Let's Groove

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For the song by Archie Bell & the Drells, see Dance Your Troubles Away.
"Let's Groove"
Single by Earth, Wind & Fire
from the album Raise!
B-side "Let's Groove" (Instrumental)
Released October 21, 1981
Recorded 1981
Genre Post-disco,[1] funk[2]
Length 5:35 (album version)
4:01 (radio version)
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Maurice White, Wayne Vaughn
Producer(s) Maurice White
Earth, Wind & Fire singles chronology
"And Love Goes On"
(1981)
"Let's Groove"
(1981)
"Wanna Be with You"
(1982)
Audio sample
file info · help

"Let's Groove" is a song performed by American group Earth, Wind & Fire, taken from their studio album Raise!. Written by Maurice White and Wayne Vaughn (with additional production by White), the song was chosen as the first single from the studio album. Within the late '70s and early '80s, the disco music genre was receiving severe backlash within hate groups and anti-disco campaigns. Within this period, the band decided to revive the disco sound that was later included on their previous works and records. Musically, "Let's Groove" is a post-disco and funk song which includes instrumentation of synthesizers and keyboards along with live electric guitars.

Originally, "Let's Groove" received mixed reviews from music critics, where many praised its catchiness, while some felt it was generic within its timeline of the disco era. However, many contemporary reviews have been well-received, many citing it as memorable and a great disco influenced song. The song was a commercial success, with it being their highest-charting single in various territories. The song peaked inside the top twenty in countries including the United States, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada and other component charts in America.

Background and composition[edit]

Prior to the production of Raise! and the song, the group had started to revive contemporary disco and funk music, as it declined within the late 70s. While the band's albums I Am (1979) and Faces were critically and commercially acclaimed for reviving disco influenced composition, this was the same exact era where disco music was in fear of scrutiny and criticism. By the late 1970s, a strong anti-disco sentiment developed among rock fans and musicians, particularly in the United States.[3][4] The punk subculture in the United States and United Kingdom was often hostile towards disco.[3] Eventually, when the group released I Am which included strong disco elements, July 12, 1979 became known as "the day disco died" because of Disco Demolition Night, an anti-disco demonstration in a baseball double-header at Comiskey Park in Chicago.[5]

Musically, "Let's Groove" is recognized as a post-disco song, due to its heavy electronic production that is handled by synthesizers, keyboards and electric guitars.[1] According to White, he said after its release "It's really just knowing the feelings and fundamentals involved in producing a hit. Just like writing a story. It's not less honest than a piece of jazz. Take the new record, 'Lets Groove.' It's real honest. We just went in and done it - a natural giving thing. Just saying, Hey man, enjoy this with me. Share this with us."[6]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

"Let's Groove" received mixed reviews upon its release. Ed Hogan from AllMusic gave the song a separate review and was mixed to favorable. He said, "He brought in guitarist Roland Bautista and began co-writing, with Emotions member Wanda Vaughn and her husband Wayne Vaughn, a song that reflected the then-emerging electronic sound of the '80s. Not to be confused with the same-named hit by Archie Bell & the Drells, "Let's Groove" certainly was a change. Starting off with a robotic-sounding vocoder riff, it served up a more gritty-sounding EWF for the '80s, laced with Brecker Brothers-supplied horn blasts that rival those of EWF's 1976 gold single 'Getaway'."[7] However, reviewing from the parent album, William Ruhlmann gave it a more less positive remark, calling it a recycled mid-tempo tune from the mid-'70s, and everything else sounded desultory and uninspired. He, however, highlighted as an album standout.[8]

More recent reviews have been more acclaimed. Maxine Nelson from Yahoo! Voices listed the song at number 10 on the Top 10 Earth, Wind & Fire Songs list, saying "This is a classic EWF funky dance song."[9] Soultrain.com gave it a positive review while celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2011, stating "“Let’s Groove” has cinched such a nostalgic place in musical history that it is undeniably worthy of being honored [...]"[10] While reviewing Now, Then & Forever, Daniel Falconer said "Eager fans will want to indulge in the deluxe version of the compilation, which includes the timeless disco and soul anthem classics 'Boogie Wonderland', 'Let's Groove', 'September', 'After The Love Has Gone', 'Fantasy' and 'Shining Star'."[11]

"Let's Groove" was nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.[12]

Commercial response[edit]

The song peaked at number three in the US and in the UK[13] It also spent eight weeks at number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart in late 1981 and early 1982 and was the second R&B song of 1982 on the year-end charts.[14]

The single sold over a million copies in the US and has been certified gold by the RIAA as until the RIAA lowered the sales levels for certified singles in 1989, a Gold single equaled 1 million units sold. "Let's Groove" was also certified silver in the UK by the British Phonographic Industry.[15]

Music video[edit]

The music video of "Let's Groove" was the first video ever to be played on Video Soul on BET.[16] The video, rich with vintage electronic effects, was created by Ron Hays using the Scanimate analog computer system at Image West, Ltd.[17]

The whole style of the music video was later resembled and influenced by Bruno Mars's Treasure.[18]

Accolades[edit]

Year Publication Country Accolade Rank
1981 NME UK[19] Singles of the Year 16

Charts and sales[edit]

Preceded by
"Take My Heart (You Can Have It If You Want It)" by Kool & the Gang
US Billboard Hot Soul Singles number-one single
November 28, 1981 – January 16, 1982 (8 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Turn Your Love Around" by George Benson

CDB version[edit]

"Let's Groove"
Single by CDB
from the album Glide with Me
Released 1995
Format CD
Recorded 1995
Genre Pop, R&B
Length 4:17
Label Sony Music
Certification Platinum (in Australia)[48]
CDB singles chronology
"Hey Girl (This Is Our Time)"
(1994)
"Let's Groove"
(1995)
"Don't Stop"
(1996)

The song was covered in 1995 by the Australian R&B band CDB, where it went platinum reaching number two in the Australian Singles Chart and number one in New Zealand chart.

Tracklist[49]
  1. "Let's Groove"
  2. "You Will Be Mine"
  3. "Let's Groove" (Summer Groove)
  4. "Let's Groove" (Instrumental)
Year Single details Peak chart positions
AUS
[50]
NZL
[51]
1995 Let's Groove 2 1
Preceded by
"How Bizarre" by OMC
New Zealand number-one single
February 18, 1996 – March 3, 1996 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Wonderwall" by Oasis

Other covers and samples[edit]

The song has been sampled by Italian electro house music DJ and producer Benny Benassi on the track "Put Your Hands Up" which was featured on his album Hypnotica.[52]

Another cover was made by Marcia Hines in 2006.[53]

The band B5 also made a remix of the song.

Vitrico also sampled this in 'Coconut'.

Mexican hip hop band Calo uses like a musical core in their song "La Taquiza"

Appearances in other media[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jones, David Allun. "Rio en Medio "Let’s groove (Earth Wind & Fire cover)"/ Peggy Sue "All n my grill (Missy Elliott cover)"". Mixtape Maestro. Retrieved July 3, 2013. "EWF managed to score one last great hurrah with 1981′s feel-good “Let’s Groove”, a post-disco disco epic carefully crafted to reference the band’s previously winning sound" 
  2. ^ Kringel, Chris (2004). Hal Leonard Funk Bass: A Guide To The Styles And Techniques Of Funk Bass, Including 20 Great Bass Jams To Study And Play. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 978-0-6340-6710-5. 
  3. ^ a b "R&B » Contemporary R&B » Disco". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Culture, ISBN 978-0-415-16161-9, ISBN 978-0-415-16161-9 (2001) p. 217: "In fact, by 1977, before punk spread, there was a 'disco sucks' movement sponsored by radio stations that attracted some suburban white youth, who thought that disco was escapist, synthetic, and overproduced."
  5. ^ Campion (2009), pp. 82–84.
  6. ^ "Let's Groove by Earth, Wind & Fire". Songfacts. Retrieved October 30, 2009. 
  7. ^ Hogan, Ed. "Earth, Wind & Fire – Let's Groove". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  8. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Earth, Wind & Fire – Raise!". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ Nelson, Maxine (December 29, 2009). "Top 10 Earth, Wind & Fire Songs". Yahoo! Voices. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  10. ^ Ali-Coleman, Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman (August 22, 2012). "Turning 30: Earth, Wind and Fire’s "Let’s Groove"". Soul Train. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  11. ^ Falconer, Daniel (October 15, 2013). "Earth, Wind & Fire - 'Now, Then & Forever' - Album Review". Female First. First Active Media. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  12. ^ Bio - Awards at the Wayback Machine (archived March 7, 2009). Billboard. Earthwindandfire.com. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  13. ^ [[Maury Dean|Dean, Maury]] (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 289. ISBN 0-87586-207-1. 
  14. ^ a b Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – 1982 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 11, 2007). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Ron Hays Music – Image 1982 demo reel. YouTube. Retrieved April 11, 2010. 
  18. ^ Ron. Bruno Mars Represents Earth, Wind & Fire In “Treasure” Video at the Wayback Machine (archived October 19, 2013). iAmBoiGenius.. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  19. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire – Let's Groove". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
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  23. ^ "RPM Top Singles." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  24. ^ (French) "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste". InfoDisc. Select "Earth, Wind & Fire" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  25. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  26. ^ (Italian) "I singoli più venduti del 1982". Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Earth, Wind & Fire - Let's Groove search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  28. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Earth, Wind & Fire – Let's Groove" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  29. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Earth, Wind & Fire – Let's Groove". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  30. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (E)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  31. ^ (Spanish) Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  32. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  33. ^ a b c "Raise! – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  34. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending DECEMBER 12, 1981 at the Wayback Machine (archived September 17, 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  35. ^ RECORD WORLD 1981 at the Wayback Machine (archived May 9, 2006). Record World. Geocities.com. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
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  37. ^ (French) "TOP – 1981". Top-france.fr. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  38. ^ (Dutch) "Single Top 100 1981" (PDF). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  39. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1981". Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  40. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1981 at the Wayback Machine (archived September 18, 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  41. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  42. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 37, No. 19, December 25 1982". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  43. ^ (Italian) "I singoli più venduti del 1982". Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1982". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  45. ^ "Top Disco/Dance Singles/Albums". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media) 94 (51): 36. December 25, 1982. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  46. ^ "British single certifications – Earth, Wind & Fire – Let's Groove". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Let's Groove in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  47. ^ "American single certifications – Earth, Wind & Fire – Let_s Groove". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  48. ^ "Australian Fun Countdowns – Accreditation Awards". Australian Fun Countdowns. April 7, 2011. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  49. ^ "Let's Groove by CDB". Rate Your Music. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  50. ^ "Australian-charts.com – CDB – Let's Groove". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  51. ^ "Charts.org.nz – CDB – Let's Groove". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  52. ^ "Benny Benassi's Put Your Hands Up sample of Earth, Wind & Fire's Let's Groove". WhoSampled. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  53. ^ Song: Let's Groove at the Wayback Machine (archived August 25, 2012). SecondHandSongs. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  54. ^ "Earth Wind & Fire – IMDb". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  55. ^ Westwood, Wild Willie. "The Secrets of "That's My Bush"". Spscriptorium.com. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  56. ^ "Let's Groove". Marketplace.xbox.com. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  57. ^ "La nuit au musée 2 (2009) – Soundtracks". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 

External links[edit]