That's the Way of the World

That's the Way of the World
Soundtrack album by Earth, Wind & Fire
Released March 15, 1975
Recorded September 16, 1974 - October 2, 1974, Caribou Ranch, Nederland, Colorado
Genre Soul, funk
Length 38:23
Label Columbia
Producer Maurice White, Charles Stepney
Earth, Wind & Fire chronology
Another Time
That's the Way of the World
Singles from That's the Way of the World
  1. "Shining Star"
    Released: January 21, 1975
  2. "That's the Way of the World"
    Released: June 17, 1975

That's the Way of the World is the sixth studio album by Earth, Wind & Fire released on Columbia Records. It was also the soundtrack for a 1975 motion picture of the same name which featured several of the band members in cameo roles. Included on the album was the single "Shining Star", which was a #1 U.S. pop and R&B hit. Another popular single was the title track, which reached #12 on the pop chart. The album spent three weeks atop the Billboard Pop Albums Charts, five nonconsecutive weeks atop the Soul Albums chart.[1][2]

That's the Way of the World was also the third best-selling pop album and the number one best-selling R&B album of 1975 respectively and has been certified triple platinum in the U.S by the RIAA.[3][4]

In 2003, the album was ranked number 493 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2012, on a revised list by the magazine, the album listed at #486.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Robert ChristgauB+[6]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[8]
Virgin Encyclopedia[10]
Yahoo Music(favorable)[11]
Zagat Survey[5]

The album received generally positive reviews from critics. Billboard described the album as "a very tightly produced and performed package" and added in their review that "EW&F has some of the finest musicians in any band and the compositions are all top-notch".[13] Music critic Robert Christgau noted that on the album "this unit can do so many things it qualifies as the one-man band of black music even though it has nine members"[14] and That's the Way of the World has also been described by Alex Henderson of Allmusic as "the band's best album" and "one of the strongest albums of the 1970s and EWF's crowning achievement".[15]

That's the Way of the World was nominated in 1975 and 1976 for an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Album and also won a Rock Music Award in the category of Best Soul Album.[16][17]

Track listing

Side one
1."Shining Star"  Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Maurice White2:50
2."That's the Way of the World"  Charles Stepney, Maurice White, Verdine White5:45
3."Happy Feelin'"  Verdine White, Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Maurice White, Al McKay3:35
4."All About Love"  Larry Dunn, Maurice White6:35
Side two
5."Yearnin' Learnin'"  Philip Bailey, Charles Stepney, Maurice White3:39
6."Reasons"  Philip Bailey, Charles Stepney, Maurice White4:59
7."Africano"  Larry Dunn, Maurice White5:09
8."See the Light"  Louise Anglin, Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn6:18

Covers and samples

"Reasons," the album's breakout love ballad, has been covered by Stanley Turrentine, Ramsey Lewis, Maxi Priest and other artists.[19] "Reasons" has also been sampled by Master P on Intro/17 on his album 99 Ways to Die.[20] In 1988, saxophonist Najee covered the song from his album Day by Day.[21] In 1999, Groove Armada sampled the drum intro of "Happy Feelin'" for their song I See You Baby.[22]

Earth, Wind & Fire's "Reasons" from That's the Way of the World

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Album - Billboard
Year Chart Position
1975 Pop Albums 1
Black Albums
Singles – Billboard
Year Single Chart Position
1975 "Africano" Disco Singles 1
"Happy Feelin'" Disco Singles
"Shining Star" Black Singles
Pop Singles
"That's the Way of the World" Black Singles 5
Pop Singles 12


The information regarding accolades attributed to That's the Way of the World is adapted from, and[23][24][25]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Pause & Play U.S. Albums Inducted into a Time Capsule, One Album per Week 2008 *
The Recording Academy Grammy Hall of Fame Albums and Songs 2004 *
Robert Dimery 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die 2005 *
Rolling Stone The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 2003 493
Vibe Magazine 51 Albums representing a Generation, a Sound and a Movement 2004 *
Rickey Vincent Five Star Albums from "FUNK: The MUSIC, the PEOPLE, and the RHYTHM *
National Association of Recording Merchandisers and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame The Definitive 200 2007 187 The Greatest Soul albums of the 1970s 2009 1
(*) designates lists that are unordered.

See also


  1. Hogan, Ed. "Maurice White - Biography". Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  2. "RIAA Certification for That's the Way of the World".
  3. Billboard. com - Top Billboard 200 Albums of 1975
  4. ^ Billboard. com - Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums of 1975
  5. 1 2 "Earth, Wind & Fire - That's the Way of the World". 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  6. Christgau, R. (2011). "Robert Christgau: Album: Earth, Wind & Fire: That's the Way of the World". Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  7. "Music: That's the Way of the World (CD) by Earth, Wind & Fire (Artist), 106693797". 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  8. Fletcher, G. (2011). "Earth, Wind & Fire: That's The Way Of The World : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Archived from the original on May 4, 2009. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  9. "Vibe - Google Bücher". 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  10. "Acclaimed Music - That's the Way of the World". Acclaimed Music. 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  11. Epstein, D. (2011). "Earth, Wind & Fire Reviews on Yahoo! Music". Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  12. Easlea, D. (2010). "Earth, Wind & Fire That's the Way of the World Review". Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  13. "That's the Way of the World Earth, Wind & Fire". Billboard Magazine. 1975. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  14. Christgau, Robert. "That's the Way of the World Earth, Wind & Fire". Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  15. Henderson, Alex. "That's the Way of the World Review". Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  17. "Big night for rockers". The Leader - Post. 1975. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  18. "Earth, Wind & Fire - That's the Way of the World". Retrieved May 8, 2009.
  19. Covers of Reasons on
  20. Samples of Reasons on
  21. "Day by Day overview".
  22. Acclaimed Music - That's The Way Of The World
  23. Definitive 200 - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Archived April 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. The Greatest Albums of the 70s on
Preceded by
Chicago VIII by Chicago
Billboard 200 number-one album
May 17 - June 6, 1975
Succeeded by
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
by Elton John
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