On this day in music history: February 7, 1983…

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 continues 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 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” makes 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 becomes 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 albums by Earth, Wind & Fire 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” peaks 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.