September (Earth, Wind & Fire song)

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"September"
EarthWindAndFireSeptember7InchSingleCover.jpg
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"
ReleasedNovember 18, 1978 (1978-11-18)
Format
RecordedSeptember 1978
Genre
Length3:35
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Maurice White
Earth, Wind & Fire singles chronology
"Got to Get You into My Life"
(1978)
"September"
(1978)
"Boogie Wonderland"
(1979)
Music video
"September" on YouTube

"September" is a song by the American funk band Earth, Wind & Fire. It was recorded during the sessions for their album I Am (1979) and released as a single in 1978. It was included on The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 (1978).

"September" reached number one on the US R&B chart, number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100,[1] and number three on the UK Singles Chart.[2]

Composition[edit]

"September" is in the key of A major with a tempo of 126 beats per minute in common time. The vocals span from E4 to F5.[3][4]

Using a chord progression written by Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist Al McKay, Allee Willis and Maurice White wrote the song over one month. Willis was originally bothered by the gibberish "ba-dee-ya" lyric White used through the song, and begged him to rewrite it: "I just said, 'What the fuck does 'ba-dee-ya' mean?' And he essentially said, 'Who the fuck cares?' I learned my greatest lesson ever in songwriting from him, which was never let the lyric get in the way of the groove."[5]

Although several theories about the significance of the date have been suggested, the songwriters simply chose the 21st due to how it sounded when sung.[6]

Reception[edit]

The song was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry and certified gold in the US (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,[7][8][9] and has sold over 2 million digital copies in the US as of September 2017.[10] Earth, Wind & Fire recorded a new version of the song, retitled "December", for their 2014 Christmas album Holiday.

In the United Kingdom the song has been popular as the basis of football chants at a number of clubs: according to a Guardian article this originated at Newcastle United F.C. where fans started singing a chant about player Chancel Mbemba in the autumn of 2015.[11] It was also adapted by fans of the England national football team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia: "Woah, England are in Russia / Woah, drinking all the vodka / Woah, England’s going all the way".[12]

September 99[edit]

"September '99"
EarthWind&Fire - September 99.jpg
Single by Earth, Wind & Fire
from the album The Ultimate Collection
Released1999
GenrePop, R&B
Length3:43
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Maurice White, Allee Willis, Al McKay
Producer(s)Maurice White
Earth, Wind & Fire singles chronology
"When Love Goes Wrong"
(1997)
"September '99"
(1999)
"Boogie Wonderland '99"
(1999)

A remix of the song was released by Sony Music in 1999 under the title "September '99", reaching No. 25 on the UK Singles Chart.[13][14][15][16]

The song was remixed by English dance music duo Phats and Small.[17]

Chart performance[edit]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[50] Gold 45,000^
Italy (FIMI)[51] Platinum 50,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[52]
Digital download
Gold 30,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[53]
Physical release
Silver 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[54] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[55]
Physical release
Gold 1,000,000^
United States (RIAA)[55]
Digital download
Gold 2,065,000[10]

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

Accolades[edit]

The information regarding accolades attributed to "September" is adapted from AcclaimedMusic.net.[56]

Author Country Publication Year Rank
Bruce Pollock US The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944–2000 2005 *
Gary Mulholland UK This Is Uncool: The 500 Best Singles Since Punk Rock 2002 *

(*) designates lists that are unordered.

References[edit]

  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. ^ White, Maurice. "Earth Wind & Fire "September" Sheet Music in F# Minor (transposable) – Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  4. ^ "September – Earth, Wind & Fire – Spot On Track". www.spotontrack.com. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  5. ^ "The Song That Never Ends: Why 'September' Sustains". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  6. ^ Charnas, Dan (September 19, 2014). "The Song That Never Ends: Why Earth, Wind & Fire's 'September' Sustains". Morning Edition.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 10, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  8. ^ "Rock Music, etc., Terms". spider.georgetowncollege.edu. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
  10. ^ a b "Nielsen SoundScan charts – Digital Songs – Week Ending: 09/28/2017" (PDF). Nielsen SoundScan. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 2, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  11. ^ MacInnes, Paul (23 November 2017). "When a terrace tune goes viral: the hunt for the source of the September chant". theguardian.com. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  12. ^ Simpson, Dave (11 July 2018). "Why Atomic Kitten and Earth, Wind & Fire became England's World Cup chants". theguardian.com. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  13. ^ Kellman, Andy. "The Ultimate Collection – Earth Wind & Fire – Songs, Reviews, Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  14. ^ "EARTH, WIND & FIRE – THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION". Hitparade.ch.
  15. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100: 25 July 1999 - 31 July 1999". Billboard.com.
  16. ^ a b c "Earth, Wind & Fire: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  17. ^ "Phats & Small". allmusic.com.
  18. ^ "Australian Chart Book". Austchartbook.com.au. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – Earth, Wind & Fire – September" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  20. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0103a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  21. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 4507." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  22. ^ a b "Musicline.de – Earth, Wind & Fire Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  23. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – September". Irish Singles Chart.
  24. ^ "Hit Parade Italia – Indice per Interprete: E". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  25. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 4, 1979" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  26. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Earth, Wind & Fire – September" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  27. ^ "Charts.nz – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". Top 40 Singles.
  28. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". VG-lista.
  29. ^ "SA Charts 1965 - 1989 Songs S". South African Rock Lists. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  30. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". Singles Top 100.
  31. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–2002
  32. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, January 27, 1979
  33. ^ "Ultratop.be – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  34. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  35. ^ "Lescharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)" (in French). Les classement single.
  36. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (NR. 336 Vikuna 12.8. - 19.8. 1999)" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  37. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Earth, Wind & Fire" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  38. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  39. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)". VG-lista.
  40. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  41. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)". Singles Top 100.
  42. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  43. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". officialcharts.com.
  44. ^ "Lescharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September" (in French). Les classement single.
  45. ^ "Australian Chart Book". Austchartbook.com.au. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  46. ^ "1979 Top 200 Singles". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  47. ^ Top 100 1979 - UK Music Charts
  48. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1979/Top 100 Songs of 1979". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  49. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 29, 1979
  50. ^ "Earth Wind & Fire "September"". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  51. ^ "Italian single certifications – Earth, Wind & Fire – September" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  52. ^ "Certificaciones" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved 14 February 2016. Type Earth, Wind & Fire in the box under the ARTISTA column heading and September in the box under TÍTULO
  53. ^ "British single certifications – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 3 October 2014. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type September in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  54. ^ "British single certifications – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 3 August 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type September in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  55. ^ 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. 
  56. ^ "Shining Star". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 2016-10-13.

External links[edit]