Well well, it might be hard to believe but it’s true: Earth, Wind & Fire has released a Christmas album! It might also be hard to imagine that in the last 40 years, two full scores of musical career sprinkled with 20 Grammy nominations and 8 Grammy awards, they never thought to make a Christmas album before!

And we have Sony Music Entertainment’s Legacy Recordings division to thank for this one. Founded in 1990, Legacy’s original goal was to catalog and preserve historic reissues of countless digitally remastered titles in almost every musical genre imaginable. But since 2005, the division has extended its responsibilities to producing more ongoing projects such as EW&F’s 2013 Now, Then & Forever, featuring new music from the funky-jazzy-R&B disco-esque band for the first time since 2005. Oh yes, not to mention their first holiday album, aptly titled Holiday.

This project contains all of the EW&F trademarks you are familiar with. Flourishes such as Phillip Bailey’s soaring falsetto and assertive tenor, on top of the band’s excellent horn delivery, are all a part of this incredibly funky Christmas album.

In this 13-track set, you can find EW&F versions of seasonal fare such as “Winter Wonderland,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Joy to the World” and “Jingle Bell Rock.” But also two songs inspired by well-known EWF classics: “Happy Seasons” (the 1975 album track “Happy Feelin’”) and “December” (1978’s “September”). There’s even a cover version of a Japanese song called “Snow”. The latter tracks feature Philip Bailey dueting with the original master vocals of fellow co-founder Maurice White.

If you are looking for a Merry Christmas with some real groove, then join me on air today @ 1pm as I share a few tracks from Earth, Wind & Fire’s first ever Christmas album, Holiday.


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