From I AM
Written by Maurice White & David Foster
The Song of the Week again focuses on the milestone collaboration between Maurice White and David Foster that resulted in the now-classic 1979 album I Am. The young, gifted Foster added a fresh approach to Earth Wind & Fire’s trademark funk/soul musical universe. I Am offers some unforgettable hits including “After The Love Is Gone,” “In The Stone” and “Boogie Wonderland.” The entire recording was a powerful celebration of White’s superior genius enhanced by Foster’s innovative pop mind.
“Rock That!” was a compelling instrumental that carried on the glorious tradition of EWF’s instrumentals. The tune offered a great example of the sumptuous level of EWF’s and Foster’s collective work. “Rock That!” presented a perfectly constructed groove that served as the foundation of the group’s funky performance. This danceable jam felt like a melting pot where a marching band meets a jazz/fusion combo with the overtones of a rock group. The inventive horn and string arrangements, courtesy of arranger-supreme Jerry Hey and Foster respectively, are brilliant and add both energy and sophistication to the track. The rock touch is guaranteed by Toto’s main man Steve Lukather whose screaming guitar shines in the middle of this muscular track. A rousing song like “Rock That!” and the whole I Am album are pure listening bliss. The album portrayed a pivotal time in Foster’s career that should be discovered or re-discovered by music lovers for the amazing value of these songs. Without a doubt, some of The Hitman’s all-time best.
Keyboards: David Foster & Larry Dunn
Bass: Verdine White
Drums: Fred White
Guitars: Steve Lukather, Johnny Graham & Al McKay
Percussion: Paulinho Da Costa, Philip Bailey & Ralph Johnson
Horns Arranged by Jerry Hey
Strings Arranged by David Foster
Produced by Maurice White