||From the Vault...
Earth, Wind & Fire
© Columbia Records
Year of Release: 1975
MC Perry Jones
Sing A Message To You
New World Symphony
Sing A Song
Can't Hide Love
Live Bonus Medley:
Earth, Wind & Fire related sites:
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
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
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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