Monday, October 23, 2017

Earth, Wind & Fire – Can’t Hide Love (MAW Remix)

Classics: Earth, Wind & Fire – Can’t Hide Love (Masters Club Mix) (Soul Source)

Here we go with another highlight from E, W & F‘s 1975 ‘Gratitude’ album along with ‘Devotion’ and ‘Shining Star’. And, in the meantime, a cover version which the band brilliantly turned into one of their signature songs. ‘Can’t Hide Love’, although originally titled ‘You Can’t Hide Love’, first appeared 2 years before as the opening cut of Creative Source‘s eponymous album.

Written by Skip Scarborough, it didn’t get the echo it deserved despite awesome arrangements courtesy of producer Michael Stokes. Most likely overshadowed by their boiling cover version of Bill Withers‘ ‘Who Is He & What Is He To You’.

More of a downtempo, ‘Can’t Hide Love’ would resurface some 27 years after as a part of a remix album. And what an awesome transformation Masters At Work did to it, bringing it to another sphere. Yes folks, MAW did a real tour de force on this rework of theirs. Pretty much leavin’ the impression E, W & F could themselves have turned it this way in other circumstances.
In other words, Louie Vega & Kenny Dope just managed to remain true to the spirit of the song although givin’ it a boiling (and classy) uptempo run. Just the way David Lalla did it a few years after on George Duke‘s ‘No Rhyme No Reason’
Easier said than done and thefore highlighting their undeniable talent.

The Brits gave it a 12″ single release, but most likely ruined it. Both because of shortening it in addition to a poor quality pressing. So better go for the original Japanese release on Soul Source.

Overview
Founded in Chicago by Maurice White back in 1971, Earth, Wind & Fire stand as one of the most successful bands of the 20th Century. Their music is a unique blend of R&B, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Disco, Rock, Latin and African vibes. If ever we had to summarize them in a few words, the first ones coming to mind would be their obvious flamboyance, both on stage as musically speaking. But also the dynamic sound of their horn section which is a part of their signature. The beauty of their vocal arrangements. With thanks to the contrasting vocal performances of falsetto singer Philip Bailey and contralto Maurice White. Not to mention the presence of the Kalimba (what the Africans tend to call the “thumb piano”) being the icing on the cake)…

The impressive list of their classics speaks for itself. From ‘Shining Star’ to ‘Devotion’, and ‘Sing A Song’. But also ‘Fantasy’, ‘September’, ‘Boogie Wonderland’ or ‘Let’s Groove’. Not to mention ‘Can’t Hide Love’ which Masters At Work brilliantly remixed back in 2002. And ‘Getaway’ which The Salsoul Orchestra covered back in 1977…

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