Earth, Wind & Fire (EW&F or EWF) are an American band who have spanned the musical genres of jazz, R&B, soul, funk, disco, pop, EDM, Latin, and Afro pop. They have been described as one of the most innovative and are among the most commercially successful acts in history. With sales of over 90 million records, they are one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.
The band was founded in Chicago by Maurice White in 1969, having grown out of a previous band known as the Salty Peppers. Other prominent members of EWF have included Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Ralph Johnson, Larry Dunn, Al McKay, Roland Bautista, Robert Brookins, Sonny Emory, Fred Ravel, Ronnie Laws, Sheldon Reynolds and Andrew Woolfolk. The band is known for its kalimba sound, dynamic horn section, energetic and elaborate stage shows, and the contrast between Philip Bailey’s falsetto vocals and Maurice White’s baritone.
The band has won 6 Grammys from their 17 nominations and four American Music Awards out of 12 nominations. They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame, and Hollywood’s Rockwalk, in addition to receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The band has also received an ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award, BET Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Soul Train Legend Award, as well as a NARAS Signature Governor’s Award, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2012 Congressional Horizon Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2019. Rolling Stone called them “innovative, precise yet sensual, calculated yet galvanizing” and declared that the band “changed the sound of black pop”. VH1 has also described EWF as “one of the greatest bands” ever. (wikipedia)
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, and improvise like a jazz fusion outfit. Their stage shows were often 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 the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the early days of Sly & the Family Stone. Tying it all together was the accomplished songwriting of Maurice White, whose intricate, unpredictable arrangements and firm grasp of hooks and structure made EWF one of the tightest bands in funk. Not everything they tried worked, but at their best, Earth, Wind & Fire seemingly took all that came before them and wrapped it up into one dizzying, spectacular package. (by Steve Huey)
And here´s a nice compilation with many of their hits.
Not my kind of music but ouf course a very important part of Rock & Funk in the hsitory of music !
various Earth, Wind & ire line-ups
01. September (M.White/McKay/Willis) (1978) 3.35
02. Let’s Groove (M.White/Vaughn) (1981) 4.03
03. Got To Get You Into My Life (single version) (Lennon/McCartney) (1978) 4.01
04. Serpentine Fire (M.White/V.White/Burke) (1977) 3.51
05. Getaway (album version) (Taylor/Cor) (1976) 3.44
06. Electricnation (M.White/Page/Fairweather) (1983) 4.31
07. Let Me Talk (album version) (M.White/Bailey/V.White/Dunn/McKay/Johnson) (1980) 4.07
08. Runnin’ (album version) (M.White/Dunn/Barrio) (1977) 5.52
09. Kalimba Story (album version) (M.White/A.White/Verdine) (1974) 4.02
10. I’m In Love (Hill/Spears/Young) (1990) 3.51
11. Be Ever Wonderful (M.White/Dunn) (1977) 5.07
12. Could It Be Right (album version) (M.White/Willis/Foster) (1983) 5.19
01. Boogie Wonderland (Lind/Willis) (1979) 4.44
02. Fantasy (M.White/Barrio/V.White) (1977) 3.44
03. Shining Star (M.White/Bailey) (1975) 2.52
04. Star (album version) (M.White/Willis/Barrio) (1979) 4.21
05. Moonwalk (Foster/O`Connor) (1983) 4.09
06. Sing A Song (album version) (M.White/McKay) (1975) 3.21
07. Touch (Lind/Page) (1983) 4.54
08. Miracles (M.White/Lind/Barrio/D´Astugues) (1982) 4.57
09. Reasons (M.White/Stepney/Bailey) (1975) 4.53
10. I’ll Write A Song For You (McKay/Bailey/Beckmeier) (1977) 5.19
11. Daydreamin’ (Hill/Spears/Young/M.White) (1990) 3.57
12. Song In My Heart (M.White/Glenn/Russell) (1980) 4.17
The official website: