At their height, Earth Wind & Fire were one of the biggest bands in the world, but they've always been uncompromisingly Afrocentric in their musical vision. Founded in 1969 in Chicago by former Chess session drummer Maurice White, Earth Wind & Fire were a seemingly unstoppable force of irresistible melodies, tight horn arrangements and in-the-pocket grooves for a full decade. EW&F managed to have massive crossover success throughout the 1970s, despite the Billboard charts still being quite segregated. Ironically, two of their biggest hit songs were tied to films that bombed, That's The Way Of The World and the notorious cocaine-induced garbage fire Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Underneath the infectious pop hits and elaborate stage shows, they were always a band of extremely talented jazz musicians exploring the boundaries of pop music. Leader Maurice White passed away 2016, but the current band still includes Verdine White, Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson, who have been core members of the group since the early 1970s. Though they'll most likely run through a few of their crowd-pleasing hits like "September" and "Got To Get You Into My Life", it'll be interesting to hear what other cuts they'll play from their massive catalogue. —Ian Adcock