12 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Almost a decade after Maurice White formed the spiritually minded Earth, Wind & Fire, the band hit upon one of their sweatiest, most sensual anthems, "Boogie Wonderland." Featuring alluring lead vocals by female R&B trio The Emotions, this disco stunner remains a surefire dance-floor filler. In a mellower mood, the aching "After the Love Has Gone" is one of Philip Bailey's most enduring ballads, and the slinky "You and I" is an uplifting, joyous love song.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Almost a decade after Maurice White formed the spiritually minded Earth, Wind & Fire, the band hit upon one of their sweatiest, most sensual anthems, "Boogie Wonderland." Featuring alluring lead vocals by female R&B trio The Emotions, this disco stunner remains a surefire dance-floor filler. In a mellower mood, the aching "After the Love Has Gone" is one of Philip Bailey's most enduring ballads, and the slinky "You and I" is an uplifting, joyous love song.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
52 Ratings

52 Ratings

Brandonomura ,

Great Album

One of their best albums if not the best...5 Solid hits..recommend to buy this

KADossVA ,

Essential EWF

"I Am" is the last of the "classic" EWF albums of the 1970's (beginning with "Open Our Eyes") and it is terrific. It is also perhaps the most "pop" oriented recording by the group as several songs crossed over to Top 40 radio and were frequently used by other commercial media sources. Songs from "I Am" were used as bumper music for radio and TV sports programs. In fact, even today, 30 years after their release, both "In the Stone" and "Rock That!" can be heard during breaks on AM radio talk and sports programs. Moreover, college and high school marching bands across the country played songs from the album during halftime shows. Additionally "Boogie Wonderland" and After the Love Is Gone" were, at the time, the most blatantly commercial songs EWF had recorded...but this is not a bad thing. Both songs are excellent. "Boogie Wonderland" finds the group making its first "real" disco record...and they definitely pull it off. In fact, to really appreciate the greatness of "Boogie Wonderland" and its uninhibited expression of the joys of dancing, one should listen to the 8 minute long 12 inch single version. It is one of the greatest songs from the disco music era. "After the Love Is Gone" was composed by David Foster, Jay Grayden and Chicago's Bill Champlin...and it sounds like a Chicago song from that period. Maurice White's lead vocals, the Philip Bailey led backing vocals, and the EWF horns, especially the saxophone solo, all work together to convey the heartbreaking message of the song. It is absolutely gorgeous. "Can't Let Go", "Let Your Feelings Show", and "Star" are the funkier songs from "I Am" and are winners. 'Can't Let Go" is especially glorious and the interplay between the EWF horns and Maurice's vocals are especially impressive. "Wait" and "You and I" represent the mellow side of "I Am" and are likewise very, very good. "Diana" and "Dirty" were added as bonus tracks to the remastered CD release. Both songs are solid. As great as the vocals are on this recording, the EWF horn section is even more impressive. "I Am" contains some of the finest work ever by the EWF horns. While not as good or as innovative as their previous album "All N' All", which is, in my opinion, the best album in EWF's excellent catalogue, "I Am" is definitely deserving of 5 stars.

amerritt70 ,

Classic Album from the Elements

With the recent passing of Maurice White, the founding member and driving creative force behind Earth, Wind & Fire, over the past few days I've found myself revisiting their music, which provided the soundtrack to my youth. "I Am" is the first album I explored in full by EWF and remains to this day, one of my favorite albums by the "Elements". The first song to grab my attention from this collection was the David Foster penned "After the Love Is Gone" (which by the way, features lead vocals from Maurice White, NOT Phillip Bailey, as the iTunes editors notes incorrectly state), with its melancholy lyrics, beautiful melody and haunting horn section accents. I used to call the radio station daily the summer this song was released and request it hourly (in the days when radio DJs took requests). Eventually, my dad let me borrow his LP and I played that album to death. Of course, Boogie Wonderland was the other radio friendly standout for this album, but there are so many cuts on this album that are better. The album opener "In the Stone", is known to be a staple among high school and college marching bands and the majestic intro from the Phenix Horns is still synonymous with the group's legendary sound. In my humble opinion, there's not a bit of filler on this album at all. "Rock That!" is one of the most jammin' grooves ever played by the group, and reminds me at once of the genius this group had overall as a BAND. You and I is also one of my favorite ballads by the group, and ALMOST gives "After the Love" a run for it's money as the most romantic cut on the album.
"I Am" will always be one of my favorite albums, not just by EWF, but in general. It's getting quite a bit of airplay these days as I revisit the legacy of Maurice White.

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