Maybe the Greatest Funk Band Ever

The first song I ever heard from Earth Wind and Fire was ‘Fantasy’ – I was 16 at the time. It was on the playlist it at our local Sacred Heart disco playlist in the Melbourne suburb of Kew (where we saw AC/DC play live at the local church hall) . I thought to myself that sounds like some big band – WOW! A few months later I bought their greatest hits album and it featured the song ‘That’s the Way of the World’, composed by band members Maurice White, Verdine White and Charles Stepney. I loved the combination of smooth sparse keys, really gorgeous harmonic horns, warm string arrangement underneath these amazing vocal harmonies and smooth drums. What a song and I played it over and over again. It had this really spiritual thing going on and I wondered if it had specifically gospel origins. But actually no; instead it was written for a failed film soundtrack ‘That’s the Way of the World’ in which Earth Wind and Fire, themselves, starred as an up and coming band under the wings of some crazy record producer. The film was a flop but not the 1975 album (although I wasn’t to hear it until a few years later). Their melodies have always stood firm in my mind and influenced my own songwriting 🎶. You can hear this song and other really smooth retro tracks on my Spotify playlist RETRO SMOOTH available via the linktree on my Instagram bio @thestevebellprojects OR this Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4WMg1f2zLUYaAfAcbYiUKQ?si=9X53usjsRZa3ZgXJJXboSw

Published by thestevebellprojects

Steve Bell will tell you that he is a guy who remembered he could write songs twenty years after the last one he wrote. But really, he is a very competent songwriter/arranger. Running a professional services company can be very demanding, but then came COVID and Melbourne, Australia got locked down for over 100 days. In between running zoom meetings with his team, trying to understand government guidelines and welcoming his third child into the world, Steve wrote some songs starting with Lonely View and Another Point of View, one a meditative ballad and about being locked away whilst looking out over a beautiful bay and the other a ‘really funky something’. He is aiming for one song a month and insists they will be a mixture of seventies, eighties and nineties type of genres. (He murmurs something about Bee Gees, Lauryn Hill, Steely Dan, EW&F and David Foster being an influence) So here are some songs folks.❤️

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