Also available in a 3-pack with THAT'S THE WAY OF THE WORLD and ALL IN ALL.
Earth, Wind & Fire: Maurice White, Philip Bailey (vocals, percussion); Al McKay, Johnny Graham (guitar); Andrew Woolfolk (tenor saxophone); Larry Dunn (keybaords); Verdine White (bass); Fred White, Ralph Johnson (percussion).
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
The follow-up to the band's breakthrough album THAT'S THE WAY OF THE WORLD, 1976's SPIRIT builds on Earth, Wind & Fire's signature blend of funk, jazz, and smooth soul. An ambitious record, SPIRIT successfully captures what Earth, Wind & Fire were all about--the melding of a wide range of musical styles with a positive and self-aware philosophy.
Though the band had experienced difficulties when producer and arranger Charles Stepney died halfway through the sessions for SPIRIT, the progressive funk workout "Getaway" (one of the album's highlights) was a runaway R&B hit. High tenor vocalist Philip Bailey is featured on the romantic ballad "Imagination" and on the shimmering title track. "Saturday Nite" brings things back down to street level with its solid funk grooves, while "Biyo," an instrumental with a jazz-like structure, gives the group's musicians plenty of room to stretch out. The gospel-inspired "Burnin' Bush," which showcases the group's renowned vocal leads and harmonies, rounds out this fine release. (Note: The 2001 edition of SPIRIT features five bonus tracks.)
Q (8/01, p.149) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...1976's fine SPIRIT was more cohesive than previous albums, featuring brassy arrangements that would become EW&F's trademark..."