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Earth, Wind & Fire - Powerlight.jpg
Studio album by Earth, Wind & Fire
Released February 3, 1983
Recorded 1982
Genre R&B, Electropop, New wave, Funk Boogie, Synth funk
Length 41:23
Label Columbia
Producer Maurice White
Earth, Wind & Fire chronology
Electric Universe
Singles from Powerlight
  1. "Fall In Love With Me"
    Released: December 27, 1982
  2. "Side By Side"
    Released: April 19, 1983
  3. "Spread Your Love"
    Released: June 24, 1983

Powerlight is the twelfth studio album by Earth, Wind & Fire, produced by the band's leader Maurice White for Kalimba Productions, and released in February 1983. Powerlight has been certified gold for selling over 500, 000 copies in the US by the RIAA.[1]

Powerlight went to number 12 and number 4 on the Pop and R&B album charts and the single "Fall in Love with Me" reached number 17 and number 4 on the Pop and R&B charts respectively.[2] "Fall in Love with Me" was also Grammy nominated for Best R&B vocal performance by A Duo or group.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau (A-)[5]
Warr.org 3.5/5 stars[6]

Allmusic's Craig Lytle refers to the album as "an entertaining piece" and goes on to say that "Throughout the entire album, White's unifying message is fueled by the aggressive rhythms and relaxing melodies".[7] Robert Christgau says that on the album "we're free to gape at this band's spectacular popcraft" and summed up his review by describing Powerlight as "the best argument for universalism they'll ever make".[8]


"Something Special" has been sampled by Will Smith on the title track of his 1997 album Big Willie Style and "Side by Side" has been sampled by Common on the track Charms Alarm featured on his 1992 album Can I Borrow a Dollar?.[9]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Fall In Love With Me" Wayne Vaughn, Wanda Vaughn, Maurice White 5:54
2. "Spread Your Love" Azar Lawrence, Beloyd Taylor, Maurice White 3:51
3. "Side by Side" Wayne Vaughn, Wanda Vaughn, Maurice White 5:57
4. "Straight from the Heart" Philip Bailey, Eduardo del Barrio, Roxanne Seeman, Freddie Washington 4:42
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "The Speed of Love" Earth, Wind & Fire, Tony Haynes, Wayne Vaughn, Maurice White 3:36
6. "Freedom of Choice" Azar Lawrence, Beloyd Taylor, Maurice White 4:10
7. "Something Special" Wayne Vaughn, Wanda Vaughn, Maurice White 4:23
8. "Hearts to Heart" Azar Lawrence, Beloyd Taylor, Maurice White 3:45
9. "Miracles" Marry D'Astugues, Eduardo del Barrio, Jon Lind, Maurice White 4:58



Adapted from the Discogs credits.[11]

  • Additional backing vocals - Ms. Pluto
  • Additional backing vocals, guitar - Beloyd Taylor
  • Bass - Verdine White
  • Cello - Douglas Davis, Earl Madison, Frederick Seykora, Larry Corbett, Ronald Cooper, Suzie Katayama
  • Double bass - Arni Egilsson
  • Drums, percussion - Fred White
  • Guitar - Roland Bautista
  • Harp - Dorothy Remsen
  • Keyboards - Eduardo Del Barrio, Rick Kelly, Skip Scarborough, Wayne Vaughn, George Del Barrio
  • Lead & backing vocals, percussion - Philip Bailey
  • Lead & backing vocals, drums, kalimba - Maurice White
  • Percussion - Paulinho Da Costa, Ralph Johnson
  • Piano - Maxanne Lewis
  • Prophet-5 synthesizer - Azar Lawrence
  • Saxophone - Donald Myrick
  • Steel drums - Robert Greenidge
  • Synthesizer programming - Larry Dunn
  • Tabla - Zakir Hussain
  • Tenor saxophone - Andrew Woolfolk
  • Trombone - Bill Reichenbach Jr., Charles Loper, George Bohanon, Lew McCreary, Louis Satterfield
  • Trumpet - Chuck Findley, Gary Grant, Michael Harris, Oscar Brashear, Rahmlee Michael Davis, Jerry Hey
  • Viola - Alan Deveritch, Allan Harshman, Carole Mukogawa, David Schwartz, Joel Soultanian, Linn Subotnick, Milton Kestenbaum, Pamela Goldsmith, Roland Karo, Rollice Dale
  • Violin - Anatol Kaminsky, Arnold Belnick, Bill Hybel, Bob Sanov, Brenton Banks, George Kast, Haim Shtrum, Harry Bluestone, Janet Lakatos, Karen Jones, Marshall Sosson, Miwako Watanabe, Myer Bello, Nathan Ross, Nicole Bush, Pam Tompkins, Robert Lipsett, Robert Sushel, Ron Clark, Shari Zippert, Sheldon Sanov, Stanley Plummer


  • Strings arranged by Bill Meyers & George Del Barrio
  • Horns arranged by Jerry Hey, George Del Barrio & Bill Meyers
  • Art Direction - Monte White & Roger Carpenter
  • Illustration - Shusei Nagaoka
  • Concertmaster - Assa Drori, David Frisina
  • Assistant Engineers - Robert Spano & Steve Crimmel
  • Mastered by Bernie Grundman
  • Additional Mixing - Tom Perry
  • Production Staff - Geri White, Leonard Smith & Monte White
  • Steel drums made by Rudolph Charles
  • Producer - Maurice White
  • Recorded & Mixed by Mick Guzauski


Album – Billboard
Year Chart Position
1983 Black Albums 4
Pop Albums 12
Year Chart Position[12]
1983 United Kingdom 22
Singles – Billboard
Year Single Chart Position
1983 "Fall In Love With Me" Black Singles 4
Club Play Singles 31
Pop Singles 17
"Side By Side" Black Singles 15
Pop Singles 76
"Spread Your Love" Black Singles 57