September (Earth, Wind & Fire song)

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Not to be confused with September Song.
Single by Earth, Wind & Fire
from the album The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1
B-side "Love's Holiday"
"Can't Hide Love"
Released November 18, 1978
Recorded September 1978
Length 3:35
Label Columbia
Producer(s) Maurice White
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Earth, Wind & Fire singles chronology
"Got to Get You into My Life"
"Boogie Wonderland"

"September" is a song by American funk band Earth, Wind & Fire, written by Maurice White, Al McKay, and Allee Willis. It was recorded during the I Am sessions and released as a single in 1978. Featured on the band's album The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1, "September" reached number one on the US R&B chart, number eight on the Billboard Hot 100,[1] and number three on the UK singles chart.[2]

White's unusual lyrics for the chorus were debated by Willis: "I said, 'We are going to change 'ba-dee-ya' to real words, right?' ... I learned my greatest lesson ever in songwriting from him, which was never let the lyric get in the way of the groove."[3]


The song was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry and certified gold in the U.S. (Until the RIAA lowered the sales levels for certified singles in 1989, a Gold single equaled 1 million units sold.) "September" was later certified Gold for digital sales by the RIAA.[4][5][6] The song was also later released as "December", chord changes & melody remained identical, with lyrics re-written for the "...Twenty-fifth of December...", performed by Earth Wind & Fire, as well, on a later album.


  • In 1998, Italian DJ X-Treme recorded a remix of the song, which appeared on his album X-Treme[7] and another remix titled "September (Rap Mix)", which appeared on the 1999 compilation album Dancemania X1.[8]
  • In 1999, the song was remixed by Phats & Small titled "September 99" and was a dance hit.
  • In 2015, electronic musician Throttle, gave his own spin on the song, and released it as a single on Ultra Music on November 13.



Appearances in other media[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Italy (FIMI)[29]
Digital download
Gold 15,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[30]
Digital download
Gold 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[31]
Physical release
Silver 250,000^
United States (RIAA)[32]
Physical release
Gold 1,000,000^
United States (RIAA)[32]
Digital download
Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


The information regarding accolades attributed to September ' is adapted from[33]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Bruce Pollock U.S. The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944–2000 2005 *
Gary Mulholland U.K. This Is Uncool: The 500 Best Singles Since Punk Rock 2002 *

(*) designates lists that are unordered.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 179. 
  2. ^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 289. ISBN 0-87586-207-1. 
  3. ^ Charnas, Dan. "The Song That Never Ends: Why Earth, Wind & Fire's 'September' Sustains". NPR. NPR. Retrieved 21 September 2016. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Rock Music, etc., Terms". Retrieved March 23, 2009. 
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ "X-Treme - X-Treme". Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  8. ^ "X-Treme Discography". Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  9. ^ "SMELLY" (PHP). Kugelblitz. 2005–2006. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  10. ^ "WDDF Radio". 
  11. ^ "Australian Chart Book". Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  12. ^ a b " – Earth, Wind & Fire – September" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "sc_Flanders_Earth.2C_Wind_.26_Fire" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  13. ^ a b " – Earth, Wind & Fire Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  14. ^ "Irish Singles Chart – Search for song". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Hit Parade Italia – Indice per Interprete: E". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "Nederlandse Top 40 – Earth, Wind & Fire search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  17. ^ " – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". Top 40 Singles.
  18. ^ a b " – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". VG-lista. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "sc_Norway_Earth.2C_Wind_.26_Fire" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  19. ^ a b " – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". Singles Top 100. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "sc_Sweden_Earth.2C_Wind_.26_Fire" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  20. ^ a b "Earth, Wind & Fire: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  21. ^ [Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002]
  22. ^ a b [3][dead link]
  23. ^ a b " – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)" (in French). Les classement single. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "sc_France_Earth.2C_Wind_.26_Fire" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  24. ^ " – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  25. ^ "Australian Chart Book". Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  26. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  27. ^ "Chart Archive – 1970s Singles". Retrieved October 10, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1979/Top 100 Songs of 1979". Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  29. ^ "Italian single certifications – Earth, Wind & Fire – September" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 3 October 2014.  Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Earth, Wind & Fire in the field Filtra. Select 2014 in the field Anno. The certification will load automatically
  30. ^ "Certificaciones – Earth, Wind & Fire" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  31. ^ "British single certifications – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 3 October 2014.  Enter September in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  32. ^ a b "American single certifications – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 3 October 2014.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  33. ^ "Shining Star". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Got to Be Real" by Cheryl Lynn
Billboard's Hot Soul number one single
January 13, 1979
Succeeded by
"Aqua Boogie" by Parliament