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Earth, Wind & Fire

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ja:アース・ウィンド・アンド・ファイアー sv:Earth, Wind & Fire de:Earth, Wind and Fire Earth, Wind & Fire is a legendary American funk band, formed in Chicago in 1969. Led by Maurice White, they are best known for their hits of the 1970s, among them "After the Love is Gone", "Reasons" and "Shining Star".

Contents

History

Early years

Bandleader Maurice White began his recording career as a session drummer, working for Chess Records. After spending time as a member of the Ramsey Lewis Trio, he formed a band called The Salty Peppers and signed to Capitol Records, releasing a regionally successful single called "La La Time".

White moved his band to Los Angeles, California and changed its name to "Earth, Wind & Fire". Their self-titled debut album, Earth, Wind & Fire, was released in 1970 to great critical acclaim, as was The Need of Love (1971). However, neither album was commercially successful.

In 1972, White dissolved the line-up (minus himself and brother Verdine White), and added Jessica Cleaves (vocals),Ronnie Laws (flute, saxophone), Larry Dunn (keyboard), Ralph Johnson (percussion) and Philip Bailey (vocals, formerly of Friends & Love). The new line-up was signed to CBS Records by Clive Davis and released Last Days and Time without much success. At this time, Claves, Lawsm and Bautista left the band, and Andrew Woolfolk, Al McKay, and Johnny Graham were added to the lineup. The Keep Your Head to the Sky album (1973) was a moderate success, but 1974's Open Our Eyes was a major hit.

Breakthrough success

Earth, Wind & Fire's true breakthrough, however, came in the form of the soundtrack to That's the Way of the World in 1975. Though the film was not a success, the song "Shining Star" became a huge mainstream hit and launched the band's career.

Also in 1975, Earth, Wind & Fire released Gratitude, a live album which featured performances of singles from previous albums such as "Sun Goddess" with jazz legend Ramsey Lewis, "Shining Star", and the quiet storm classic "Reasons". New studio hits such as "Sing A Song" and "Can't Hide Love" were also included.

Earth Wind & Fire released Spirit in 1976; and had hits with singles such as "Getaway" and "Imagine." In 1977, the group released another classic album, All 'N All, featuring songs such as "I Write A Song", "Serpentine Fire", "Love's Holiday" and the pop hit "Fantasy." Not long after its release, producer and songwriter Charles Stepney died of a heart attack.

Two years later, the band released the critically acclaimed I Am with the mainstream ballad "After The Love Is Gone". After the releases of Faces (1980) and Raise! (1981), which featured the popular single "Let's Groove", the band's success started to wane. White disbanded Earth, Wind & Fire in 1983 after Electric Universe was released to poor sales and reviews.

Later years

A 1987 Earth, Wind & Fire reunion was a mild success, but the band was never able to return to the kind of success they had achieved in the 1970s. The band continued to periodically release new albums, including 1990's Heritage and 1993's Millennium.

In 1993, saxonphonist Don Myrick was fatally shot by the Los Angeles Police Department in a case of mistaken identity. Five years later, Maurice White announced that he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

Maurice White released two new Earth, Wind & Fire albums on his own label, Kalimba Records, in 2002: Live In Rio, a live album from a 1980 tour, and The Promise, the band's first all-new studio album in six years. The Promise received good reveiws upon its release, and was first issued in the United States and Japan; it was issued in Europe in early 2004.

In the summer of 2004, Earth, Wind & Fire signed an exlusive record deal with Sanctuary Urban Records Group, owned by Matthew Knowles, father and manager of pop star Beyonc. A new album, Illumination, is scheduled for release June 28, 2005. The albums first single is "Show Me the Way", featuring Raphael Saadiq [1] (http://www.philipbailey.com/).

Earth Wind & Fire were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003.

Discography

See also

External link

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