Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Earth Wind & Fire - Head To The Sky (1973)

The world's a masquerade....

  

Released May 1973

It was odd to think that Earth, Wind & Fire released a whole raft of relatively unsuccessful, average-ish albums before they hit the right note and became world-famous. This was their fourth album of brassy soul/funk. There are signs, though, of their trademark sound lurking beneath the surface.

TRACK LISTING

1. Evil
2. Keep Your Head To The Sky
3. Build Your Nest
4. The World's A Masquerade
5. Clover
6. Zanzibar                                            

"Evil" is a Latin-influenced groove with a bit of Santana influence to it and a pretty captivating beat. That rhythmic irresistibility that would serve them so well in the future is clear on this one."Keep Your Head To The Sky" is a lush slice of sweet soul, with Philip Bailey's falsetto to the fore. "Build Your Nest" is a short-ish and muscular little funk number.

"The World's A Masquerade" is pleasant enough, but actually doesn't particularly get anywhere. "Clover" is a laid-back, flute-driven soul number such as sometimes appears on "Blaxploitation" compilations as one of the more soulful, less funky numbers. Some seriously killer guitar comes in to it near the end. "Zanzibar" begins with some bizarre noises that will get you wondering who or what is in the room with you before it proceeds on its thirteen minute jazzy, improvisational way.

Certainly there are some good moments on this album, but there are not really enough of them to make it an album that particularly sticks in one's consciousness or urges repeated re-visits. It is pretty short and struggles to find its own real identity. A couple more tracks would not have gone amiss. Having said that, the first three tracks are pretty good and listening to them once more finds me getting into them a lot more, so there you go.

C

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