Earth, Wind & Fire’s “That’s the Way of the World” was a top-charting record in 1975, just the way it should be. This double-sided LP has been reissued in 1999 as a CD due to the popularity and success of the group. Its production quality is spot on and the band’s performance is also very strong, possibly placing this record as their best album.
Their music is not just in the Funk style; Earth, Wind & Fire combines Rhythm and Blues, Soul, and Rock and Roll together with Funk to create a new hybrid that one can only describe as “Funktastic.” Their extensive use of jazz instruments, like the saxophone and trumpet, bring in bright yet seductive tones to the record.
The songs on this record are generally feel-good tracks, very happy and upbeat, with the exception of “Reasons”. This song was a little slower and a little more serious. Another notable track was “Africano,” a danceable track with samba beats and a huge brass section on top of a keyboard and guitar. This combination of instruments creates an exciting big-band feel, but it still stays intimate due to the tight recording. Even with these two tracks, I felt that there could have been a little more variety in this album.
Nonetheless, “That’s the Way of the World” is an excellent album, and if you’ve never listened to Funk before, this is a great place to start. The record is also perfect for parties, with its fast, driving rhythms, and is a great substance-free pick-me-up for one of those days. Give it a listen!
Album: That’s the Way of the World
Artist: Earth, Wind & Fire
Columbia Records, 1975