What can you say about Earth, Wind & Fire that hasn’t already been said?
The band is easily one of the best musical groups ever assembled, and their sound was so diverse and lush that it was able to transcend musical and cultural boundaries. With “The Elements” scheduled to make an appearance at the Jazz Aspen June Experience (click here for tickets), we will take a look at the top 10 songs Earth, Wind & Fire has blessed as with during their storied history.
Gospel was a huge part of EWF’s sound, and no song signified their gospel side more than “Devotion.” the harmonies by the band were simply sublime, and it is one of the group’s best-known singles.
By the time the ‘80s rolled around, EFW had to tailor their sound to the new wave of funk and R&B that was beginning to bubble up, but not lose the core sound. They achieved that feat with “Let’s Groove,” which became one of the biggest singles of 1981 and one of the ‘80s best singles.
EFW could really pull some huge and emotional ballads, and the brokenhearted “After the Love Has Gone” is one of their best, as well as one of their biggest hits of 1979.
EWF wasn’t really into disco, but in the late ‘70s, the sound of Studio 54 was the sound of the time. So it made a lot of since for the band to make a disco cut, and they made one heck of one with “Boogie Wonderland,” which featured The Emotions and became a number six hit on the Pop charts in 1979.
In what would become EFW’s third Gold single, 1976’s “Getaway” was one heck of an R&B sonic groove. The instrumentation, Maurice White’s signature voice, and the group’s heavenly harmonies are what made “Getaway” one of the band’s best-known singles.
Listening to “Keep Your Head to the Sky,” you realize just how special their ballads were. “Keep Your Head to the Sky” is filled with the positive spirit that pervaded the group’s message, and if you’re a huge fan, this is one track that should be in your best-of playlist.
Though EWF was a mainstream R&B band, they could get their funk on as well. Take “Mighty Mighty” for example, a fiery jam that found the band on top of their game and one that will get people of all ages up and be dancing to the beat.
EWF was a band filled with positivity, and the majority of their best songs contain strong messages of hope, strength, and keeping the faith. All three of those attributes were rolled into one on “Shining Star,” a mid-tempo jam that is a favorite among many Element fans.
For those who have listened to EWF, you will realize that they were one of the few R&B/funk bands to incorporate a world beat to their sound. The sonic uniqueness of “Serpentine Fire” was Exhibit A of just how well they incorporated different beats to hone their sound.
This is the single that perfectly sums up the Earth, Wind and Fire sound. The mid-tempo lushness of “September” grooves enough to get folks to the dance floor, and is sentimental enough for fans to understand just how special EFW was to music.