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Head To The Sky by Earth, Wind & Fire
Released: May 1973
Label: Columbia
On Head to the Sky, Santana's Latin rock sound is a prime influence (particularly on the excellent instrumental "Zanzibar"), as are Maurice White's kalimba, Larry Dunn's haunting keyboard work and Philip Bailey's spectral vocals. More subtly, these songs have a despairing yet optimistic view of humanity, and "Evil," "World's a Masquerade" and the title track include some of White's most urgent lyrics. Head to the Sky was the first E.W.F. Top 40 album and is one of the best in their catalog. Sadly, it's also the last with a muddy and dense rock element — later successes would feature a polished '70s gloss.
Mosi Reeves

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