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Thread started 03/12/18 4:18pm

mrwiggles

In a heavy EWF mode

So I was never really a fan of the band. Yeah I grooved along with a few of the hit singles but never dove really deeply. I picked up Maurice White's memoirs last week.
I gotta give him his props on what he accomplished and the band must have my total respect. The uplifting spiritual vibe was like nothing else in music.
I also find it ironic that as much as he championed clean living, diet, all of that. He got sick and is no longer with us. It's all a total crap shoot.

That being said, I'm finding that I can only get to 'em in small bits. After a while I grow tired of the sound. I get bored with it. It comes off as somewhat formulatic, like it's designed to hit pop. I know it's a musically rich stew, but for some reason it hits me more as "product" after repeated listenings.

Although the story of White and his band makes for an incredible read, I find Clinton and PF a much more compelling and challenging listen.
[Edited 3/12/18 16:21pm]
[Edited 3/12/18 16:24pm]
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Reply #1 posted 03/12/18 4:24pm

Hamad

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All the bands you mentioned are great in their own right and they balanced each other very well. I think you need to listen again, I love Rotary Connection but I think Charles Stepney made his best production when he produced those EWF albums prior to his passing.

One of my fave "chores day" songs smile

Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future...
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Reply #2 posted 03/12/18 4:24pm

luv4u

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omg EW&F one of my all time fave groups cool

Edmonton, AB - canada

Ohh purple joy oh purple bliss oh purple rapture!
REAL MUSIC by REAL MUSICIANS - Prince
"I kind of wish there was a reason for Prince to make the site crash more" ~~ Ben
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Reply #3 posted 03/12/18 4:47pm

RJOrion

eek eek eek eek eek eek

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Reply #4 posted 03/12/18 4:50pm

SoulAlive

Earth Wind and Fire music is timeless.Their music is an intriguing mix of funk,R&B,pop,jazz,along with African and Latin influences.The messages in their music are so uplifting and spiritual....makes you feel good! It’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite EW&F album but I would say that ‘All N’All’ is truly one of their most inspired and most interesting albums.
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Reply #5 posted 03/12/18 4:53pm

SoulAlive

Maurice’s book was so good,I didn’t want it to end! I enjoyed reading his thoughts and memories.One of the best autobiographies that I ever read.
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Reply #6 posted 03/12/18 5:04pm

RJOrion

SoulAlive said:

Earth Wind and Fire music is timeless.Their music is an intriguing mix of funk,R&B,pop,jazz,along with African and Latin influences.The messages in their music are so uplifting and spiritual....makes you feel good! It’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite EW&F album but I would say that ‘All N’All’ is truly one of their most inspired and most interesting albums.

yessir... top 5 EWF lps

1. All N All

2. Spirit

3. Faces

4. Thats The Way Of The World

5. I Am

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Reply #7 posted 03/12/18 5:39pm

mrwiggles

SoulAlive said:

Maurice’s book was so good,I didn’t want it to end! I enjoyed reading his thoughts and memories.One of the best autobiographies that I ever read.


Yes the book was something else, I literally could....not...put...it...down. I finished that mugg in two days. The stuff he overcame to bring this group to fruition and to the world is amazing. I'm going to keep trying to crack the grooves. So far I am partial to everything Up thru 1977. After that it starts to wane on me although I really dig the Faces LP.
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Reply #8 posted 03/12/18 5:49pm

RJOrion

SoulAlive said:

Maurice’s book was so good,I didn’t want it to end! I enjoyed reading his thoughts and memories.One of the best autobiographies that I ever read.

Maurice's book was great no doubt, n=but Philip Bailey's book was even better... Bailey's book had more inside band stories while Maurice stuck to the facts and bios mainly about him self...Philip shed more light on some of the interpersonal relationships between band members than Maurice did, making for more salacious tales...

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Reply #9 posted 03/12/18 6:21pm

mrwiggles

RJOrion said:



SoulAlive said:


Maurice’s book was so good,I didn’t want it to end! I enjoyed reading his thoughts and memories.One of the best autobiographies that I ever read.



Maurice's book was great no doubt, n=but Philip Bailey's book was even better... Bailey's book had more inside band stories while Maurice stuck to the facts and bios mainly about him self...Philip shed more light on some of the interpersonal relationships between band members than Maurice did, making for more salacious tales...



I read Philip's book first. It was interesting getting both perspectives. Maurice seemed to open up his mind to me more. I finally "got it" about what the band was about.
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Reply #10 posted 03/12/18 6:49pm

RJOrion

mrwiggles said:

SoulAlive said:
Maurice’s book was so good,I didn’t want it to end! I enjoyed reading his thoughts and memories.One of the best autobiographies that I ever read.
Yes the book was something else, I literally could....not...put...it...down. I finished that mugg in two days. The stuff he overcame to bring this group to fruition and to the world is amazing. I'm going to keep trying to crack the grooves. So far I am partial to everything Up thru 1977. After that it starts to wane on me although I really dig the Faces LP.

yeah bro...Faces is definitely the best post 78 lp by EWF.... after that lp, Al McKay (guitar), Johnny Graham (guitar) and Larry Dunn all left the group, and McKay and Dunn were major co-writers with Maurice for EWF and The Emotions and Deniece Williams ...when those 3 left, and b4 that, when co producer Charles Stepney died in 76, they lost key memebers of their band and production team...they never sounded like EW&F again after 1983...too many core members had left, and Maurice had started chasing trends and trying to fit in with much younger artists and fans

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Reply #11 posted 03/12/18 7:12pm

HatrinaHaterwi
tz

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Note to self...add Maurice White's book to your summer reading list. That is all. cool

"Too bad for Hell...too good to let Heaven raise him."

He's Mine!
[youtube] https://youtu.be/zJhadIvu9QA [/youtube]

Always has been...always will be!
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Reply #12 posted 03/12/18 7:19pm

purplethunder3
121

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I've been a huge fan of EW&F since the '70s and remain one. I didn't their later work as compelling but I still listen to their classic albums on a regular basis.

There's no them...there's only us...
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Reply #13 posted 03/12/18 7:21pm

Hamad

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Yeah now I'm intrigued

Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future...
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Reply #14 posted 03/12/18 8:28pm

SoulAlive

^^ to those of you who haven’t read Maurice’s book,order a copy NOW! The book is excellent!! I highly recommend it.
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Reply #15 posted 03/12/18 10:09pm

morningsong

^. OK!
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Reply #16 posted 03/12/18 11:06pm

lool

'The Best of Earth Wind & Fire, Vol. 1' was a one of a handful of albums my aunt who pretty much raised me would play all the time starting when I was a toddler. First the 8-track. When that got eaten by the player, the LP...then the cassette. She never would upgrade to CDs. Now I have it in mp3 format. I've added a few personal favorite EWF tracks and essential hits to my playlist that precede and proceed that 1978 compilation but the core tracklisting remains unchanged. She's gone but I can't not listen to EWF and not get emotional.
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Reply #17 posted 03/12/18 11:18pm

lool

Sidenote... On the latest episode of his podcast (the one featuring Greg Phillinganes), Questlove voices his suspicions that EWF (or at least some key member(s)) did not play on the actual studio recordings. lurking
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Reply #18 posted 03/13/18 12:37am

RJOrion

lool said:

Sidenote... On the latest episode of his podcast (the one featuring Greg Phillinganes), Questlove voices his suspicions that EWF (or at least some key member(s)) did not play on the actual studio recordings. lurking



i know Johnny Graham himself admitted that 95% of the guitar parts were arranged and played by Al McKay even though they were equally credited for guitar parts on the liner notes...one of the reasons Al McKay left first, right after the "Faces" lp...he felt like Maurice wasnt giving him his proper writing and production credits (and money) for EWF and Emotions joints he helped build...their sound was never the same again without his trademark rhythm guitar riffs and jazzy solos...they started going away from their organic tribal and rhythmic influences and started producing more synthesized plastic music....it broke my heart to buy albums like "Electric Universe", and "Heritage", and "Powerlight", and hear Earth Wind & Fire struggle to stay relevant when the people that made them great had left, and Maurice White was suffering with Parkinsons until he couldnt even tour or appear in public much anymore ... so sad for me...i idolized those dudes as a teenager and into early adulthood...they (and later Prince) were the soundtrack of my coming of age years...
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Reply #19 posted 03/13/18 12:53am

SoulAlive

RJOrion said:

it broke my heart to buy albums like "Electric Universe", and "Heritage", and "Powerlight"

I actually like alot of their 80s work boxed smile I think Powerlight was a weak album overall,but at least it had two great singles ("Fall In Love With Me" and "Side By Side").

I even like Electric Universe eek smile it was a bold new sound for EW&F,which I think they needed at that point.In his book,Maurice said "By 1983,I was getting bored with R&B".He mentions a few songs by other artists that he liked at the time (Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science" was one of them).I can understand the need to branch out and try something new.Songs like "Magnetic","Touch",and the ballads "We're Living In Our Own Time" and "Could It Be Right" are top-notch,imo.

I was also very impressed with their 1987 comeback album Touch The World.There's not a bad song on it.Their classic sound is updated nicely on this album.If only they had used this same formula for Heritage instead of jumping into New Jack Swing territory.Still,even that album has a handful of decent tracks.

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Reply #20 posted 03/13/18 12:58am

SoulAlive

RJOrion said:

SoulAlive said:

Earth Wind and Fire music is timeless.Their music is an intriguing mix of funk,R&B,pop,jazz,along with African and Latin influences.The messages in their music are so uplifting and spiritual....makes you feel good! It’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite EW&F album but I would say that ‘All N’All’ is truly one of their most inspired and most interesting albums.

yessir... top 5 EWF lps

1. All N All

2. Spirit

3. Faces

4. Thats The Way Of The World

5. I Am

I think my Top 5 would look like this...

1)All N' All

2)That's The Way Of The World

3)Spirit

4)I Am

5)Touch The World

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Reply #21 posted 03/13/18 1:54am

SoulAlive

I love the April 6,1974 California Jam performance.This was a year before their 1975 breakthrough....they were on their way.

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Reply #22 posted 03/13/18 2:02am

SoulAlive

"Getaway" has always been a special song to me.I was a kid when this came out and it reminds me of those wonderful,lazy Saturdays in the 70s biggrin a time when funk was king,lol....it's a song that truly sounds like 1976,if you know what I mean.It captures the excitement and vibe of that era.

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Reply #23 posted 03/13/18 2:18am

mrwiggles

Wow this thread is giving me some great stuff. What actually started me down this road was funknstuff's recent excellent 3 part interview with Larry Dunn on YouTube.
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Reply #24 posted 03/13/18 7:37am

kitbradley

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EW&F - THE greatest Funk band, ever! Period!

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #25 posted 03/13/18 9:02am

NorthC

mrwiggles said:

So I was never really a fan of the band. Yeah I grooved along with a few of the hit singles but never dove really deeply. I picked up Maurice White's memoirs last week.
I gotta give him his props on what he accomplished and the band must have my total respect. The uplifting spiritual vibe was like nothing else in music.
I also find it ironic that as much as he championed clean living, diet, all of that. He got sick and is no longer with us. It's all a total crap shoot.

That being said, I'm finding that I can only get to 'em in small bits. After a while I grow tired of the sound. I get bored with it. It comes off as somewhat formulatic, like it's designed to hit pop. I know it's a musically rich stew, but for some reason it hits me more as "product" after repeated listenings.

Although the story of White and his band makes for an incredible read, I find Clinton and PF a much more compelling and challenging listen.
[Edited 3/12/18 16:21pm]
[Edited 3/12/18 16:24pm]

Agreed! They went for a "light" sound and it payed of with a lot of hits- when I saw them at North Sea Jazz somewhere in the 90s, the place was packed and it was one hit after another and they do it very well, but yeah, it's a little too close to pop and disco to be fffon-kaaayy...
Prince is one of the very few artists who managed to make compelling and challenging music and be commercially succesful at the same time.
I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
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Reply #26 posted 03/13/18 9:52am

RJOrion

SoulAlive said:

I love the April 6,1974 California Jam performance.This was a year before their 1975 breakthrough....they were on their way.








word...theres a video of them playing "Keep Your Head To The Sky", from the same show and Philip Bailey is just killin it...better than the record...LOL at Johnny Graham in that damn shiny Pimp Santa Claus suit in April...
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Reply #27 posted 03/13/18 9:55am

RJOrion

kitbradley said:

EW&F - THE greatest Funk band, ever! Period!




id even say they were the greatest band period...the 1973 - 1980 configuration of the band...
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Reply #28 posted 03/13/18 10:50am

SoulAlive

Gratitude has got to be one of the greatest 'live' albums of all time.....just incredible!

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Reply #29 posted 03/13/18 1:14pm

RJOrion

SoulAlive said:

Gratitude has got to be one of the greatest 'live' albums of all time.....just incredible!



it is...and the new studio tracks at the end, "Sunshine", "SingASong", "Celebrate", "Gratitude", "Cant Hide Love"...i wore them 2 lps out..."Celebrate" still sounds amazing...
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