Earth, Wind & Fire: Wade Flemons, Sherry Scott (vocals); Don Whitehead (vocals, acoustic & electric pianos); Maurice White (vocals, kalimba, drums, percussion); Michael Beal (guitar, harmonica); Chet Washington (tenor saxophone); Alex Thomas (trombone); Verdine A. White (bass); Yackov Ben Israel (conga, percussion).
Additional personnel: Oscar Brashear (trumpet).
Producer: Joe Wissert.
Reissue producer: Kevin Tong.
Digital remastering by Lee Herschberg.
The ambitions of Earth, Wind & Fire only increased after their stellar debut, and the group brought an abstract sense of composition to their sophomore record, The Need of Love. The opener, a ten-minute piece named "Energy," is proof enough, with several extended passages inspired by everything from free jazz as well as in-the-pocket funk like Kool & the Gang. The next song up, "Beauty" is also positive and intriguing, though in an overly similar groove as "Fan the Fire" from the first album. The closer, a cover of Donny Hathaway's gloriously funky "Everything Is Everything," does justice to the original (and that's saying a lot). Compared to the debut, The Need of Love lacks a sense of exuberance as well as a passel of solid songs and performances. ~ John Bush
- Format: Vinyl