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Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
8/30/2005 10:31:33 AM

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NEW YORK (Sanctuary Records) - Legendary band Earth, Wind & Fire will release their 23rd career album, Illumination, through Sanctuary Records Group on September 20, 2005. Anchored by founding members Maurice White, Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson, Illumination offers an array of stellar producers and guest artists that have appreciated and gleaned profound inspiration from Earth, Wind & Fire's extraordinary career.

The influence and timeless signature sound of Earth, Wind & Fire is crystal clear with the single releases. Black Eyed Peas leader Wil I Am wrote and produced the rousing 'Lovely People' complete with peppery horn and kalimba lines. Super producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, tip their trademark hats in tribute to the horn-laced ensemble sound of The Fire with the gently uplifting 'Pure Gold'

The seeds of Illumination's origin sprang from an idea lead singer Philip Bailey had of collaborating with 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 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, featuring rapper Big Boi of OutKast, 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 No 1 R&B albums, one No 1 Pop and eight Top 10 Pop albums, and eight No 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:
2. PURE GOLD Produced & Written by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis
4. LOVE'S DANCE Produced & Written by Jimm

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