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Entertainment Weekly


The Eternal Dance

Posted on

These days, Earth, Wind, & Fire and its leader, Maurice White, are remembered for go-down-easy funk like ”Shining Star.” But as The Eternal Dance proves, EWF was more than just a hit factory. The original Afrocentric space cowboy, White followed his gooney muse from sweet, spiritual ballads to truly out-there funk-jazz suites — a sensibility that has filtered down to rappers like P.M. Dawn. In bringing out that side of the band — especially its pleasantly meandering jams — the first of these three CDs is often revelatory. EWF floundered with the rise of disco; ”Boogie Wonderland” and ”After the Love Is Gone” were fine singles but also ominously generic, and an increasing blandness mars the last third of this set. Newcomers may want to stick with the band’s essential Best Of, Vol. 1 — but if they do, they’ll miss out on the spaciest cover version of ”Where Have All the Flowers Gone” ever recorded. B