness that they are always best known for. Yet there are some Latino flavors, and on one particular track, a combination of New Age Jazz, Soul, Latino, and horn-influenced Jazz.

    MC Perry Jones kicks an intro to the concert, followed by the Latino-powered "Africano/Power." (Who is MC Perry Jones? A mutual friend of singer Phillip Bailey, who, at the time was in a band of his own, called Friends & Love. The band had been performing Earth, Wind & Fire songs, and was an opening act for EWF. Maurice White approached Bailey, and offered him to join EWF. From there, EWF's signature sound was established, as EWF became more and more popular, with their love-inspired songs.)

    Just as a powerful track to kick off the concert album as "Africano/Power," "Yearnin' Learnin" continues the crows up and rockin'. "Devotion" is soulful, and has the sound best known for EWF. It even has a gospel feel. Funky, groovin, and soulful gets the crowd going again with "Sun Goddess." Then it's back to the love sounding "Reasons."

    "Sing A Message To YOu" is a short, funky tune, which leads into the only #1 song Earth, Wind & Fire ever did -- the famous "Shining Star." Then there's "New World Symphony" -- a very impressive instrumental, leading off as New Age Jazz, then turns into a soulful jam, yet it also sounds like common jazz, as the horns stand out, resembling the early Chicago. Towards the end, it kicks into upbeat Latino.

    Everything about the title "Sunshine" is the next track -- a good and uplifting EWF tune. "Sing A Song" was a studio hit, as the live version is just as good. The title track and "Celebrate" are soulful, upbeat, and funky tracks. The love sound EWF is famous for is on "Can't Hide Love."

    The 2000 release includes a "Live Bonus Medley": "Serpentine Fire/Saturday Nite/Can't Hide Love/Reasons." All in the funky, upbeat, and love soulful EWF style.

    Gratitude easily fits the album as its title. It's a good concert, and watching it live would obviously be more enjoyable. The instrumental is the standout, likewise the popular tracks "Shining Star" and "Sing A Song." The love sounding tracks are what EWF is famous for, as they are good here.

    Earth, Wind & Fire only achieved two #1 albums (That's The Way Of The World [1975, 3 weeks], and Gratitude [1976, 3 weeks]). They only achived one #1 hit, "Shining Star" [1975, 1 week]. It's amazing that how great EWF was in the 1970s, they did not achieve more #1 hits. They truly deserved more. Gratitude captures the band in good concert form. Maybe this album is not at the top of live albums, it's still a good assortment of live EWF, and how they can perform well live in concert.

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    Previous Review: #1433
    Boney James--The Beat
    Next Review: #1435
    Katy Perry--One Of The Boys