That’s The Way Of The World – Earth, Wind & Fire | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop ( #5) and R&B (#12); 1975

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Earth, Wind & Fire were the epitome of a R&B, jazz, rock fusion. The band’s visionary leader, Maurice White, honed his musical skills by playing drums on dozens of hits by Chess Records’ artists, such as Rescue Me (Fontella Bass ), Summertime (Billy Stewart), and Wade In The Water (Ramsey Lewis).

In 1969 he formed the Salty Peppers, then moved the band from Chicago to LA, and renamed them Earth, Wind & Fire after the elements in his astrological chart. Two albums for Warner Brothers got them off to a good start, as White continued to fine-tune the group’s sound, experimenting with instrumentation, rhythms, and songs plus changing personnel.

Album #7, That’s The Way Of The World, proved to be the winning combo. Written and recorded in Colorado, TTWOTW started life as the soundtrack for a film that also featured EW&F in acting roles.

The first single, Shining Star (#1 pop & R&B; 1975), quickly eclipsed the movie, and the title song showed the world that EW&F were here to stay.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Maurice White

Lyrics Written by:

  • Maurice White
  • Charles Stepney
  • Verdine White