We’re getting our groove on this month with the ninth playlist in The Legend Slot. Funk, disco, soul and jazz are just a few of the genres you can use to describe this month’s artist…Earth, Wind & Fire.
Earth, Wind & Fire: A Brief History
Founded in 1969 in Chicago by Maurice White, Earth, Wind & Fire are an American funk, soul, R&B, pop, disco (as well as many other genres) group. Their original line up consisted of founder Maurice White (vocals, kalimba, drums, percussion), Verdine White (bass, percussion, vocals), Michael Beal (guitar, harmonica), Leslie Drayton (trumpet), Wade Flemons (electric piano, vocals), Yackov Ben Israel (conga, percussion), Sherry Scott (vocals), Alexander Thomas (trombone), Chester Washington (tenor saxophone) and Don Whitehead (acoustic/electric pianos, vocals). Although over the years the members have switched around a fair bit.
‘Earth, Wind & Fire’ (1971), Earth, Wind & Fire.
Known for their use of kalimba (a 15-key African instrument with a wooden soundboard and metal keys), horn section, falsetto and energetic and engaging stage presence, Earth, Wind & Fire are very much considered to be one of the greatest bands of all time. During their time as a band so far (they’re very much still going strong!) they’ve won a number of awards for their music, as well as plenty of nominations along the way too. Some of their biggest wins have included multiple Grammys and American Music Awards. As well as their awards they’ve also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, received their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and have amassed sales of over 90 million records worldwide. In February 2016, founding member Maurice White sadly passed away after suffering with Parkinson’s disease for some years prior.
Fancy learning a bit more about Earth, Wind & Fire? You can check out their full Wiki page here.
The Legend Slot: Earth, Wind & Fire
I remember seeing something not so long ago on Twitter that said something along the lines of ‘scousers listen to the kind of music that your mum does’ and honestly I can’t even deny it. I don’t think you will ever come across someone from Liverpool who doesn’t love the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire. And I absolutely love that. So this scouser is sharing her favourite tunes from “yer ma’s” favourite band.
A Few of My Favourites…
I’ve featured a few Earth, Wind & Fire tracks over the years on here so you might already be familiar with the fact that Let’s Groove from Raise! (1981) is one of my favourite songs ever. It’s one of my recommendations in my playlist of 30 must listen funk songs for a reason! Something that I found out was that there were quite a few tracks that I forgot existed but absolutely loved. The first was After The Love Has Gone from I Am (1979) which is a classic Earth, Wind & Fire ballad. It’s a real smooth sing-a-long ballad and I for one am very glad to have rediscovered it.
‘That’s The Way Of The World’ (1975), Earth, Wind & Fire.
There was also Evolution Orange from Raise! (1981) which, to be honest, I have absolutely no idea how I know. I didn’t recognise the name of it but as soon as it came on it was instantly familiar. Maybe I’d heard it on a night out, who knows? Either way it’s a must listen. Shining Star from That’s The Way Of The World (1975) is another standout. The opening bass line is enough to sell me on it as a track. Maybe one day I’ll teach myself how to play it…or maybe not! Then of course there’s Boogie Wonderland from I Am (1979) too but does that really need an explanation? I think not.
September was most definitely a month for new discoveries when it came to The Legend Slot. Earth, Wind & Fire were another one of those artists who’s hits were the only ones I knew. I’d say my knowledge of their music made it as far as around 7 tracks (oops!). But after all The Legend Slot is all about learning more about iconic musicians so only knowing a few of their tracks made them all the more interesting to research.
‘Electric Universe’ (1983), Earth, Wind & Fire.
So the new discoveries, well it all kicked off with the first song from their first album. Help Somebody from Earth, Wind & Fire (1971). I think I’ve actually featured the first song from the first album of every single artist in The Legend Slot so far. Maybe it’s because I start each month with a lot of excitement for all the listening I’m going to do, and so I see each first track as the most amazing thing ever. That or the songs are all just absolutely banging. I think it’s a mix of both.
‘I Am’ (1979), Earth, Wind & Fire.
Another new favourite was In The Stone from I Am (1979). That album was just something else entirely. SO good. I must’ve listened to the album in full at least 5 times this month alone. It most definitely set me back a few days in terms of listening to all of their albums, but it was also so so worth it.
A Little Extra For You
As was the same with Prince, there was one track that for some reason was never on an Earth, Wind & Fire studio album. It’s actually their most well known track as well. I just couldn’t miss it out. So here’s a little shout out to the absolute tune that is September.
Have you listened to much of Earth, Wind & Fire’s music before? Are you familiar with them as a band or are they a new one for you. Let me know in the comments! And if you want EVEN MORE music content then make sure to go ahead and sign up to my newsletter (it’s going through a bit of a revamp at the moment so now is the perfect time to sign up!).
Missed the series? Don’t worry! Here’s the first post in The Legend Slot: Elton John.