Earth, Wind & Fire

Love Songs [2004]

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Sure there's Marvin Gaye and Barry White, and even Isaac Hayes who laid out love songs in a singular fashion. These cats are all stylists and high priests of the genre. But no band better personified the love song than Earth, Wind and Fire, not even the Isley Brothers. And they are the holy order of the love ballad. Fronted by Maurice White and Philip Bailey, E,W&F took the love groove -- the one that exists between the ears as well as between the sheets -- and gave it a voice like these cats did. The 14 tracks here are the proof in the pudding that while with Columbia, E,W&F created a body of seductive, sophisticated, warm, bubbling soul that moved their body/mind continuum in a singular fashion from 1975 to 1983. It's here man, from "Reasons," to the band's self-titled theme, to "Fall in Love With Me," to "Wait," to "Love's Holiday," to "Be Ever Wonderful" (written with Brenda Russell) -- and beyond. The set ends with the classic "Wanna Be with You," capping off one of the most sultry, transcendent collections of amorous tunes from the era.

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