Earth, Wind & Fire - Earth, Wind & Fire, Warner Bros - 1971
Mr. Mulligan back again with my WNFC Record of the Week from Earth, Wind & Fire. When I say EWF, the first thing that probably pops into your mind are their late 70 hits “September” and “Boogie Wonderland”…but let’s go back to the beginning.
Maurice White, along with his brother Verdine founded EWF in 1969. Before this, Maurice was a session drummer in Chicago for the Cadet/Chess record label in the 60s later joining up with the Ramsey Lewis Trio (that’s him playing on Lewis’ “Mother Nature’s Son”, a favorite you will likely see on this blog soon) Leaving the trio in 1969, he formed another group called the Salty Peppers but things never really panned out. A few months later, the group transformed into EWF and headed out to Los Angeles where they signed with Warner Bros.
This is a fantastic album with a harder funk sound than you would find with the later Columbia recordings. The track I picked “Moment of Truth” has a bit of a Sly & The Family Stone flavor to it. Hip Hop Heads may recognize it as the sample behind LL Cool J’s “Murdergram” from the Mama Said Knock You Out album. EFW’s first offering is filled with other great tracks like C’mon Children and Bad Tune (White playing the kalimba, just a sneak preview of what was to come)
EWF recorded one more album for Warner Bros before jumping over to Columbia and putting out successful albums like “That’s the Way of the World” and “I Am”.
Join me next week for another album, and remember to catch WNFC this Saturday at 6pm on 101.5 UMFM. Listen online, too! www.umfm.com