A 3 CD "dump the vaults"compilation box set. In addition to all the band's hits, also included are previously unreleased tracks, live cuts, b-sides, and demos. Arranged chronologically, it is interesting to hear the progression from a soul group to a top-notch funk/R&B band to, unfortunately, a synth/drum machine studio project. Not for the casual fan, but essential for people such as myself. 55 tracks over nearly 4 hours. Big booklet included with lots of good photos and some essays about EWF, but not enough info about the tracks.
Disc I (1971-1975) 18 tracks. Highlights: Mighty Mighty, Reasons, and That's The Way Of The World. We also get two versions of Shining Star. While the "previously unreleased alternate version" is worth a listen because the horn parts are better, it is obvious that the band ultimately released the right version.
Disc II (1975-1977) 18 tracks. This disc begins with 4 live tracks that I could do without, but then things get much better. Highlights: Can't Hide Love, Sing A Song, Getaway, Fantasy, Serpentine Fire, and Beijo.The disc ends with what could possibly be the greatest cover of all time: Got To Get You Into My Life. The EWF version is every bit as good as The Beatles' original. I'll forgive the fact that the reason for its existence is that awful 1978 Sgt Pepper movie; the band took a Beatles song and made it a EWF song - that's a great cover.
Disc III (1978-1989) 19 tracks. Highlights: September, the tracks from I Am, And Love Goes On, and Let Me Talk. Also included is an untitled demo (track 9) that is good enough as it is, but I would have loved to have heard a full-blown version of it. Most of the post 1983 material doesn't flip my ship.
My top 5 EWF songs:
- Got To Get You Into My Life
- Shining Star
- After The Love Is Gone
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: A fan of the group in the late '70s and early '80s, I thought set would be a good way to introduce myself to the band's early and later periods. I think I got this box set on the cheap (less than $10) from eBay around ten years ago. I suggest you do the same.
Previously revisited for the blog:
I Am (1979)