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33 1/3 Earth, Wind & Fire's That's the Way of the World

33 1/3 Earth, Wind & Fire's That's the Way of the World

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From 33 1/3 series.

By Dwight E. Brooks.

Dwight E. Brooks deep dives into Earth, Wind & Fire's That's The Way of the World. Alongside interview material from members Phillip Bailey and Verdine White, he analyses how this album shattered musical barriers, transcended genres, and paid homage to African and American traditions.

Understanding TTWOTW requires appreciating EWF founder Maurice White's multifaceted vision for his band. White created a band that performed various styles of music that sought to uplift humanity. His musicians personified a new form of Black masculinity rooted in dignity that embraced diverse spiritualities and healthy living. A complete understanding of TTWOTW also necessitates an awareness of American racial dynamics and changes in the popular music industry in the 1960s and '70s.

EWF's landmark album TTWOTW presented hopeful messages about the world that were sorely needed at the time. TTWOTW did not tell listeners exactly how to live, but instead how they can live in a quest for self-actualization. The songs encourage us to yearn, learn, love, see, listen, and feel happy. If art can help mold a better future, than EWF's musical legacy of positivity and self-empowerment will continue to contribute to personal growth and social change even as their melodies linger.

  • Bloomsbury Publishing, 2022
  • Softcover with 152 pages
  • 6 x 5 inches

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