Discord & Rhyme: A Music Podcast

Discord and Rhyme is a podcast where we discuss the albums we love, song by song.

Episode 001: Earth, Wind, & Fire - All 'N All (1977)

“Earth, Wind & Fire isn’t just a band and ‘September’ is not just a song. It rises to the only level of songs more important than anthems. EWF is a choir and ‘September’ is a spiritual.”

— Michael Harriot, The Root

For one of the most popular, beloved, and commercially successful bands of the 1970s, Earth, Wind, & Fire have become something of an afterthought by the 2010s. Bandleader Maurice White’s death in February 2016 earned a few loving obituaries, but mostly got lost in the shuffle between Bowie and Prince’s respective passings. More recently, Taylor Swift’s gentrified, tone-deaf cover of their signature hit “September” underscored a sad reality: Earth, Wind, & Fire have passed the Beach Boys “Endless Summer” threshold and become a Greatest Hits band, their songs part of the cultural wallpaper.

For the inaugural episode of Discord & Rhyme, host Rich Bunnell uses EWF’s 1977 release All ‘n All to illustrate that EWF were far more than a playlist’s worth of hit singles. All ‘n All is the arguable peak of an incredible run of late-’70s albums, several of which deserve to be viewed as part of the canon alongside Revolver, Songs in the Key of Life, and Dark Side of the Moon. And their influence on hip-hop has been astronomical, their grooves and riffs providing the basis for tracks by Brand Nubian, MF DOOM, A Tribe Called Quest, Organized Konfusion, Big Pun — the list goes on and on and on.

Three out of four co-hosts this week had little to no experience with All ‘n All before researching this episode, so this premiere should be educational! Tune in next episode when Amanda dives into the Moody Blues’ On the Threshold of a Dream, an album every one of us knows to a fine grain.

Discord & Rhyme Roll Call

  • Rich Bunnell (host)
  • Amanda Rodgers (moderator)
  • Phil Maddox
  • Mike DeFabio 

All ’n All tracklist

  1. Serpentine Fire
  2. Fantasy
  3. In the Marketplace (Interlude)
  4. Jupiter
  5. Love’s Holiday
  6. Brazilian Rhyme (Beijo)
  7. I’ll Write a Song for You
  8. Magic Mind
  9. Runnin’
  10. Brazilian Rhyme
  11. Be Ever Wonderful

Other clips used

  • Earth, Wind & Fire - Shining Star
  • Earth, Wind & Fire - September
  • Plies ft. T-Pain - Shawty
  • MC Shy D - I’ve Gotta Be Tough
  • A Tribe Called Quest - Mr. Muhammad
  • MF DOOM - Absolutely
  • Meat Beat Manifesto - Strap Down
  • Organized Konfusion - Walk into the Sun
  • Stan Kenton - El Congo Valiente (Valiant Congo)
  • Milton Nascimento - Ponta de Areia
  • Earth, Wind & Fire - You and I
  • Phil Collins and Philip Bailey - Easy Lover
  • Earth, Wind & Fire - Runnin’ (Original Hollywood Mix)

Band personnel

  • Maurice White - vocals, kalimba, drums, percussion
  • Verdine White - bass, percussion, vocals
  • Philip Bailey - vocals, conga, percussion, kalimba
  • Larry Dunn - keyboards, synthesizers, minimoog, musical director
  • Ralph Johnson - drums, percussion, vocals
  • Johnny Graham - lead/rhythm guitar, trumpet, percussion
  • Al McKay - lead/rhythm guitar, sitar, percussion, vocals
  • Andrew Woolfolk - flute, saxophone, percussion
  • Fred White - drums, percussion 

Other links

 

Credits

“Discord & Rhyme (theme)” composed by the Other Leading Brand, and contains elements of:

  • Amon Düül II - Dehypnotized Toothpaste
  • The Dukes of Stratosphear - What in the World?? ...
  • Faith No More - Midlife Crisis
  • Herbie Hancock - Hornets
  • Kraftwerk - Autobahn
  • Talking Heads - Seen and Not Seen
  • Earth, Wind, & Fire - Brazilian Rhyme (Beijo) (this episode only)

You can buy or stream All ‘n All and other albums by Earth, Wind, & Fire at the usual suspects such as Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and Amazon. Follow Discord & Rhyme on Twitter @DiscordPod for news, updates, and other random stuff. Follow Rich @zonetrope, Amanda @MagneticInk67, and Phil @pamaddox. Special thanks to our own Mike DeFabio, the Other Leading Brand, for production and editing. See you next album, and be ever wonderful.