On this day in music history: May 17, 1975 – &…

On this day in music history: May 17, 1975 – “That’s The Way Of The World”, the sixth studio album by Earth, Wind & Fire hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 3 weeks, also topping the R&B album chart for 5 weeks (non-consecutive) on April 19, 1975. Produced by Maurice White and Charles Stepney, it is recorded at The Caribou Ranch in Nederland, CO from September 16, 1974 – October 2, 1974. The bands’ sixth release also serves as the soundtrack to the Sig Shore (“Superfly”) produced and directed film, the movie flops at the box office, but the album takes on a life of its own, becoming EWF’s mainstream breakthrough. It spins off two singles including “Shining Star” (#1 Pop & R&B) and the title track (#5 R&B, #12 Pop), as well as fan and airplay favorites such as “Reasons”, “Yearnin’ Learnin’” and “Africano”. It also wins the band their first Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group (for “Shining Star”) in 1976. At the time of the album’s original release, it is also issued as a quadraphonic stereo LP and 8-track tape. Well regarded by audiophiles for its excellent sonics, the album is also issued as a half-speed mastered LP in the mid 80’s by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, and as a hybrid SACD disc by the label in 2005. Both are long out of print and command premium prices on the collectors market. “That’s The Way Of The World” is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.