By RJM - 1998
Wind & Fire has been called "The Black Beatles", and rightfully so. What
sets them apart from The Commodores and Kool & The Gang -- their biggest
contemporary rivals -- is their enormous vocal talent and the quality of
would I spend so much time reviewing EWF albums? I felt that the need
find other reviews where people apparently take a stack of albums home over
the weekend to be cynicism and not criticism. The numerous spelling errors
and singles attributed to the wrong album that I come across indicate a lack
of care. EWF reviews deserve better and more in depth treatment.
Nonetheless, my ratings don't vary enormously from the overall critical
consensus, since I certainly ain't no music critic or musician. These
reviews weren't conceived in a vacuum. They come from years of devouring all
information concerning EWF. They are a selective compilation of opinion,
including my own.
don't get bent out of shape about my sometimes stinging criticism. I don't
think that these would be legitimate reviews otherwise. Also, try to
appreciate my use of language. For example, some purists could make the
argument that EWF really doesn't play jazz, hence it is inaccurate to refer
to some of their work as jazz. I suppose I could repeatedly use a phrase
like "EWF-jazz", but this would grow tiresome.
is important. Besides the obvious things, I measure quality in terms of
innovation, and that requires chronological and historical context. Also, I
have decided to include the main solo work in my reviews (six albums by
Philip Bailey, and one by Maurice White). However, I have decided to not
include Philip Bailey's four gospel albums, since I don't feel qualified to
offer a valid opinion on these. A main source of factual information,
like American chart positions, comes from the essential "The Eternal Dance"
this day, honoring the birthday of the great American and humanitarian Dr.
Martin Luther King, I give you these products of tribute to the elements of
the universe, Earth, Wind & Fire...