Now, Then & Forever

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Now, Then & Forever
Earth, Wind & Fire's Now, Then & Forever.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 10, 2013
Recorded2012-2013
Studio
  • NuVintage Recording Studio A
  • Mungo Bungo Studio
  • Blakeslee Studios
  • NRG Studios
  • Ritesonian Recording Studio
  • Germano Studios
  • Dunn-Elliott Studios
GenreR&B, funk
Length43:21
LabelLegacy
ProducerPhilip J. Bailey (Executive), Verdine White (Executive), Philip D. Bailey, Larry Dunn, Myron Mc Kinley, Justin Paraniello, Walt B., Neal Pogue
Earth, Wind & Fire chronology
S.O.U.L.
(2013)
Now, Then & Forever
(2013)
Holiday
(2014)
Singles from Now, Then and Forever
  1. "Guiding Lights"
    Released: 2012
  2. "My Promise"
    Released: 2013
  3. "Sign On"
    Released: 2013

Now, Then & Forever is the 20th studio album by Earth, Wind & Fire, released on September 10, 2013, by Legacy Recordings/Sony Music.[1] It is its first studio release for Sony Music since Heritage from 1990. The album reached No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and No. 6 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[2][3]

Overview[edit]

This is the first Earth, Wind & Fire album without musical input from founder Maurice White although he supplied liner notes. Larry Dunn, a former bandmember, featured as a keyboardist on the album.[4]

Within the album's liner notes, a note from Maurice White is included:[1]

As we see today’s technology uniting the world wide web, sometimes it seems that the hearts of men are growing more distant from each other. It is my hope that this music will continue to tie past to future, reminding us of the love that united us to our ancestors, and to our descendants, and to each other. Peace,

— Maurice White

A deluxe edition of the LP came coupled with a compilation album.[5]

Singles[edit]

A track called "Guiding Lights" rose to No. 16 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart and No. 30 on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs chart.[6][7] Another single entitled "My Promise" reached No. 28 on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs chart and No. 30 on the BillboardAdult Contemporary Songs chart.[8][9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[10]
Exclaim(8/10)[11]
Popmatters(favourable)[12]
People(favourable)[13]
Daily Record(3/5)[14]
RTÉ(4/5)[15]
Daily Mirror3/5 stars[16]
Record Collector4/5 stars[17]
Blues & Soul(9/10)[18]

Matt Bauer of Exclaim gave a 8 out of 10 rating, noting that "Now, Then & Forever is a more than worthy addition to the Earth Wind & Fire catalogue."[11] With a four out of five rating Harry Guerin of RTÉ called Now, Then & Forever "One of the surprises of the year."[15] Elias Leight of Popmatters wrote "Now, Then & Forever has all the old colors and grooves, an impeccable rhythm section, prominent guitars, and indomitable horns that trace and re-trace motifs, dancing rings around everything."[12] With a three out of five stars rating Gavin Martin of the Daily Mirror exclaimed "Elements of greatness remain but the songs aren't classics."[16] Daryl Easlea of Record Collector gave a four out of five stars rating and found that "Now, Then And Forever, is a splendid diversion that recalls – in spirit alone, of course – Rick Rubin’s recent work with Black Sabbath. It also sounds like a lost album that should have come out after 1979’s I Am: a very shrewd approximation of the EWF we know and love, it’s crammed with sophisticated R&B, gossamer-light jazz and powerful, soulful vocals with a positive message.[17] Andy Kellman of Allmusic gave a three out of five stars rating saying "Now, Then & Forever demonstrates the lasting value of the band's classic sound."[10] With a three out of five rating the Daily Record called Now, Then & Forever "a worthy effort, and EWF are clearly using old glories as inspiration for the future."[14]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Sign On" (Feat. Daniel McClain)Philip D. Bailey, Sharlotte Gibson, Austin Jacobs, Daniel McClain, Neal H. Pogue, Darrin Simpson4:17
2."Love Is Law"Allen Bundy, Lee Hutson, Jr., Jairus Lemuel-Jada Mozee, Ric'key Pageot, Eric Rousseau, Meg Todd4:20
3."My Promise"Siedah Garrett, Austin Jacobs, Darrin Simpson3:22
4."Guiding Lights"Philip D. Bailey, Austin Jacobs, Daniel McClain, Darrin Simpson6:24
5."Got to Be Love"Philip D. Bailey, Philip J. Bailey, Ralph Johnson, Myron McKinley3:41
6."Belo Horizonte"Raymond Crossley, Frederick A. Johnson, Ralph Johnson, Morris O'Connor1:50
7."Dance Floor"Philip D. Bailey, Sondria Bailey, Justin Panariello4:59
8."Splashes"Philip D. Bailey, Justin Panariello5:21
9."Night of My Life"Philip D. Bailey, Jevon McGlory, Justin Panariello4:00
10."The Rush"Philip J. Bailey, Larry Dunn, Allee Willis5:07
Target edition bonus tracks[19]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
11."Hero As He Rose"Philip D. Bailey, Jevon McGlory, Justin Panariello4:00
12."Whirlwind" 5:37
Best Buy bonus tracks[20]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
11."Can't Hide Love (Masters at Work Remix)"Skip Scarborough 
12."Shining Star (DJ Jin Asakusa Samba Remix)"Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Maurice White 
French bonus track[21]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
11."My Promise" (featuring Omar Sy)Siedah Garrett, Austin Jacobs, Darrin Simpson3:25
Deluxe edition bonus tracks[5]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
11."Boogie Wonderland" (featuring The Emotions)Jon Lind, Allee Willis 
12."Sing a Song"Al McKay, Maurice White 
13."September"Al McKay, Maurice White, Allee Willis 
14."Let's Groove"Wayne Vaughn, Maurice White 
15."Got To Get You Into My Life"John Lennon, Paul McCartney 
16."After The Love Has Gone"David Foster, Jay Graydon, Bill Champlin 
International edition Disc 2[22]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
13."Can't Let Go"Bill Meyers, Maurice White, Allee Willis 
14."Runnin’"Maurice, White, Larry Dunn, Eddie DelBarrio 
15."Shining Star"Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Maurice White 
16."Turn It Into Something Good"Valerie Carter, James Newton Howard, Maurice White 
17."Power"Maurice White, Earth, Wind & Fire 
18."You And I"Maurice White, Allee Willis, David Foster 
19."Fantasy"Maurice White, Verdine White, Eddie DelBarrio 
Japan Limited Edition Disc 2[23]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
13."Can't Let Go"Bill Meyers, Maurice White, Allee Willis 
14."Runnin’"Maurice, White, Larry Dunn, Eddie DelBarrio 
15."Shining Star"Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Maurice White 
16."Turn It Into Something Good"Valerie Carter, James Newton Howard, Maurice White 
17."Power"Maurice White, Earth, Wind & Fire 
18."You And I"Maurice White, Allee Willis, David Foster 
19."Fantasy"Maurice White, Verdine White, Eddie DelBarrio 
20."Can't Hide Love"Skip Scarborough 
21."September"Al McKay, Maurice White, Allee Willis 
22."September (DJ KOMORI Remix)"Al McKay, Maurice White, Allee Willis 
23."Let's Groove (TJO & YUSUKE from BLU-SWING Remix)"Maurice White, Wayne Vaughn 

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from the album's text.[1]

Charts[edit]

Singles - Billboard (US)

Year Single Chart Position
2012 "Guiding Lights" US Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs[7] 16
US Billboard Adult R&B Songs[6] 30
2013 "My Promise" US Billboard Adult R&B Songs[8] 28
US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs[9] 30

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[39] Silver 60,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Earth, Wind & Fire: Now, Then & Forever. Sony Music. September 2013.
  2. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire: Now, Then & Forever (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  3. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire: Now, Then & Forever (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard.
  4. ^ Music News Desk. "FIRST LISTEN: Earth, Wind & Fire's New Single 'Sign On'". broadwayworld.com.
  5. ^ a b Earth, Wind & Fire: Now, Then & Forever (Deluxe ed.). Sony Music. September 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Earth, Wind & Fire: Guiding Lights (Smooth Jazz Songs)". billboard.com. Billboard.
  7. ^ a b "Earth, Wind & Fire: Guiding Lights (Adult R&B Songs)". billboard.com. Billboard.
  8. ^ a b "Earth, Wind & Fire: My Promise (Adult R&B Songs)". billboard.com. Billboard.
  9. ^ a b "Earth, Wind & Fire: My Promise (Adult Contemporary Songs)". billboard.com. Billboard.
  10. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Now, Then & Forever - Earth, Wind & Fire - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". allmusic.com. AllMusic.
  11. ^ a b Bauer, Matt (September 6, 2013). "Earth, Wind, and Fire: Now, Then & Forever". exclaim.ca. Exclaim.
  12. ^ a b Leight, Elias (September 22, 2013). "Earth, Wind and Fire: Now, Then & Forever". popmatters.com. Popmatters.
  13. ^ Arnold, Chuck (October 7, 2013). "Picks and Pans Review: Quick Cuts". people.com. People.
  14. ^ a b "Album Reviews: The latest tracks from Katy Perry + James Blunt + Andrea Bocelli + Earth, Wind & Fire + Polica". dailyrecord.co.uk. Daily Record. November 8, 2013.
  15. ^ a b Guerin, Harry (October 23, 2013). "Earth, Wind & Fire - Now, Then & Forever". rte.ie. RTÉ.
  16. ^ a b Martin, Gavin (September 20, 2013). "MUSIC TALK with JOHN TURRELL Music". proquest.com. Daily Mirror. p. 7.
  17. ^ a b Easlea, Daryl. "EARTH, WIND AND FIRE NOW, THEN AND FOREVER". recordcollectormag.com. Record Collector.
  18. ^ Baird, Emerys. "REVIEW EARTH, WIND & FIRE: NOW, THEN & FOREVER (SONY)". bluesandsoul.com. Blues & Soul.
  19. ^ Earth Wind & Fire: Now, Then & Forever (Target ed.). Sony/Legacy. 2013.
  20. ^ Earth Wind & Fire: Now, Then & Forever (Best Buy ed.). Sony/Legacy. 2013.
  21. ^ "Deezer is coming soon!". Deezer.
  22. ^ Earth Wind & Fire: Now, Then & Forever (International Edition Disc2). Sony/Legacy. 2013.
  23. ^ Earth Wind & Fire: Now, Then & Forever (Japan Limited ed.). Sony/Legacy. 2013.
  24. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Earth Wind And Fire – Now, Then & Forever" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 04, 2013.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – Earth, Wind & Fire – Now, Then & Forever" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – Earth, Wind & Fire – Now, Then & Forever" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  27. ^ "Lescharts.com – Earth Wind And Fire – NOW, THEN & FOREVER (ALBUM)". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 05, 2013.
  28. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved October 06, 2013.
  29. ^ "Oricon Top 50 Albums: 2013-09-23" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
  30. ^ "South Korea Gaon Album Chart". On the page, select "2013-09-14" to obtain the corresponding chart. Gaon Chart Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  31. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – Now, Then & Forever". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  32. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Earth Wind And Fire – Now, Then & Forever" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  33. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Earth Wind And Fire – Now, Then & Forever". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 06, 2013.
  34. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Earth Wind And Fire – Now, Then & Forever". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  35. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  36. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  37. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  38. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 2013". Billboard. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  39. ^ "British album certifications – Earth Wind & Fire – Now Then & Forever". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 21, 2020.Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Now Then & Forever in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.