The wise saying »spiritus ubi vult spirat« (»the spirit blows where it wills«) is interpreted by Earth, Wind & Fire with impressive clarity. Gentle sounds and modest gestures are foreign to the colourful Afro group, who in their live performances welded together ancient Egyptian Pharaonic mysticism with urban street life. That this spirit, which is found in the LP title and blows all the way through it, was guaranteed not only by the exuberant wind section in the group’s early years. With regard to rhythm, too, the band rolls out almost everything to pave the floor with powerful disco patterns, not forgetting the elegant and finely controlled falsetto, which adds further pep. Out of all this came the highly cultivated and expressive vocals as in "Imagine", carefully balanced ballads ("Burnin’ Bush"), as well as a powerful sound that is so good for dancing to, as in the memorable number "Saturday Nite". An extremely wide range of musical genres was brought together by Earth, Wind & Fire in a big-band sound that is »innovative yet popular, precise yet sensual, calculated yet galvanizing« (Rolling Stone Magazine).
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head. All royalties and mechanical rights have been paid.
Maurice White (vocal, drums, percussion)
Philip Bailey (vocal, conga, percussion)
Larry Dunn (piano, organ, synthesizer)
Johnny Graham (guitar)
Al McKay (guitar, percussion)
Jerry Peters (piano)
Verdine White (vocal, bass, percussion)
Fred White, Ralph Johnson (drums, percussion)
Recording: 1976 at Wally Heider Studio 3, Burbank Studios, Hollywood Sound Recorders and Westlake Audio by George Massenburg
Production: Maurice White & Charles Stepney
About Speakers Corner
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s – or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky“), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects – excluding the exception above – and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.
2. On Your Face
5. Saturday Nite
6. Earth, Wind & Fire
9. Burnin' Bush