The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1

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The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1
BestofEarthWind&Fire.jpg
Cover art by Shusei Nagaoka
Greatest hits album by Earth, Wind & Fire
ReleasedNovember 23, 1978 (November 23, 1978) (LP)
January 1, 1986 (January 1, 1986) (CD)
July 27, 1999 (July 27, 1999) (Reissue)
GenreR&B, soul, jazz, pop
Length40:22
LabelARC/Columbia
Legacy (1999 reissue)
ProducerMaurice White, Charles Stepney
Earth, Wind & Fire chronology
All 'n' All
(1977)
The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1
(1978)
I Am
(1979)
Singles from Vol. 1
  1. "Got to Get You Into My Life"
    Released: July 14, 1978
  2. "September"
    Released: September 29, 1978

The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 is a 1978 compilation album collecting the charting singles of Earth, Wind & Fire. In addition to collecting previously charting songs, the album also included three new tracks for the band: a cover of The Beatles' song "Got to Get You Into My Life", the original track "September", and "Love Music". The first two songs became charting singles; additionally, the cover version of "Got to Get You Into My Life" won a Grammy Award.

The compilation album itself placed on three Billboard charts, reaching No. 3 on Black Albums, No. 6 on Pop Albums.[1] It reached No. 6 on the album charts in Britain.[2] The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 has been certified as quintuple platinum in the US by the RIAA for sales of over 5,000,000 copies. The album has also been certified platinum in the UK and in Canada by the British Phonographic Industry and Music Canada respectively.[3][4]

The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 is ranked numbers 30 and 44 on AllMusic's list of the Top urban and R&B albums of all time respectively.[5][6]

Songs[edit]

The album collected a variety of songs, primarily charting hit singles, previously released by the band between 1975 and 1978. In addition to previously released songs, the album included several tracks which had never been on an Earth, Wind & Fire album before. Among them, a cover of the Beatles's song "Got to Get You Into My Life" recorded by the band for the film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) had previously been published on the film's soundtrack, but "September" was new. Both of these songs also became charting singles.

"Got to Get You Into My Life" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Black Singles chart, No. 9 on the Pop Singles chart, and No. 33 on the British singles charts, while "September" reached No. 1 on Black Singles, No. 8 on Pop Singles, and No. 3 on the British charts.[2][7] "Got to Get You Into My Life" also won a Grammy Award for "Best Instrument Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)/Best Background Arrangement" for Earth, Wind & Fire's Maurice White.[8] Also, the Skip Scarborough-penned "Love Music" was also a new album track. The album has been reissued with two bonus tracks: "MegaMix 2000" and "MegaMix (Radio Edit)."

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[9]
Robert ChristgauA–[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide5/5 stars[11]

Although EWF would go on to other charting hits, this volume is described by AllMusic as "still...a strong encapsulation of EWF the funk innovators."[12] It is for this reason, their reviewer notes, that even though new and more definitive greatest hits albums have been released, this one has been reissued and remastered, as "for the budget-minded and the disco-phobic, this still makes for an excellent listen."[12] Music critic Robert Christgau describes this volume as "the best album" EWF "ever released", with "ten exquisitely crafted pop tunes in which all the passion and resonance of black music tradition are blended into a concoction slicker and more sumptuous than any white counterpart since Glenn Miller."[13][14]

Samples[edit]

Love Music was sampled by Ghostface Killah on his track Good featured on his 2006 album More Fish. "September" has been sampled by Crystal Waters on her track "Say...If You Feel Alright" from her 1996 album Crystal Waters.[15]

Track listing[edit]

Original release (ARC/Columbia - 35647)[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Got to Get You Into My Life" (From Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (soundtrack), 1978)John Lennon, Paul McCartney4:03
2."Fantasy" (From All 'n All, 1977)Eduardo Del Barrio, Maurice White, Verdine White3:46
3."Can't Hide Love" (From Gratitude, 1975)Skip Scarborough4:10
4."Love Music" (Previously unreleased)S. Scarborough3:55
5."Getaway" (From Spirit, 1976)Peter Cor, Bernard “Beloyd” Taylor3:46
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
6."That's the Way of the World" (From That's the Way of the World, 1975)Charles Stepney, M. White, V. White5:46
7."September" (Previously unreleased)Al McKay, Allee Willis, M. White3:36
8."Shining Star" (From That's the Way of the World, 1975)Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, M. White2:50
9."Reasons" (From That's the Way of the World, 1975)P. Bailey, C. Stepney, M. White4:59
10."Sing a Song" (From Gratitude, 1975)A. McKay, M. White3:23

[16]

1999 Legacy reissue (CK 65735)[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Got to Get You Into My Life" (From Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (soundtrack), 1978)John Lennon, Paul McCartney4:03
2."Fantasy" (From All 'n All, 1977)Eduardo Del Barrio, Maurice White, Verdine White3:46
3."Can't Hide Love" (From Gratitude, 1975)Skip Scarborough4:10
4."Love Music" (Previously unreleased)S. Scarborough3:55
5."Getaway" (From Spirit, 1976)Peter Cor, Bernard “Beloyd” Taylor, Louis Silas Jr.3:46
6."That's the Way of the World" (From That's the Way of the World, 1975)Charles Stepney, M. White, V. White5:46
7."September" (Previously unreleased)Al McKay, Allee Willis, M. White3:36
8."Shining Star" (From That's the Way of the World, 1975)Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Sonny Burke, M. White, V. White2:50
9."Reasons" (From: That's the Way of the World, 1975)P. Bailey, C. Stepney, M. White4:59
10."Sing a Song" (From Gratitude, 1975)A. McKay, M. White3:23
11."MegaMix 2000" (Bonus track on reissue)Wayne Vaughn, A. McKay, M. White, A. Willis7:38
12."MegaMix (Radio Edit)" (Bonus track on reissue)A. McKay, M. White3:23

[12][17]

Personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from Allmusic[12] and the album’s Liner Notes[16][17]

Performance[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Earth, Wind & Firemusical arrangements (3, 6, 8-10)
  • Philip Baileyliner notes
  • George Calle – producer, recording engineer, audio mixing (12)
  • Mauro DeSantis – producer, recording engineer, audio mixing (12)
  • Larry Dunn – production assistant (2)
  • Howard Fritzson – art direction
  • David Gahr – Photography
  • Alan Hewitt – music programming, producer, recording engineer, audio mixing (11)
  • Paul Klingberg – producer, recording engineer, audio mixing (11)
  • Art Macnow – director
  • Cameron Marcarelli – assistant engineer (11)
  • Al McKay – producer
  • Shusei Nagaoka – artwork
  • Steve Newman – design
  • Joseph M. Palmaccio – mastering
  • Leo Sacks – producer (11), reissue producer, liner notes
  • Richard Salvato – director
  • Jim Shea – photography
  • Charles Stepney – producer, musical arrangements (3, 5-6, 8-10), synthesizer programming
  • Tom Tom 84 – horn arrangements, string arrangements (2, 4, 7)
  • Chris Walter – photography
  • Maurice White – producer (1-11), musical arrangements (1), recording engineer, audio mixing (11), liner notes
  • Verdine White – production assistant (2), liner notes
  • Mark Wilder – audio mastering
  • Joseph Wissert – producer

Charts[edit]

Album – Billboard
Year Chart Position
1979 Black Albums 3
Pop Albums 6
Year Chart Position[18]
1979 United Kingdom 6
Singles – Billboard
Year Single Chart Position
1978 "Got to Get You into My Life" Black Singles 1
Pop Singles 9
1979 "September" Black Singles 1
Pop Singles 8

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[19] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[20] none 377,600 [21]*
Netherlands (NVPI)[22] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[24] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1: Billboard Albums at AllMusic
  2. ^ a b Warwick, Neil (2004). The Complete Book of the British Charts: Singles and Albums. Omnibus Press. p. 361. ISBN 1-84449-058-0.
  3. ^ "RIAA Certification of The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1". Riaa.com. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  4. ^ "British Phonographic Industry certification of The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1". Bpi.co.uk. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  5. ^ "Top Urban Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved June 8, 2009.
  6. ^ "Top R&B Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved June 8, 2009.
  7. ^ The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1: Billboard Singles at AllMusic
  8. ^ "Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus - 21st Annual GRAMMY Awards (1976)". The Recording Academy. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  9. ^ Allmusic review
  10. ^ "Robert Christgau review". Robertchristgau.com. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  11. ^ RS Album Guide review. Google Books. 2004. ISBN 9780743201698. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  12. ^ a b c d The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 at AllMusic
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert. "The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. 1". Retrieved March 4, 2009.
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert. "The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. II". Retrieved March 4, 2009.
  15. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire music sampled by others". Whosampled.com. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  16. ^ a b “The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. 1” (Album Notes). ARC / Columbia. 1978.
  17. ^ a b “The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. 1” (Reissue). Legacy’s Rhythm & Soul Series. Columbia / Legacy. 1999.
  18. ^ "The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2009.
  19. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Earth, Wind and Fire – The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1". Music Canada.
  20. ^ "French album certifications – Earth, Wind and Fire – The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  21. ^ https://www.infodisc.fr/Ventes_Albums_Tout_Temps.php?debut=900
  22. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Earth, Wind and Fire – The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  23. ^ "British album certifications – Earth, Wind and Fire – The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  24. ^ "American album certifications – Earth, Wind and Fire – The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]