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Editors’ Notes

Powerlight is Earth, Wind & Fire’s last classic album, and even though it doesn’t have the overarching vision of All ‘n’ All or Faces, it boasts some of the sharpest songs of the group’s career. The early 80's was a unique window in the history of R&B. Artists distilled the rhythms of disco, making them harder and funkier, thereby birthing a new strain of music alternately known as electric boogie or modern soul. Earth, Wind & Fire thrived during this period. They were students of groove, and their instrumental prowess helped to elevate “Fall in Love With Me” and “Spread Your Love.” Maurice White was overseeing the tightest, stickiest grooves of the band’s career, but he was also concocting some of the group’s most heavenly ballads, including “Straight From the Heart” and “Miracles.” Perhaps most spectacular of all, “Side By Side” and “Something Special” infuse the cloudless, passionate spirit of gospel into the modern funk setting. Even as the entire R&B world was tilting toward commerciality, EW&F continued to make music that was both innovative and inspirational.

Customer Reviews

Best RB/Funk Group in History

One of the greatest bands of all time...Saw them today in concert 6/22/08 and was my first time. I heard so many stories of how good they are live but I couldn't truly appreciate it until I saw them in person. I would recommend this cd or any cd of theirs because of the passion they put into their music. Fall in love, Side by Side, Straight from the heart, and something special are the best songs on the cd. The tremendous vocals of maurice white and others help add to the greatness of TRUE music.

Good But Not Essential

"Powerlight" constitutes a significant drop-off from the classic EWF albums of the mid to late 70's - "Open Our Eyes", "That's the Way of the World", "Gratitude", "Spirit", "All N All" and "I Am". These albums were truly cohesive, stand-alone recordings in which every song was essential to the whole album as a listening experience. Starting with "Faces", "Raise" and this release, EWF albums really were not listening experiences as much as collections of good to excellent songs. Having said this, "Powerlight" is still enjoyable with the highlights being the euphoric "Fall in Love With Me" and ultra-smooth "Side by Side", which features some wonderful percussion and steel drum work. Other worthwhile songs include the truly funky "Spread Your Love" and the laid back "Something Special". The remaining songs are decent but not especially memorable. Of course, the musicianship, as always, is first rate. Unfortunately, the quality of the songs in EWF's subsequent Columbia/Sony releases ("Electric Universe", "Touch the World", and "Heritage") would be even more inconsistent. While EWF released some good albums after leaving Columbia, they would not really regain their stride until "Illumination", which is their most recent release of original material and easily their most consistent recording since "Raise".


Miracles is one of the very best, uplifting songs they ever wrote. I've never understood why Powerlight is not as popular as other EW&F albums. "Miracles" alone is worth purchasing the entire album for...


Formed: 1969 in Chicago, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Earth, Wind & Fire were one of the most musically accomplished, critically acclaimed, and commercially popular funk bands of the '70s. Conceived by drummer, bandleader, songwriter, kalimba player, and occasional vocalist Maurice White, EWF's all-encompassing musical vision used funk as its foundation, but also incorporated jazz, smooth soul, gospel, pop, rock & roll, psychedelia, blues, folk, African music, and, later on, disco. Lead singer Philip Bailey gave EWF an extra dimension with his talent...
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