Uncut (8/01, p.105) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...Heartburstingly funky....Absolutely glorious..."
Vibe (3/01, p.200) - 4.5 discs out of 5 - "...Navigates the treacherous crosscurrents of mid-'70s R&B - funk, disco, and lushly orchestrated Philly soul - with grace and flair..."
Earth, Wind & Fire: Al McKay (vocals, guitar, percussion); Verdine White (vocals, bass, percussion); Maurice White, Philip Bailey (vocals, percussion); Johnny Graham (guitar, percussion); Andrew Woodfolk (flute, soprano saxophone); Larry Dunn (piano, organ, Moog synthesizer); Ralph Johnson (drums, percussion).
Recorded at Caribou Ranch, Netherland, Colorado.
Digitally remastered by Arnie Acosta.
Finally, after almost half a decade of serious dues-paying, Earth, Wind & Fire took off commercially with its fifth album, Open Our Eyes. EWF had been delivering great albums since 1971, but it wasn't until 1974 that the public proved genuinely receptive to Maurice White's mystical and unorthodox take on soul and funk. No longer would EWF enjoy only a small cult following. Thanks to treasures like "Kalimba Song," the gritty funk smoker "Mighty Mighty," and the unforgettable "Devotion," Open Our Eyes became EWF's first gold album and went to the top of the R&B charts. It's also interesting to note that with this album, singer Jessica Cleaves was gone, resulting in the first time EWF had an all-male lineup. The 2001 CD reissue adds four previously unreleased bonus tracks, one of them a "Walkin' in N'awlins" mix of "Fair But So Uncool," though the other three songs did not appear on the original album in an alternate form. ~ Alex Henderson
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