The Need Of Love – 1971
Review by RJM – Rating:«The Need Of Love» was Earth, Wind & Fire’s second 1971 release, and its clear why band members were getting antsy from lack of success. Though the album does have redeeming features, the material isn’t strong and distinctive. Though the sound is more refined than the debut album, I feel continued ambivalence.
The lead cut «Energy» is full of interesting changes, bad poetry, and is commendable as fusion. By the end, it becomes pretty good jazz. «Beauty» hints at their future R&B mastery, and «Everything Is Everything» gets better as it goes along, but the other two cuts don’t catch my fancy.
Included is their second release, the sappy «I Think About Lovin’ You». Overall, «The Need Of Love» is in need of some love, and very dated. A big problem with this and the subsequent album are some of the horn arrangements – there goes the brass section falling into the orchestra pit again!
Note that certain pressings of the original LP release had an additional single «Handwriting On The Wall», which I haven’t heard. The single was part of the 1974 Warner attempt-to-cash-in-the-EWF-phenomenom titled «Another Time», which actually consisted of the «The Need Of Love» and the debut album.
After «The Need Of Love», Maurice White disbanded and then retooled EWF, and moved to Columbia. Warner didn’t stop them, which turned out a huge blunder. Based on EWF’s first two albums, it was hard to fault Warner’s reasoning at the time.
order of strength:
US: Warner Bros. 1958