Friday, December 16, 2022

Earth, Wind & Fire Reinvents Beatles Classic “Got To Get You Into My Life”

Earth, Wind & Fire’s brilliant cover of the Beatles’ “Got To Get You Into My Life” is one of the few good things to come out of the disastrous 1978 film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was a massive commercial and critical failure. EWF lend their special groove magic to the Beatles classic. The band didn’t just cover the song; they gave it a complete sonic makeover. This is one of those rare occasions in which an artist or band improves on a Beatles classic. EWF enhances the strengths of the original while at the same time putting their own unique stamp on it–and taking it to a whole new level in the process. Even Paul McCartney, the song’s writer, loved EWF’s take on it and said it was his favorite Beatles cover. 

Earth, Wind & Fire’s jazzy blues-laced rendition is bolstered by Maurice White’s impeccable production work and inventive arrangement. And it showcases the band’s incredible musicianship. Their playing is simply flawless. The cover features scorching guitar licks, dazzling horn charts, irresistible keyboard riffs and some fantastic bass work from Verdine White. And guitarist Al McKay elevates the track to the heavens with a magnificent solo. Also, Maurice and Philip Bailey bring the fire on vocals. 

EWF’s cover of the Beatles classic was the highest charting single from the film’s soundtrack. It rose to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped Billboard’s R&B singles chart; and it peaked at #33 on the UK singles chart. It went on to sell a million copies. The cover also landed Maurice White a Grammy win for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist (s) and garnered the band a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

Earth, Wind & Fire also appeared as themselves in the film. They are shown performing “Got To Get You Into My Life” in a concert scene. Fortunately for them, the stench of this ill-conceived stinker of a musical comedy didn’t stick to them like it did to the film’s stars, The Bee Gees and Peter Frampton, whose careers were nearly derailed.

In addition to appearing on the soundtrack for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the cover is included on Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1978 greatest hits album The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1.

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