|Single by Earth, Wind & Fire|
|from the album Raise!|
|B-side||"Let's Groove" (Instrumental)|
|Length||5:35 (album version)
3:55 (7" version)
|Earth, Wind & Fire singles chronology|
"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. In the late '70s and early '80s, disco music was undergoing a severe backlash. In spite of this, 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, pop 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
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. The punk subculture in the United States and United Kingdom was often hostile towards disco.
"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'." However, reviewing from the parent album, William Ruhlmann gave it a less positive review, calling it a recycled mid-tempo tune from the mid-'70s, and stating that everything else sounded desultory and uninspired. He, however, highlighted the song as an album standout.
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." 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 [...]" 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'."
The song peaked at number three in the US and in the UK 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.
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.
The music video of "Let's Groove" was the first video ever to be played on Video Soul on BET. The video, rich with vintage electronic effects, was created by Ron Hays using the Scanimate analog computer system at Image West, Ltd.
|1981||NME||UK||Singles of the Year||16|
Charts and sales
Sales and certifications
"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)
"Turn Your Love Around" by George Benson
|Single by CDB|
|from the album Glide with Me|
|CDB singles chronology|
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.
- "Let's Groove"
- "You Will Be Mine"
- "Let's Groove" (Summer Groove)
- "Let's Groove" (Instrumental)
|Year||Single details||Peak chart positions|
"How Bizarre" by OMC
|New Zealand number-one single
February 18, 1996 – March 3, 1996 (3 weeks)
"Wonderwall" by Oasis
Other covers and samples
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. Another cover was made by Marcia Hines in 2006. The band B5 also made a remix of the song. In 2014, Olly Murs covered the song for the album Sounds of the 80s. In 2015, the Asia's Got Talent judges—David Foster, Anggun, Melanie C and Vanness Wu—recorded a cover version of the song as a charity single for Nepal earthquake.
Appearances in other media
- The song has been featured in the films The Waterboy, Drumline and Kronk's New Groove.
- This song is also featured in the Japanese PlayStation party game Iwatobi Penguin: Rocky × Hopper.
- In the second episode of the TV series That's My Bush!, "A Poorly Executed Plan", the song is featured in a running gag, where old frat buddies of George W. Bush sing this song together.
- It also makes an appearance in Scarface: The World Is Yours, under '80s music.
- The song is also available as downloadable content on the popular Xbox 360 game Lips.
- The song is in the movie Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian starring Ben Stiller.
- Earth, Wind and Fire performed the song on the 2009 TV Land Awards Show.
- It was used in the trailer for the Disney movie The Emperor's New Groove.
- B5 covered the song for Kronk's New Groove (the original version is used during the movie, while the cover can be heard during the credits).
- The song was featured in the comedy movie Super Bowlin'.
- It was also featured in the movie Ninjago: Rebooted. The Nindroids performed the song.
- The song is featured on the new video game series Just Dance 2016 as a cover.
- Smith, Ben (August 20, 2014). "Meghan Trainor Helps Count Down 10 Songs That Are All About That Bass". VH1 Music. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
This post-disco pop funk epic is centered on a relentless, repeating bassline that really does make you want to, uh, groove.
- "R&B » Contemporary R&B » Disco". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
- Gregg, Robert; McDonogh, Gary W.; Wong, Cindy H., eds. (2001). Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Culture. Routledge. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-415-16161-9.
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.
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