Earth Wind and Fire Information
Inducted into both the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Earth Wind & Fire combined a vast number of styles into their eclectic sound to create a new brand of pop with the world as its audience. Founded in Chicago in 1969, Maurice and Verdine White founded the band to blend soul, funk, gospel, blues, rock, and jazz, beginning with their self-titled debut in 1970. One of Maurice White's trademarks was a handheld African thumb piano called a kalimba, used in their many recordings. In 1973 Earth Wind & Fire scored their first gold record with Head to the Sky and their first R&B top ten hit with "Mighty Mighty" from Open Your Eyes. The group's breakthrough to a mass audience came in 1975 with the release of That's the Way of the World, the soundtrack to a film in which the group appeared, featuring the no. 1 hit single "Shining Star."
In 1977 Earth Wind & Fire released the album All 'n All and won three Grammy Awards, one of which was for their version of the Beatles "Got to Get You Into My Life." 1979's I Am featured the popular disco single "Boogie Wonderland" and the hit ballad "After the Love Has Gone." While several early 80s albums were modestly successful, the group disbanded after the commercial failure of 1983's "Electric Universe". It re-formed for the 1987 release Touch the World and the 1990s saw the release of Heritage, Millenium, and In the Name of Love. Known for the spectacular stage shows they continue to put on, Earth Wind & Fire greatly helped to introduce African influences into American pop culture.