Earth Wind and Fire: Now, Then and Forever (Sony Legacy)

 |   |  <1 min read

Earth Wind and Fire: Guiding Lights
Earth Wind and Fire: Now, Then and Forever (Sony Legacy)

The infectious horn-driven sound of EWF changed the coordinates of black music when founders Maurice and Verdine White envisioned a band crossing genres from soul and funk to pop, rock and Afro-inflected rhythm'n'blues.

Early on they brought in singer Philip Bailey and later drew from disco and electro-pop. This, their 21st studio album since 1971 and eight years since their last, is the first without Maurice White although Verdine, Bailey, longtime drummer Ralph Johnson and keyboard player Larry Dunn are present.

Although tweaking their dance-funk template, their signature sound remains.

In fact on the disco-funk of My Promise and Night of My Life, and the weightless ballads elevated by Bailey's falsetto and breathy background vocals (Guiding Lights) we could be back in '79 at their boogie wonderland.

But they add touches of musical colour (acoustic guitar and moog on the warm instrumental Belo Horizonte; congas, snapping bass and stuttering guitar on Dance Floor; tabla drums and astral synths on the dreamy Splashes) so within their style EWF bring something extra and different.

Some copies seamlessly include half a dozen earlier hits after the 10 new tracks to make an impressive package. Get that one.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various: Albums from the Smithsonian Folkways series (Folkways/Southbound)

Various: Albums from the Smithsonian Folkways series (Folkways/Southbound)

The Smithsonian is one of those great American institutions which, if it says "we're here to help" actually is. In their Smithsonian Folkways collection they have short audio examples of... > Read more

Joe Henry; Civilians (Anti/Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Joe Henry; Civilians (Anti/Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

With a small band, and guests Bill Frisell (on guitar) and Van Dyke Parks (piano), the much ignored Henry continues his singular path which owes a little to a less grumbly Tom Waits but remains... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

PIRANESI'S ENGRAVINGS: Exploring the dark discomforts of Roman ruins

PIRANESI'S ENGRAVINGS: Exploring the dark discomforts of Roman ruins

When the English author Thomas DeQuincey was describing nightmarish drug-induced visions in his early-19th-century autobiography Confessions of an English Opium Eater, he reflected on curious and... > Read more

Ziggy Marley: Wild and Free (Tuff Gong)

Ziggy Marley: Wild and Free (Tuff Gong)

After a faltering start with the Melody Makers, Ziggy (now 42) uncoupled his music from overly familiar reggae rhythms and incorporated African sounds, hooked up with rap artists, kept a... > Read more