That’s The Way Of The World –
Review by RJM – Rating:In 1975, the Sig Shore motion picture titled «That’s The Way Of The World», starring Harvey Keitel, opened to little fanfare. Earth, Wind & Fire co-starred, as «The Group», trying to catch a break in the harsh music business.
The movie vanished rapidly and no Academy Award was forthcoming for Maurice White. However, the magnificent soundtrack was released as the EWF album «That’s The Way Of The World». What had been building since 1971 finally exploded and propelled EWF to the top of the musical planet. This work netted EWF a stack of awards and spawned an entire era of Black music.
From «That’s The Way Of The World» came EWF’s first (and only) #1 pop hit, the electrifying «Shining Star» – never in history has something as good hit the top. The stratospheric title cut (which they refer to as «our national anthem»), and the slow-jam standard «Reasons» round out the mega-three. Then there’s the interesting fusion «Africano» (which used a then unheard of hip-hop like beat). The keyboard interlude at the end of side one is an excellent showcase for the abilities of Larry Dunn.
The rest of the production is smooth, faultless, and highly polished thanks again to Brother Charles Stepney’s contribution. The strong horn arrangements, which integrated into the music instead of overwhelming it, were finally in place. The resulting brass section is energetic without blaring. It’s clear «That’s The Way Of The World» had a much larger budget than any of their previous releases, further evidenced by the first-time appearance of a full orchestra.
The strength of «That’s The Way Of The World» is indisputable – it contains at least two of EWF’s five best singles ever. One should not underestimate its historical importance. However, considering how other reviewers have raved over what they’ve claimed is EWF’s essential work, the other cuts here aren’t spectacular. Fortunately, «That’s The Way Of The World» was remastered and re-released in 1999, including alternate takes of several cuts. Among these is «Caribou Chaser» which is a reprise of the bop «Spasmodic Movement» from «Open Our Eyes». Do yourself a favor and pick up this remaster. (Rating is for original release).
order of strength:
Original total playing time: 38:39
Columbia/Legacy has re-released
and digitally remastered the album with 5 additional tracks: "Shining Star" (Future Star) (1:06), "All About Love" (First Impression) (3:13),
"Happy Feelin" (Anatomy of a Groove) (3:31),
"Caribou Chaser" (Jazzy Jam) (1:39) and "That¹s The Way of The World" (Latin Expedition) (1:42)
Hi quality LP
ORIGINAL MASTER RECORDING (TM) Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, a Division of MFSL, Inc. MFSL 1-159 Manufactured and distributed by MFSL, Inc., Petaluma, CA 94952,All under license from Columbia Records/CBS Inc. Rights Reserved.
Andrei Rouliakovi has got a copy and he says: The sound quality on the LP is unbeleivable, and the thing is definitely worth more than $25 I paid for it. Actually I can no longer listen to the CD pressing of "That’s The Way Of The World" after I got the LP. The quality is incomparable!!! As far as I know, MFSL, Inc. is specializing in purchasing licenses on chosen records for a very short time period and releasing the material (on CD’s and LP’s) with limited number of copies.
The movie "That’s the way of the
world" is not a very good one. As a matter of fact it was taken off after only 3 days
of showing in the US. But of course it’s a collector’s item for all fans.