The idea for the formation of Earth, Wind & Fire was conceived by the veteran session drummer, Maurice White. Maurice gained recognition with the 1975 hit ‘Sun Goddess,’ which he wrote when he was a member of the Ramsey Lewis Trio. During his stint with the trio, he learnt to play and experiment with instruments like the kalimba, which later went on to become an Earth, Wind & Fire’s trademark.
In late 1969, Maurice moved to Los Angeles where he assembled a number of musicians to bring Earth, Wind & Fire to life. In 1973, the band scored their first hits with tracks like ‘Keep Your Head to the Sky’ and ‘Evil.’ These were followed by another string of popular singles including ‘Mighty, Mighty’ and the R&B top hit ‘Kalimba Story.’ Having occupied prominent spots on the charts, the musicians embarked on a touring expedition which further increased their exposure and fan following.
In 1975, Earth, Wind & Fire came up with a song that marked their entry into the mainstream music circuit. This was when a film producer approached them to compose music for the film ‘That’s the Way of the World’. The ensemble produced the single ‘Shining Star,’ which climbed its way to the top of the R&B and pop charts. The commercial popularity of the song, followed by positive reviews and the prestigious Grammy honor proved that Earth, Wind & Fire had indeed arrived. The band continued its swift sail to success with multi-platinum records like ‘Gratitude,’ ‘All’n All,’ ‘Spirit’ and ‘I Am.’
Hiatus and Reunion
Over the following years, Earth, Wind & Fire included electro funk and disco genres into their repertoire in order to stay abreast with the contemporary trends of the industry. However, due to the rise of the hip hop, jazz and R&B bands took a back seat. This led to the band members parting ways and venturing into different directions. Maurice got involved in the production side of the music business while Philip Bailey went on to launch his solo music career.
After a four years hiatus, Earth, Wind & Fire bounced back in 1987 with the hit album ‘Touch the World.’ The collection comprised hit R&B singles like ‘Thinking of You’ and ‘System of Survival.’ The band released a number of records over the following years. These include ‘Heritage,’ ‘Millennium,’ ‘Illumination’ and ‘The Promise.’
The ensemble has recently released their new record ‘Then, Now and Forever.’ The collection is an innovative blend of the old and new styles played by the musicians.
The Live Performers
During the 70s, the live shows by Earth, Wind & Fire were particularly famous for the special magic tricks employed by the performers. It is the first African-American band to have sold out the Madison Square Garden and received the MSG Gold Ticket Award. They were even invited by the US President Barack Obama for a performance at the first social event of the new administration. The group is once again set to unleash the long known magic of their live performances, for which Earth, Wind & Fire tickets are available.