1975, Music

That’s the Way of the World (1975) by Earth, Wind and Fire

This album is from a commission soundtrack. I have never seen the movie, FYI.

The thing that most impresses me about Earth Wind and Fire albums is how diverse they are. This is not a band I would normally like, I think, and that’s particularly true given which of their songs have become famous. I’m familiar with many of their hits and they just don’t do much for me. But then I hear their albums and I’m legitimately impressed.

Some of this has to do with the size of the band, right? I mean there are a number of people contributing to songwriting here and the diversity of voices has to have something to do with the diversity of the music.  And I should emphasize that it’s actually not that diverse. Rather, they’re just really diverse for a ’70s soul band.

And that’s important for me because they’re kind of slick, otherwise. Though they do get funky that funky sound is definitely verging on disco at times. And their ballads in particular can be pretty smooth. But there enough other ideas here that it makes me okay with the slickness of the performances and production. So many other soul bands from the ’70s seemed to view “smooth” or slickness as an end in itself. But not these guys – they want the record to sound polished but they are going to have fun and fool around in the meantime.

I’d like this more if it had much of an edge at all. But I understand that this is not what they do. And I’m generally okay with that, given the relative diversity of sounds on these records. From memory I’d say this is maybe a little less diverse than some other records, but it’s been a fairly long time since I’ve heard the other two albums of theirs that I’ve heard.


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