Earth, Wind and Fire Albums Ranked (rated from worst to best)

Earth, Wind and Fire Albums Ranked (rated from worst to best)

Founded in 1969 in Chicago, Illinois, USA by Maurice White, after the breakup of the band “The Salty Peppers”. Earth, Wind and Fire are well known for their energetic and spectacular stage shows and are easily recognised due to the contrast between the vocal ranges of their singers Philip Bailey (falsetto) and Maurice White (baritone).

Earth, Wind and Fire have been described as one of the most innovative and most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music. Plus with sales of more than 90 million records, they are one of the best selling bands of all time. They have won 6 Grammy Awards from 17 nominations, and 4 American Music Awards. As well as being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and Hollywood’s Rockwalk. They also have a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Best Earth, Wind and Fire Albums Of All Time

Earth, Wind and Fire have released 21 studio albums and as always we will rank them as we see them from the rest to the best.

21. Raise! (1981)

Released on November 14th 1981 by ARC/Columbia Records, this was the band’s 11th studio album. It reached number 1 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart and also made it to number 5 on the Billboard 200. There were 3 singles released from this album which were; “Let’s Groove”, “Wanna Be With You” and “I’ve Had Enough”.

20. Touch The World (1987)

This was Earth, Wind and Fire’s 14th studio album which was released in November 1987. It reached number 3 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart and number 33 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. 

There were 4 singles released from this album which were; “Evil Roy”, “Thinking Of You”, “You And I” and “System Of Survival”. Of these singles, 2, “System Of Survival” and “Thinking Of You”, reached the number 1 spot on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.

19. Holiday (2014)

Released on October 21st 2014, This was the band’s 21st studio album and their 1st Christmas album. The album reached number 8 on the Billboard Holiday Albums chart and number 26 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.

The album included a number of traditional Christmas songs as well as 2 songs reworked especially for this album which were; “Happy Seasons” which was originally “Happy Feelin’” taken from “That’s The Way Of The World” (1975), and “December” which was originally “September” taken from “The Best Of Earth, Wind And Fire Vol. 1”.

18. Electric Universe (1983)

This was the band’s 13th studio album which was released on November 4th 1983 on Columbia Records. It reached number 8 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart and number 40 on the Billboard 200. There were 3 singles released from this album which were; “Magnetic”, “Touch” and “Moonwalk”.

17. Faces (1980)

Released on October 14th 1980 by ARC/Columbia Records, this was their 10th studio album. The album reached number 2 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart, number 10 on the Billboard Top LP’s chart and number 10 on the UK Albums chart. There were 4 singles released from this album which were “Let Me Talk”, “You”, “Back On The Road” and “And Love Goes On”.

16. Powerlight (1983)

This was the band’s 12th studio album which was released on February 3rd 1983 by Columbia Records. This album got as high as number 4 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart and number 12 on the Billboard 200 chart. There were 3 singles released from this album which were; “Fall In Love With Me”, “Side By Side” and “Spread Your Love”.

15. Millennium (1993)

“Millennium” was the 16th studio album released by the band on September 14th 1993 on Warner Bros. Records. It got as high as number 8 on the Billboard Top R&B Album chart and number 39 on the Billboard 200. This was their 1st album with Warner Bros. Records for 21 years and featured Ronnie Laws and Prince as guest artists.

There were 3 singles released from this album which were; “Spend The Night”, “Sunday Morning” and “Two Hearts”.

14. Now, Then & Forever (2013)

Released on September 10th 2013 by Legacy Recordings/Sony Music, this was Earth, Wind and Fire’s 20th studio album. The album got to number 6 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip hop Albums chart and number 11 on the Billboard 200 chart. This was their 1st album without any musical input from founder member Maurice White.

He did however leave a note in the album’s liner notes which read:-

As we see today’s technology uniting the world wide web, sometimes it seems that the hearts of men are growing more distant from each other. It is my hope that this music will continue to tie past to future, reminding us of the love that united us to our ancestors, and to our descendants, and to each other. Peace, – Maurice White”

13. The Promise (2003)

This was their 18th studio album which was released on May 20th 2003 by Kalimba Music. It reached number 5 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart and number 19 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. Executively produced by Maurice White, this album featured artists including;  Angie Stone, The Emotions, Gerald Albright and Paulinho Da Costa.

There were 4 singles released from this album which were; “All In The Way”, “Hold Me”, “Never” and “Why?”.”Hold Me” got as high as number 28 on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance.

12. Heritage (1990)

This was their 15th studio album which was released on February 17th 1990 by Columbia Records. This album reached number 18 on the UK Blues & Soul Albums chart and number 19 on the US Billboard Top R&B Albums chart. There were 3 singles released from this album which were; “Heritage”, “For The Love of You” and “Wanna Be The Man”.

Maurice White produced this album and said in an interview with the Associated Press that tributes had been paid to Fats Waller and Charlie Parker on the album. There are guest appearances by artists including; Wanda Vaughn and Jeanette Hawes from “The Emotions” as well as Sly Stone, MC Hammer and The Boys.

11. I Am (1979)

Released on June 9th 1979 by ARC/Columbia Records,  this was the band’s 9th studio album. It made the number 1 position on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart and number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. There were guest appearances on this album from The Emotions and Steve Lukather (Toto).

There were 5 singles released from this album which were; “Can’t Let Go”, “Star”, “In The Stone”, “Boogie Wonderland” (featuring The Emotions) and “After The Love Has Gone” which won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

10. In The Name Of Love (1997)

“In The Name Of Love” was their 17th studio album which was released on Rhino Records on July 22nd 1997. It got as high as number 19 on the UK R&B Albums chart and number 25 on the Japanese Oricon Albums chart. The album was originally released in Japan as “Avatar” but was reissued under the new title “In The Name Of Love” with 3 extra tracks “Change Your Mind”, “Take You To Heaven” and “Bahia”.

9. Open Our Eyes (1974)

Released on March 25th 1974 by Columbia Records, this was the band’s 5th studio album. It reached number 1 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart and number 15 on the Top Pop Albums chart. There were 3 singles released from this album which were; “Mighty Mighty”, “Kalimba Story” and “Devotion”.

8. Head To The Sky (1973)

This was their 4th studio album which was released in May 1973 by Columbia Records. It reached number 2 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart and number 27 on the Billboard 200 chart. There were 2 singles released from this album which were; “Evil” and “Keep Your Head to the Sky”.

7. Last Days and Time (1972)

Released in October 1972 by Columbia Records, this was the band’s 3rd studio album. It rose as high as number 9 on the UK Blues & Soul Top British Soul Albums chart and number 15 on the US Billboard Top Soul Albums chart. The album contains covers of “Make It With You” (Bread) and “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” (Pete Seeger). The single “Mom” rose to number 39 on the Cashbox Top R&B Singles chart.

6. Illumination (2005)

This was their 19th studio album which was released on September 20th 2005 by Sanctuary Records. It reached number 8 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and number 32 on the Billboard 200 chart. There were 4 singles released from this album which were; “The Way You Move” (featuring Kenny G), “Show Me The Way” (featuring Raphael Saadiq), “To You” (featuring Brian McKnight) and “Pure Gold”.

5. Earth, Wind & Fire (1971)

Released in February 1971 by Warner Bros. Records, this was the band’s debut album. It rose to number 24 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart and the only single released from the album, “Love Is Life” reached number 43 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart. 

4. The Need Of Love (1971)

This was Earth, Wind and Fire’s 2nd studio album which was released in November 1971 by Warner Bros. Records. The album got as high as number 35 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart in the US. The single “I Think About Lovin’ You” which was released from this album got to number 44 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart.

3. Spirit (1976)

Released on September 28th 1976 by Columbia Records, this was the band’s 7th studio album. It got to number 2 on both the Billboard 200 and the Billboard Top Soul Albums charts. They released 3 singles from this album which were; “On Your Face”, “Saturday Nite” and “Getaway” (which reached the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart).

2. All ‘n’ All (1977)

This was Earth, Wind and Fire’s 8th studio album which was released on November 21st 1977 by Columbia Records. It topped the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and got to number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. They released 4 singles from this album which were; “Fantasy”, “Jupiter”, “Magic Mind” and “Serpentine Fire” which reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart.

1. That’s The Way Of The World (1975)

Released on March 15th 1975 by Columbia Records, this was the band’s 6th studio album. It was also the soundtrack for the 1975 film of the same name. The album topped both the Billboard 200 and the Top Soul Albums charts. They released 2 singles from this album which were; “Shining Star” (which topped the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot Soul Singles charts) and “That’s The Way Of The World”.

Earth, Wind and Fire earned a Grammy Award for the single “Shining Star” for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

All Earth, Wind and Fire Albums In Chronological Order

AlbumDate
Earth, Wind and Fire1971
The Need of Love1971
Last Days and Time 1972
Head to the Sky1973
Open Our Eyes 1974
Another Time 1974
That’s the Way of the World 1975
Gratitude1975
Spirit 1976
All ‘n All1977
The Best of Earth, Wind And Fire Vol. 11978
I Am1979
Faces1980
Raise! 1981
Powerlight 1983
Electric Universe1983
The Collection1986
The Very Best of Earth, Wind & Fire1986
Touch the World1987
The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 21988
Heritage1990
The Very Best of Earth, Wind & Fire1991
The Eternal Dance 1992
The Very Best of Earth, Wind & Fire1992
Millennium 1993
The Very Best1994
Dance Tracks1994
Elements of Love: Ballads1996
Greatest Hits Live 1996
Boogie Wonderland: The Very Best of Earth, Wind & Fire1996
Let’s Groove: The Best Of1996
In the Name of Love 1997
Greatest Hits1998
The Ultimate Collection1999
The Dutch Collection1999
That’s The Way Of The World: Alive In ‘752002
Live In Rio2002
The Essential Earth, Wind & Fire2002
The Promise 2003
Love Songs2004
Illumination2005
Playlist: The Very Best of Earth, Wind & Fire2008
The Greatest Hits2010
Now, Then & Forever2013
S.O.U.L: Earth, Wind & Fire2013
Holiday2014
Ultimate Collection2014
The Classic Christmas Album2015

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best selling Earth, Wind and Fire album?

The best selling Earth, Wind and Fire album is “The Best Of Earth Wind & Fire Vol 1” (1978) which has sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide.

What is the newest Earth, Wind and Fire album?

The newest Earth, Wind and Fire album is “The Classic Christmas Album” which was released on October 23rd 2015.

What is the first Earth, Wind and Fire album?

The first Earth, Wind and Fire album was “Earth, Wind and Fire” which was released in February 1971. 

What is Earth, Wind and Fire’s most famous song?

Earth, Wind and Fire’s most famous song is “Shining Star” which was taken from the album “That’s the Way of the World”.

When did Earth, Wind and Fire start?

Earth, Wind and Fire were formed in Chicago in 1969.

What genre is Earth, Wind and Fire?

The genres ascribed to Earth, Wind and Fire are; R&B, Funk, soul, disco, pop, jazz, dance and progressive soul.

Who are the members of Earth, Wind and Fire?

The members of Earth, Wind and Fire are; Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Ralph Johnson, B. David Whitworth, Philip Bailey Jr., Myron McKinley, John Paris, Morris O’Connor, Serg Dimitrijevic and “Earth, Wind & Fire Horns”. Past members are; Maurice White, Wade Flemons, Jessica Cleaves, Ronnie Laws, Roland Bautista, Larry Dunn, Andrew Woolfolk, Al McKay, Fred White, Sheldon Reynolds, Phenix Horns, Doug Carn, Sonny Emory, Fred Ravel, Greg Moore, Morris Pleasure, Robert Brookins, Daniel de los Reyes, Kimberly Brewer, Kim Johnson and Johnny Graham.

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