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
Released November 23, 1978 (November 23, 1978) (LP)
January 1, 1986 (January 1, 1986) (CD)
July 27, 1999 (July 27, 1999) (Reissue)
Recorded 1975-1978
Genre R&B, soul, jazz, pop
Length 40:22
Label ARC
Columbia
Legacy (1999 reissue)
Producer Maurice 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: November 18, 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 two new tracks for the band: a cover of the Beatles's song "Got to Get You Into My Life" and the original track "September", both of which also became charting singles, the former also winning 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 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
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[9]
Robert Christgau (A-)[10]
RS Album Guide 5/5 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[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Got to Get You Into My Life" (first album appearance: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (soundtrack), 1978) John Lennon, Paul McCartney 4:03
2. "Fantasy" (first album appearance: All 'N All, 1977) Eduardo DelBarrio, Maurice White, Verdine White 3:46
3. "Can't Hide Love" (first album appearance: Gratitude, 1975) Skip Scarborough 4:10
4. "Love Music" (Previously unreleased) Skip Scarborough 3:55
5. "Getaway" (first album appearance: Spirit, 1976) Peter Cor, Beloyd Taylor 3:46
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "That's the Way of the World" (first album appearance: That's the Way of the World, 1975) Charles Stepney, Maurice White, Verdine White 5:46
7. "September" (Previously unreleased) Al McKay, Maurice White, Allee Willis 3:36
8. "Shining Star" (first album appearance: That's the Way of the World, 1975) Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, M. White 2:50
9. "Reasons" (first album appearance: That's the Way of the World, 1975) Philip Bailey, Charles Stepney, M. White 4:59
10. "Sing a Song" (first album appearance: Gratitude, 1975) Al McKay, M. White 3:23

1999 reissue[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Got to Get You Into My Life" (first album appearance: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (soundtrack), 1978) John Lennon, Paul McCartney 4:03
2. "Fantasy" (first album appearance: All 'N All, 1977) Eduardo DelBarrio, Maurice White, Verdine White 3:46
3. "Can't Hide Love" (first album appearance: Gratitude, 1975) Skip Scarborough 4:10
4. "Love Music" (Previously unreleased) Skip Scarborough 3:55
5. "Getaway" (first album appearance: Spirit, 1976) Peter Cor, Beloyd Taylor 3:46
6. "That's the Way of the World" (first album appearance: That's the Way of the World, 1975) Charles Stepney, Maurice White, Verdine White 5:46
7. "September" (Previously unreleased) Al McKay, Maurice White, Allee Willis 3:36
8. "Shining Star" (first album appearance: That's the Way of the World, 1975) Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Maurice White 2:50
9. "Reasons" (first album appearance: That's the Way of the World, 1975) Philip Bailey, Charles Stepney, Maurice White 4:59
10. "Sing a Song" (first album appearance: Gratitude, 1975) Al McKay, Maurice White 3:23
11. "MegaMix 2000" (Bonus track on reissue) Al McKay, Wayne Vaughan, Maurice White, Allee Willis 7:38
12. "MegaMix (Radio Edit)" (Bonus track on reissue) Al McKay, Maurice White 3:23

Personnel[edit]

Performance[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Philip Baileyliner notes
  • George Calle – producer, audio engineer, audio mixing
  • Mauro DeSantis – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Larry Dunn – production assistant
  • Earth, Wind & Firearranger
  • Howard Fritzson – art dDirection
  • David Gahr – Photography
  • Jay Graydonsongwriter
  • Alan Hewitt – programming, producer, engineer, mixing
  • Paul Klingberg – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Art Macnow – director
  • Cameron Marcarelli – assistant engineer
  • Al McKay – producer
  • Shusei Nagaoka – artwork
  • Steve Newman – design
  • Joseph M. Palmaccio – mastering
  • Leo Sacks – producer, liner notes, reissue producer
  • Richard Salvato – director
  • Jim Shea – photography
  • Charles Stepney – arranger, producer
  • Tom Tom 84 – horn arrangements, string arrangements
  • Chris Walter – photography
  • Maurice White – arranger, producer, engineer, liner notes, sixing
  • Verdine White – liner notes, production assistant
  • Mark Wilder – audio mastering
  • Joseph Wissert – producer

Charts[edit]

Album – Billboard
Year Chart Position
1979 Black Albums 3
Pop Albums 6
Year Chart Position[16]
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

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.com. Retrieved June 8, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Top R&B Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved June 8, 2009. 
  7. ^ The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1: Billboard Singles at AllMusic
  8. ^ The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1: Grammy Awards at AllMusic
  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 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. ^ "The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2009. 

External links[edit]