On this day in music history: February 7, 1983 - “Powerlight”, the twelfth studio album by Earth, Wind & Fire is released. Produced by Maurice White, it is recorded at The Complex in West Los Angeles, CA from Mid - Late 1982. Issued as the follow up to the Platinum selling “Raise!”, bandleader Maurice White will continue to streamline and modernize the bands’ sound, collaborating more with writers outside the band including “Let’s Groove” co-writers Wayne Vaughn and Wanda Hutchinson Vaughn (of The Emotions). It will spin off three singles including “Fall In Love With Me” (#4 R&B, #17 Pop) and “Side By Side” (#15 R&B, #76 Pop). Extended versions of “Fall In Love With Me” and “Side By Side”, are originally issued in the US as promotional only 12" singles to radio and club DJ’s. The longer version of “Fall” will make its CD debut on the box set “The Eternal Dance” in 1992. To date, the unedited version of “Side” has not been reissued in digital form. Very popular on the Chicago steppers scene, it will become a heavily sought after and high priced collectible. The tracks “Side By Side” and “Something Special” are sampled by rappers Common and Will Smith respectively. One of the first titles by Earth, Wind & Fire to be issued on CD in the early 80’s, “Powerlight” is remastered in 2012 and is included on the box set “Earth, Wind & Fire - Complete Columbia Masters”. “Powerlight” will peak at number four on the Billboard R&B album chart, number twelve on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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