The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 – 1978
Produced by Maurice White for Kalimba Productions
Arranged by Maurice White and Thomas Washington

Review by RJM – Rating:

Best Of Vol.11978 saw the release of the excellent «The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Volume 1» with only three new cuts and a compilation of most of EWF’s popular singles to date. It’s difficult to come up with an objective rating for a compilation – such works don’t have their own identity.

The late 1970’s represented EWF’s singles heyday, scoring four times on the pop top ten. Two of the new cuts on «The Best of EWF, Volume 1» were among these, namely their awesome cover of «Got To Get You Into My Life» (which is way better than the Fab Four’s original), and the outstanding «September» with its non-trivial horn arrangements.

EWF’s performance of «Got To Get You Into My Life» in «Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band» was the high point of this otherwise dismal movie and cemented them as the kings of Black pop. Many artists contributed singles to the movie, but none came near «Got To Get You Into My Life» on the charts.

However, some fans wondered why EWF released so little new material in 1978, when the previous three years had been so fertile. Unfortunately, it was a sign of the future.

This album (along with «Gratitude», «That’s The Way Of The World», and «All n All») was reissued in 1999. The re-releases of «All n All» and «Way Of The World» are absolutely essential to the true EWF scholar, as the amendments demonstrate their work in progress. However, any EWF purist should be offended by the oppressively over-synthesized «Megamix 2000». My advice would be to not spend your bucks on the re-issued «The Best Of EWF Volume 1» and «Gratitude», neither of which offer anything new (besides «Megamix 2000» on the former). However, if your ear and stereo equipment are sophisticated enough to demand a remaster, then go for it.


Tracks in order of strength:
1. Got to Get You Into My Life
2. September
…and the rest:
3. Love Music

Original total playing time: 40:14
US: Columbia 35647
EUR: Columbia 477508-2
JAP: Sony SRCS 9004

Columbia/Legacy has rereleased and digitally re-mastered the album with 2 additional tracks: 
MegaMix 2000 ( September/ Let’s Groove/ Boogie Wonderland/ Fantasy 7:38) and MegaMix (Radio Edit 3:51)

Gunnar Homdrum 1996 © 2005