Earth, Wind & Fire (album)

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Earth, Wind & Fire
Earth, Wind & Fire - Earth, Wind & Fire.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 1971
StudioSunset Sound Studios, Hollywood
GenreFunk, soul, psychedelic soul
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerJoe Wissert
Earth, Wind & Fire chronology
Earth, Wind & Fire
The Need of Love

Earth, Wind & Fire is the self-titled debut studio album by the band Earth, Wind & Fire, released in February 1971 by Warner Bros. Records.[1] The album got to No. 24 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[3]
Village Voice(C+)[4]
Rolling Stone(favourable)[5]
Detroit Free Press(favourable)[7]

Reviewing the album in 1971, Lester Bangs of Rolling Stone applauded the music's "heavy Sly influence", with "rippling flute streams" and "highball bop" being present throughout.[5] The Village Voice critic Robert Christgau was ambivalent towards the album's various musical "cross-references", including "the expert vocal harmonies [that] neither fit the concept nor assert any personality of their own", and said that even its successful songs have "a way of slipping away unnoticed once the record is over".[4] As well AllMusic editor John Bush gave the album four-and-a-half out of five stars and complimented its songs' "freewheeling arrangements".[3] Bush found the songwriting "as strong and focused as the musicianship" and praised the songs' social context, noting "unerringly positive compositions, reflecting the influence of the civil rights movement with nearly every song urging love, community, and knowledge as alternatives to the increasing hopelessness plaguing American society".[3] Billboard also noted "soul oriented rhythms and harmonies" on the album with songs which encourages one "to move on the dance floor".[6]


The track "Love Is Life" reached No. 43 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart.[8][9]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Help Somebody"Wade Flemons, Maurice White, Don Whitehead3:37
2."Moment of Truth"Wade Flemons, Maurice White, Don Whitehead3:08
3."Love Is Life"Wade Flemons, Maurice White, Don Whitehead5:02
4."Fan the Fire"Wade Flemons, Maurice White, Don Whitehead4:59
Side two
5."C'mon Children"Michael Beal, Wade Flemons, Maurice White, Verdine White, Don Whitehead3:08
6."This World Today"Wade Flemons, Maurice White, Don Whitehead3:33
7."Bad Tune"Michael Beal, Wade Flemons, Maurice White, Verdine White, Don Whitehead4:31




  • Producer: Joe Wissert
  • Recording engineer: Bruce Botnick
  • Arranger: Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Horn arrangements: Leslie Drayton
  • Art direction: Ed Thrasher
  • Design: Mary Ann Dibs
  • Artwork: Russ Smith


AlbumBillboard (United States)

Year Chart Position
1971 Black Albums 24
Pop Albums 172

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
France (SNEP)[11] Gold 100,000[10]


  1. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire: Earth, Wind & Fire".
  2. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire: Earth, Wind & Fire (Top Soul Albums)".
  3. ^ a b c Bush, John (August 1, 2003). "Earth, Wind & Fire: Earth, Wind & Fire".
  4. ^ a b "Earth, Wind & Fire: Earth, Wind & Fire". Village Voice.
  5. ^ a b Bangs, Lester (June 24, 1971). "Earth, Wind & Fire: Earth, Wind & Fire".
  6. ^ a b Album Reviews. Billboard Magazine. March 20, 1971. p. 44.
  7. ^ "Music's Finest Hour Symphonic Jazz". Detroit Free Press. May 9, 1971. p. 47.
  8. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire: Love Is Life".
  9. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire: Love Is Life".
  10. ^ "Les Albums Or". SNEP. Archived from the original on 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  11. ^ "French album certifications – Earth, Wind & Fire – Earth, Wind & Fire" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.

External links[edit]