Doing a 140: Earth, Wind & Fire

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Doing a 140: Earth, Wind & Fire

Okay, okay, we know “Doing a 140” doesn’t have even remotely the same ring as “Doing a 180,” but what can we tell you? These particular reissues are on 140-gram vinyl rather than 180-gram vinyl, so we felt like it was better to be factual. It’s just the right thing to do, you know? (Also, it’s the legal thing to do, so there’s that as well.)

Oh, and if you’ve looked at the words “Earth, Wind & Fire” and thought, “Ah, I’ve already got a best-of collection,” then reconsider your position at least long enough to keep reading, because you might be surprised at what you’ll learn.

Earth, Wind & Fire: You know how sometimes a band will put out an album and critics will say, “Forget everything you about them”? Well, you’ll want to do precisely that before you settle in to listen to Earth, Wind & Fire’s self-titled debut, which features a different lineup than the one which went on to such tremendous commercial success, although if you’re wondering, Maurice White is indeed still in the mix. He’s just not doing as much as you might be used to hearing him do: he’s mostly just playing drums and adding his voice to the overall mix. It’s a pretty remarkable album when you listen to it now, but it’s definitely a surprising sound compared to the big chart hits you’ve come to know and love. That said, you still might have heard the single, “Love is Life,” although it only hit #93 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #31 on the R&B Singles chart.

“Love Is Life”

The Need of Love: On the other hand, there’s somewhat less of a chance that you would’ve heard this album’s single, “I Think About Lovin’ You,” which stalled at #44 on the R&B Singles chart and didn’t even make it onto the Hot 100. In fact, The Need of Love was actually the second and final album for EW&F before the group disbanded. Yes, you read that correctly: everyone but Maurice and Verdine White left, leaving Maurice to effectively rebuild the group from the ground up. Fortunately, the new foundation features Philip Bailey, and we all know what a great decision that turned out to be.

“I Think About Lovin’ You”