Earth, Wind & Fire Illumination
The influence and timeless signature sound of Earth, Wind & Fire is crystal clear with the single releases. Black Eyed Peas leader Wil I Am wrote and produced the rousing "Lovely People" complete with peppery horn and kalimba lines. Super producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, tip their trademark hats in tribute to the horn-laced ensemble sound of The Fire with the gently uplifting "Pure Gold"
The seeds of Illumination's origin sprang from an idea lead singer Philip Bailey had of collaborating with new generation of soul artists for his next solo album. "The idea of illumination is vibrant and positive," states EWF's Philip Bailey. "Earth Wind & Fire collaborating with the new soul movement made sense because the thrust of their music is still about playing instruments and utilizing vintage sounds, only in today's setting."
Jam & Lewis' sexy flirtation "Love Dance" on Illumination was playfully utilized in the 2005 animated film release, Robots. Grammy Award winner, Raphael Saadiq, (Tony! Toni! Tone!; Lucy Pearl), produced four songs on Illumination, including "Show Me the Way" - a duet he sings with EWF leader Maurice White and earned a 2004 Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal by a Duo or Group. He also contributes the samba-rooted "Work it Out," a fitting showcase for Philip's falsetto titled "Pass You By," and the vibrant opening track "Love Together".
For Illumination's star-studded track, EWF bounces to the ATL for the hip hop-laced party joint "This Is How I Feel," produced by Organized Noize, featuring rapper Big Boi of OutKast, singers Sleepy Brown and Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child in a duet with EWF lead singer Philip Bailey. This steamy invitation to boogie was also used this year in the Will Smith romantic comedy, Hitch.
Crooner Brian McKnight's fusion of key elements from past Earth, Wind & Fire's classic ballads creates his own epic, "To You." Acclaimed female poetry/soul duo Floetry bring their conscience cleansing balm to the soothing motivator "Elevated" (produced by Darren Henson and Keith Pelzer). R&B futurist Vikter Duplaix laces the joyously tropical instrumental "Liberation," which features tantalizing bursts of EWF's wondrous wordless vocal melodies. As a bonus, the pied piper of soprano sax Kenny G guests on a cover of OutKast's infectious, instant club classic, "The Way You Move."
Earth, Wind & Fire is simply one of the most important, influential, innovative and commercially omnipotent contemporary pop music bands of the 20th century. Their 35-year history produced million and millions of albums sold worldwide (including eight double-platinum albums, two platinum albums and three gold albums). Five #1 R&B albums, one #1 Pop and eight Top 10 Pop albums, and eight #1 R&B singles.
Earth, Wind & Fire and the founding members have eight Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, honors from the NAACP and BET and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The coup de grace: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2000. Earth Wind & Fire remains to this day one of the top globally popular touring attractions with a catalog of mega-hits spanning over three decades.
ILLUMINATION - Track listing:
1. LOVELY PEOPLE - FEAT. WIL I AM of THE BLACK EYED PEAS (Produced & Written by WIL I AM)
2. PURE GOLD Produced & Written by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis
3. A TALKING VOICE INTERLUDE
4. LOVE'S DANCE Produced & Written by Jimmy & Terry Lewis
5. SHOW ME THE WAY- FEAT. RAPHAEL SAADIQ Produced by R. Saadiq (Written by R. Saadiq, T. Jackson)
6. THIS IS HOW I FEEL - FEAT. SLEEPY BROWN, BIG BOI & KELLY ROWLAND (Written and Produced by Organized Noize)
7. WORK IT OUT Produced by Raphael Saadiq (Written by R. Saadiq, T. Jackson, S. Bailey, K. Wooten)
8. PASS YOU BY Produced by Raphael Saadiq (Written by R. Saadiq, T. Jackson)
9. THE ONE Produced by Organized Noize (Written by P. Brown, R. Murray, R. Wade)
10. ELEVATED - FEAT. FLOETRY Produced By Darren Henson & Keith Pelzer (Written by M. Ambrosius, N. Stewart, D. Henson, K. Pelzer)
11. LIBERATION Produced & Written by Vikter Duplaix
12. TO YOU - FEAT. BRIAN MCKNIGHT Produced & Written by Brian McKnight
13. THE WAY YOU MOVE - Kenny G & Earth, Wind & Fire