Interviews

Published on September 8th, 2013 | by Gerry Galipault

0

Back to basics for Earth, Wind & Fire

More than a year ago, Earth, Wind & Fire thought it had its first album in eight years all finished and ready to go.

Then Philip Bailey’s son, Philip D. Bailey, had a heart to heart with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer.

“We had just finished recording ‘Guiding Lights,’ which he had co-written,” Bailey said. “It was pretty emotional – for me and for him. He said to me, ‘This is who you are. This is how you sound.’

“He was right. It sounded like classic Earth, Wind & Fire, like something from our ‘Head to the Sky’ album (1973). Right then and there, I knew we had to go back to the drawing board. We needed all new songs that matched our original sound.”

A year later – on Tuesday (Sept. 10), in fact – Earth, Wind & Fire returns with its 20th album “Now, Then & Forever” (Legacy) and a whole new batch of back-to-basics EWF tracks.

Bailey admits EWF had strayed from its innovative mix of R&B, soul, funk, jazz and disco after leader Maurice White stopped touring with the band in 1994.

“He was such an integral part of the band, he was the architect of our sound,” he said. “You move that piece out and it’s bound to affect you. We pretty much carried on without him.”

After talking with his son, Bailey reassessed EWF’s direction. White, who has Parkinson’s Disease, left the keys to the band in Bailey’s hands, along with singer-percussionist Ralph Johnson and White’s younger brother, bassist Verdine White.

“Maurice is our guiding force, but we had to go through a little adversity to get back to who we are. I realized that our music is essential in people’s lives, the same as the Eagles and Stevie Wonder are. I would be pissed off if Stevie Wonder tried folk or if the Eagles tried to sound like Journey. We had to do what we do best.”

The 10-song “Now, Then & Forever” features the first single, “My Promise” (co-written by Siedah Garrett), “Guiding Lights” and “Sign On,” also co-written by Bailey’s son.

“Once we bought into it, it wasn’t so hard to get back on the right path,” Bailey said. “We’re so happy with this album, and we’re excited about getting it out to our fans.

“The momentum has not stopped for us. It’s such a blessing that we still get to do this after some 40 years.”

(Photo by Randee St. Nicholas)

 

 

Tags: , , , ,


About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to Top ↑
  • BEST OF THE WEB

     

    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    March 5, 2021 » Kings of Leon, Chevelle, Zara Larsson, A Day to Remember, Neil Young, Chase Atlantic, Gabrielle, Teenage Fanclub, Pat Metheny, Elizabeth and the Catapult, Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird, Visionist, etc.

    March 12, 2021 » Selena Gomez, Nick Jonas, Rob Zombie, Valerie June, Andra Day, Saga, The Paper Kites, Butch Walker, Strawbs, Lake Street Dive, Jane Monheit, Israel Nash, Witch Camp, Pino Palladino and Blake Mills, James Levy, etc.

    March 19, 2021 » Lana Del Rey, Ringo Starr, Loretta Lynn, Harry Connick Jr., Sting, Ryan Adams, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Jon Batiste, Middle Kids, The Snuts, Serj Tankian, Chad VanGaalen, etc.

    March 26, 2021 » Carrie Underwood, Evanescence, First Aid Kit, AJR, Suzi Quatro, FITZ, Ben Howard, Tower of Power, Death From Above 1979, Tune-Yards, Sara Watkins, The Antlers, SG Lewis, etc.

    More New Releases » April 2 and Beyond: Mark Bryan, Richie Furay, Leslie Jordan, Flock of Dimes, Dry Cleaning, Haunted Shed, La Femme, Sturgill Simpson, Bryce Dessner with the Australian String Quartet, Al Stewart, Taylor Swift, Cheap Trick, Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi, Merry Clayton, Fleetwood Mac, Parker Millsap, Eric Church, Greta Van Fleet, The Offspring, Escape the Fate, Tom Jones, Peter Frampton, Dinosaur Jr., Sir Sly, Dumpstaphunk, Marianne Faithfull, Mick Fleetwood & Friends, Birdy, The Dropkick Murphys, Shovels & Rope, Teenage Fanclub, The Coral, Royal Blood, New Order, Nancy Wilson, Travis Tritt, Del Amitri, Paul Weller, The Chills, Juliana Hatfield, David Gray, Gary Numan, Mat Kearney, Ashley McBryde, Shannon McNally, Crowded House, James, Tristen, Wolf Alice, AFI, Joshua Radin, Ora The Molecule, Maggie Rose, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2021 but yet to be scheduled




    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: Pauseandplay.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love Pauseandplay.com? We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.




  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook

  • On Twitter