Earth, Wind & Fire: 12 Essential Songs

Savor the smoothest soul and most enlightened funk from the hitmaking legends

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"Devotion" (1974)

"Maurice’s whole vision was to kinda sneak a little jazz on people," said EWF singer Philip Bailey in a 2013 interview. Nowhere is that more evident than in "Devotion," a minor hit but major fan favorite from 1974's Open Our Eyes. Awash in shimmering chords, fusion-rich keys and a lusciously sinuous bass line, the song's hooks are as subtle as they are unshakeable. It's a tender song for a time when America felt anything but — and White’s mission to smuggle jazz into the R&B and pop charts feels more sacred here than almost anywhere else in EWF’s catalogue. Or as the song itself unabashedly states, "So our mission, to bring melody/Ringing voices sing sweet harmony." Its most memorable version can be heard on the 1975 live album Gratitude, where the band's rendition at the Omni Theater in Atlanta is like a gospel-funk revival. 

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