|Single by Earth, Wind & Fire|
|from the album All 'N All|
|B-side||"Serpentine Fire (Instrumental)"|
|Released||October 15, 1977|
|Genre||R&B, Funk, disco|
|Songwriter(s)||Maurice White, Verdine White, Reginald Sonny Burke|
|Earth, Wind & Fire singles chronology|
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Released October 15 1977 as the lead single from the album All 'N All, "Serpentine Fire" spent seven weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart from December 3 1977. The single also crossed over to the Pop-oriented Billboard Hot 100 charts with a #13 peak.
The song was written by founding band members Maurice White and Verdine White in collaboration with Reginald "Sonny" Burke. Earth, Wind & Fire vocalist Philip Bailey later commented on the "serpentine fire" metaphor: "Maurice [White] at that point in time in our career was studying a lot of metaphysics and a lot of Eastern philosophy, and the 'Serpentine Fire' – I’m not an expert on that whole thing, because I had to ask him myself [to explain] – but it's actually the sex drive – or sexual impulse". Although Maurice White was evidently responsible for the song's title, Earth, Wind & Fire keyboardist/musical director Larry Dunn credits the song's "basic premise" to Sonny Burke a veteran arranger and keyboardist featured on many R&B recordings although his only credited connection with Earth, Wind & Fire is as the co-writer of "Serpentine Fire".
Instrumental versions of "Serpentine Fire" have been recorded by Jimmy Smith (album Unfinished Business/ 1978) and by Tom Scott (album Them Changes/ 1990). Bassist Nathan East released a version featuring Earth, Wind & Fire members Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson in 2016.
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||13|
|U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Songs||1|
|Dave Marsh||U.S.||The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made||1989||307|
|Bruce Pollock||U.S.||The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944-2000||2005||*|
|pc muñoz||U.S.||Verse-Chorus-Verse: A Column Dedicated to Great Songs||2005||*|
(*) designates lists that are unordered.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
- Nielsen Business Media, Inc (1978-02-11). "Billboard".
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 179.
- "Earth, Wind & Fire - Serpentine Fire". YouTube. 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
- "'That Groove Was Undeniable': Making Earth, Wind & Fire's 'All 'N All'". The Atlantic. 2012-11-21. doi:10.1038/ncomms13155. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
- "Serpentine Fire". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
"(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again" by L.T.D.
|Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs number-one single
November 19 - December 31, 1977
"Ffun" by Con Funk Shun