The past month has seen some truly great people leaving us; David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Terry Wogan. All people who left the world a better place than when they were born in to it purely by carrying out their day to day jobs with passion and commitment. As a lover of everything that is groova-funka-jamma-licious, the death of Maurice White a few weeks ago was devastating news. For those who are not familiar with the name, White was the founder and one of the lead vocalists of the master-piece, Earth, Wind & Fire ie. the creators of the songs that you will undoubtedly hear at every party (if you don’t then I suggest that you and your comrades head towards the exit signs and toe tap your way over to the nearest disco). You can thank White for the tunes that convince everyone, including the guy who’s too cool to be seen having fun, to gravitate towards the dance floor and shake their booty down to the floor. You physically can not fight the urge to boogie to the beat. Take inspiration from Soul Train dancers who have perfected some of the grooviest dance moves I have ever witnessed:
Everyone knows it’s time to get down when you hear those magical opening words, ‘Do you remember?’. Even if you don’t know the lyrics, you can fool everyone by just shouting anything that vaguely resembles the word ‘September’ at the end of each phrase and when you get to the chorus just throw your hands above your head and shout ‘BAA-DEEE-YAAA’. This is the perfect example of what happens when you combine a funk beat on a rhythm guitar, White’s smooth as silk voice with a sprinkling of Philip Bailey’s falsetto and a blasting horn section. No song has ever sounded so jovial. Of course there are the other EWF classics that every living being knows and loves; Boogie Wonderland and its mysteriously dark and seductive tone, and Let’s Groove with a music video where Maurice looks sexier than ever in his metallic jumpsuit. If I could participate in any music video it would have been that one fo shaw so that I could join them in sharing the spice of life. If you want more songs just as charismatic as these dance numbers, I highly recommend Mighty Might, Getaway and Dance Floor which form part of EWF’s collection of more upbeat songs. (Gals, if you want to release your inner sass and seduce that certain someone with your bootylicious moves, Sweet Sassy Lady is the song for just that, as the name would suggest.)
If you want more songs just as charismatic as these dance numbers, I highly recommend Mighty Might, Getaway and Dance Floor which form part of EWF’s collection of more upbeat songs. (Gals, if you want to release your inner sass and seduce that certain someone with your bootylicious moves, Sweet Sassy Lady is the song for just that, as the name would suggest.)
Like those I just mentioned, so many of EWF’s other fantastic songs have passed under the radar. My personal favourite of theirs is Sing a Song. Listening to this song makes me feel like that person who doesn’t just walk out of their building and head to work; they burst through the revolving doors in to full sunshine and a chorus of birds with a skip in their step, they high-five the milkman, they catch an apple thrown to them by the local grocer one-handed and inspire every child they dance past with their permanent smile. This song is the soundtrack to their life. The lyrics, “When you feel down and out, sing a song, it’ll make your day”, reassure you that everything in life is going to be just peachy. Trust in Maurice.
I won’t give too much away and I’ll let the playlist of my all time favourite EWF tracks attached below speak for itself. It’s long enough to quench your thirst for some soul-pop but not so long that every song begins to blur in to one. I tried to include a nice balance of smooth, down-beat numbers like After the Love Has Gone and This World Today, with feel-good songs for when you feel like whacking out the flares and turning your pad in to a wonderland of the boogie nature. This way you wonderful people can appreciate the full spectrum of the magic of EWF and shape your day accordingly.
Go forth and be funky.
(PS. I apologise for the randomness and lack of structure to this post – think of it more as an explosion of love for Maurice and EWF rather than an English essay, that might help.)