Touch the World

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Touch the World
Studio album by Earth, Wind & Fire
Released October 13, 1987
Recorded 1987
Genre R&B
Length 42:34
Label Columbia
Producer Maurice White
Earth, Wind & Fire chronology
The Collection
Touch the World
Singles from Touch the World
  1. "System of Survival"
    Released: October 13, 1987
  2. "You and I"
    Released: December 4, 1987
  3. "Thinking of You"
    Released: February 12, 1988
  4. "Evil Roy"
    Released: March 25, 1988
  5. "Touch The World"
    Released: May 16, 1988
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (B+)[2] 3.5/5 stars[3]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[4]

Touch the World is the fourteenth studio album by Earth, Wind & Fire, produced by the band's leader Maurice White for Kalimba Productions, and released in 1987 on Columbia Records. Touch the World has been certified gold in the US for sales of over 500,000 copies by the RIAA.[5] Touch The World also marked the debut of former Commodores guitarist Sheldon Reynolds to the lineup. The album ended a four-year hiatus for the band, with vocalists Maurice White and Philip Bailey reforming the group, bringing back longtime members Verdine White, Andrew Woolfolk and Ralph Johnson. Drummer Sonny Emory filled the drum chair vacated by Fred White.


Spawned from the album, the singles "System of Survival" and "Thinking of You" both went to number 1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts and System of Survival went to number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks while Thinking Of You went to number three.[6] Touch the World was nominated for a Soul Train Award in the category of Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year.[7]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "System of Survival" Skylark 4:59
2. "Evil Roy" Philip Bailey, Attala Zane Giles, Allee Willis 4:51
3. "Thinking of You" Wayne Vaughn, Wanda Vaughn, Maurice White 4:41
4. "You and I" Mark Mueller, Robbie Nevil 4:03
5. "Musical Interlude: New Horizons" Bill Meyers 2:01
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Money Tight" Danny Sembello, Maurice White, Allee Willis 4:36
7. "Every Now and Then" Jon Lind, Brock Walsh 4:21
8. "Touch the World" Rev. Oliver W. Wells 5:15
9. "Here Today and Gone Tomorrow" Philip Bailey, Marti Sharron & Glen Ballard 3:59
10. "Victim of the Modern Heart" Ian Prince 3:48


Covers and Samples[edit]

"Touch the World," the title track of the album, was covered by Whitney Houston in 1994 for Whitney: The Concert for a New South Africa. "System of Survival" was sampled by Italian rapper Jovanotti on the track "Funky Lab," featured on his 1988 album Jovanotti for President.[9]


Album – Billboard
Year Chart Position
1987 The Billboard 200 33
Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 3
Singles – Billboard
Year Single Chart Position
1987 "System of Survival" Hot Dance Music/Club Play 1
Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 1
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 1
The Billboard Hot 100 60
"Evil Roy" Hot Dance Music/Club Play 38
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 22
"Thinking of You" Hot Dance Music/Club Play 1
Hot Dance Music/Club Play 1
Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 1
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 3
The Billboard Hot 100 67
"You & I" Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 29
"Touch the World" Top R&B/Gospel Singles & Tracks 19