With the September 19, 2005 Release of ILLUMINATION
And single "Show Me The Way" on 12th September
The seeds of Illumination's origin sprang from an idea lead singer Philip Bailey had of collaborating with a new generation of soul artists for his next solo album. "The idea of illumination is vibrant and positive," states EWF's Philip Bailey. "Earth Wind & Fire collaborating with the new soul movement made sense because the thrust of their music is still about playing instruments and utilizing vintage sounds, only in today's setting."
Jam & Lewis' sexy flirtation "Love Dance" on Illumination was playfully utilized in the 2005 animated film release, Robots. Grammy Award winner Raphael Saadiq(Tony! Toni! Tone!; Lucy Pearl) produced four songs on Illumination, including "Show Me the Way" – a duet he sings with EWF leader Maurice White and that earned a 2004 Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal by a Duo or Group. He also contributes the samba-rooted "Work it Out;" a fitting showcase for Philip's falsetto titled "Pass You By;" and the vibrant opening track "Love Together."
For Illumination's star–studded track, EWF bounces to the ATL for the hip hop-laced party joint "This Is How I Feel," produced by Organized Noize and featuring rapper Big Boi of OutKast, and singers Sleepy Brown and Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child in a duet with EWF lead singer Philip Bailey. This steamy invitation to boogie was also used this year in the Will Smith romantic comedy, Hitch.
Crooner Brian McKnight's fusion of key elements from past Earth, Wind & Fire's classic ballads creates his own epic, "To You." Acclaimed female poetry/soul duo Floetry bring their conscience cleansing balm to the soothing motivator "Elevated" (produced by Darren Henson and Keith Pelzer). R&B futurist Vikter Duplaix laces the joyously tropical instrumental "Liberation," which features tantalizing bursts of EWF's wondrous wordless vocal melodies. As a bonus, the pied piper of soprano sax Kenny G guests on a cover of OutKast's infectious, instant club classic, "The Way You Move."
Earth, Wind & Fire is simply one of the most important, influential, innovative and commercially omnipotent contemporary pop music bands of the 20th century. Their 35-year history produced million and millions of albums sold worldwide (including eight double-platinum albums, two platinum albums and three gold albums). Five #1 R&B albums, one #1 Pop and eight Top 10 Pop albums, and eight #1 R&B singles.
Earth, Wind & Fire and the founding members have eight Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, honors from the NAACP and BET and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The coup de grace: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2000. Earth Wind & Fire remains to this day one of the top globally popular touring attractions with a catalog of mega-hits spanning over three decades.
ILLUMINATION - Track listing: