Sweet Sweetbacks Badasssss Song, a Melvin Van Peebles’ production, was the first movie in this genre which turned out such dynamic movies and soundtracks as Shaft. Sweetback was released in 1971 and was the first film to feature a mostly-black cast and a black hero. Despite the resistance from The Motion Picture rating board, whose all-white members rated the film "X", it grossed over $10 million at the box office in the first week of release. Raising questions of race, violence and corruption, the film captured the imagination of many Americans and featured an effective and fitting soundtrack.
Van Peebles’ action-packed story involves a black pimp who finds himself in trouble when he kills two white policemen who brutalise one of his militant friends. Melvin plays the lead character, with his son Mario in a supporting role. The father-son duo have had success with other political movies such as Panther, but this Sweetback remains the touchstone of Blaxploitation’s repertoire.
The soundtrack comes from the young Earth, Wind and Fire, and is a sure early sign of the group’s appeal and eventual success. In this early recording they present an eclectic mixture of fast and furious soul and jazz. You’ll notice the song titles alone are eye catching.
1. Sweetback losing his cherry
2. Sweetback getting it uptight and preaching it so hard the bourgeois reggin angels in heaven turn around
3. Come on feet
4. Sweetback’s theme
5. Hoppin’ John / Voices / Mojo woman / Voices
Sanra Z / Voices
6. Reggin hanging on in there as best they can / Voices won’t bleed me
7. The man tries running his usual game but Sweetback’s Jones is so strong he wastes the hounds (Yeay! Yeah! And besides that will be coming back takin’ names and collecting dues)
Get it at: Ace Records, UK.

The first two EWF albums, Earth Wind & Fire and The Need Of Love, was finally reissued on CD in the US on 11. March 1997. Until then they were only available in Europe and Japan. Some old vinyl pressings of the the album EWF, contains the track "Handwriting on the wall". This track is not the same as "Writing on the wall", which was the b-side (45") of "System of survival". "Writing.." also appeared on the Warner compilation Another Time. This is a double album containing both the albums EWF and The Need Of Love. A recent Canadian CD pressing of Another Time, also includes the track "Mom" from Last Days And Time.

IsisIn 1997 a computer game named ISIS was released containing EW&F music and interviews. Read more

Hard-to-find 12" singles! Contact Beach Bum Collectables, USA.
Boogie Wonderland (9:21) – 12"
Fall In Love With Me – Promo 12"
For The Love Of You – 6 mix 12"
Heritage – Limited Edition 12"
Let Me Talk – Promo 12"
Magnetic – Ultra hard to find! Promo Limited Edition 12" 
Spread Your Love – Rare! Promo 12"
System Of Survival (7:32) – 12"
Thinking Of You (7:50) – Limited Edition 12"
Turn On (The Beat Box) – Ultra hard to find! Promo Limited Edition 12"
Two Hearts – Collectors 2-track CD Single

Also check out Vinyl Vendors for rare albums and singles. E-mail: paul@vinylvendors.com

The following compilation CD’s contains live/alternate versions and previously unreleased tracks. Check out:
Best of vol.1 – 1978
Got to get you into my life
Love music (US CD version)
Best of vol.2 – 1988
Turn on (the beat box)
Eternal Dance – Box set – 1992
Hey girl (Interlude)
Shining star (Alternate version)
Kalimba story/Sing a message to you (Live)
Mighty mighty (Live)
Ponta de areia (Interlude)
Dirty (Interlude)
Getaway (Extra intro)
Little girl (Interlude)
Night dreamin’
Got to get you into my life (Alternate outro with wailing guitar and acapella vocals on the fade, rather than the full band)
Fall in love with me (Original ending without guitar)
Very Best Of – 1992
September/Let´s groove/Rock that!/Boogie Wonderland (Megamix)
Dance Tracks – 1994
Kalimba tree (Long version)
Let’s Groove (12" Holiday remix)
Big Hits & Remixes – 1999
September 99 (Phats & Small remix)
Boogie Wonderland (Stretch & Vern remix)
Let’s Groove (Merchant of Menace remix)
Megamix 2000
  EWF recorded "One World" in 1989 on an album called "Music Speaks Louder Than Words". The album was unprecedented at the time. It featured American songwriters teaming up with then Soviet songwriters in an East/West summit of sorts. The album also features Roberta Flack and Atlantic Starr.

Pre-EWF singles. According to All-Music Guide, Maurice White, Wade Flemmons and Don Whitehead apparently recorded TWO singles as The Salty Peppers in 1969 before they went on becoming EWF.
"Un huh yeah" b/w "Your love is life" – CAP 2568 F C9691. (Could this be the first recording of "Love is life" from the first EWF album?) and "La, La, La" – TEC 1014 E X8013 (According to their bio the title was "La La Time". Anybody?)

The tracks "Change your mind", "Take you to heaven" and "Bahia (interlude)" is only available on the 1996 Avatar album, released in Japan.

EWF took part in an ABC televised concert back in July of 1988 called "Star Spangled Celebration." Patrick Duffy hosted it, and it also featured Kool & The Gang. The concert took place in the Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta, Georgia. They performed "Touch the World", featuring a gospel choir from a local church in Atlanta. Oliver Wells, who wrote the song, directed the choir.

EW&F made a track called "Dance, dance dance" that was featured on the soundtrack for the animated film "Rock and Rule" in 1983. Thanks to Hiroshi Okuhara, here’s a complete MP3 sample of the song.

Phillip Bailey did one track on the 1985 Steven Spielberg movie "The Goonies". The song is called "Love is Alive". The album also features Luther Vandross among others.

The album "The artists – EWF, Jean Carn & Rose Royce" was released on the Streetsound label in the UK in 1985. It contains previously released material together with a 10 minute interview with Maurice and Verdine White at Soul Spectrum, Capital Radio, London, April 17th 1980.

9. January 1979 EWF played at a UN fundraising in The General Assembly Hall, along with Donna Summer, Bee Gees, Rod Steart and ABBA among others. It resulted in the album "The Music For UNICEF Concert – A Gift Of Song". EWF played a medley of "September/ That´s The Way Of The World", which turned out to be a very good combination. Available (still?) on Polydor LP 2335-214.

Maybe not that rare, but anyway.. In 1978 EW&F appeared in the movie "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" with Peter Frampton, The Bee-Gees, Aerosmith, etc. They took time off from their world tour at the moment to do the cameo role where they perform "Got To Get You Into My Life", using the stage from the tour. The track is featured on several of the "Best of" albums.

Superb Italian 12 inch megamix on Red Rock Records from around 1989 containing:
In the stone / Boogie wonderland / September / Can’t let go / Fall in love with me / Let’s groove / Sing a song / Jupiter / Fantasy / Brazilian rhyme / Let’s talk / Shining star / Serpentine fire / Star / In the stone. Running time: 15:25 (RRD 1005 – 1989?)

The Japanese CD single of "Bloodbrothers" contains the previously unreleased track "Frontline of Seduction" (04:18) [Lyrics]. It also seems that a certain version of the single "Spend the Night" also contains "Frontline of Seduction".

The 12 inch single of "System of Survival" contains a superb 7:31 mins "House remix" of the song. Additional production and mixing by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero. (CBS 65111806 – 1987)

Canandian 12 inch single in the "Dance classics" series by Unidisc Records, contains an extended 6:00 mins version of "Fantasy" and a 6:43 mins slightly remixed version of "Let’s groove". "Fantasy" is not really a remix. When Philip starts on the high part in the end, the song just starts over again from somewhere in the middle. (Unidisc SPEC 1275 – 1987)

Maurice White is appearing on the Christmas album "Tis The Season" on the N2K Encoded Music label. 
Howard Hewett: First Noel
Maysa: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Phil Perry: Away In A Manger
Patti Austin: This Christmas
Candy Dulfer: Silver Bells
Jonathan Butler: Christmas Song
Deniece Williams: O Holy Night
Maurice White: Open Your Heart To Love
The Whispers: Merry Christmas Darling
Carl Anderson: I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Jon Lucien: White Christmas
Maysa w/ Keith Cross: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
Keith Jones – bass, Donald Hayes – sax, Lilo Fadidas – guitar, Maurice – lead/background vocals, Josie James and Lynn Davis – background vocals. Horns pervade the track, but no mention of the players. Song is composed by Reece and Lilo Fadidas.

Culumbia/Legacy has released the "Megamix 2000" (7:38) on vinyl 12" in July ’99 (US)

"Whatever Happened" by EW&F is included on the soundtrack for the 2002 comedy movie "Undercover Brother" starring Eddie Griffin and Denise Richards. Other acts on the album are Gil Scott-Heron, Commodores,  O’Jays, James Brown, Cheryl Lynn, Mary Jane Girls and more. Film score is composed by Stanley Clarke. [Listen Sound ]

"Unity", the official 2004 Olympics CD is featuring duets between several major stars. EW&F and  Roots Manuva does "Love Together". Some of the other duets included on the CD are; Sting and Mariza, Moby and Public Enemy, Alice Cooper and Xzibit, Wayne Wonder and Neneh Cherry.

The soundtrack for the 2005 animated movie "Robots" features "Love’s Dance", an EW&F track produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and taken from the 2005 "Illumination" album. "Robots" also incl. War’s west coast Latin-funk classic "Low Rider" and a new club remix of James Brown’s late-seventies "Get Up Offa That Thing".

Global Electronic Music Marketplace
A complete (?) list of EWF stuff on the web, and where to get it.

Gunnar Homdrum 1996 © 2005