Jan 212018
 

from THE BEST OF EARTH, WIND & FIRE VOL. 1
Written by Maurice White, Al McKay & Allee Willis

The monster 1978 hit “September” was probably the most successful song ever released by legendary soul/R&B band, Earth, Wind & Fire. This breezy, feel-good anthem was co-written by the band’s leader, the late, great Maurice White (1941 to 2016), with EWF’s former guitar player, Al McKay. The positive lyrics were conceived by Mr. White together with renowned tunesmith, Allee Willis. The song was recorded during the sessions for the I Am album around September, 1978. Starting from McKay’s flamboyant intro, the song developed into one of the catchiest and most memorable funk/soul numbers ever. An important, but little-known, fact for David Foster fans was that The Hitman, who was a key figure on those 1978 sessions, played keyboards on “September” just like he did on most of the I Am tracks.

Here’s a brief memory that Foster sent to our page about working on “September:”

“I don’t remember much about it except that we were in the studio every day working on various instrumental tracks and then Al McKay brought this progression in and we all immediately loved it. We all worked on how the rhythm section would do it and then we recorded it live with horns and strings added later. There were no lyrics at that point, Maurice only had the now-classic “Ba-dee-ya” and that obviously remained in the final recording of the song.”

“September” skyrocketed to the top of the charts in every corner of the world, selling millions of copies. It was certified gold in the States where it went to #8 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The song topped the Hot Soul Singles chart. “September” was also included, at the end of the year in the hugely successful compilation album, The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. 1 that was eventually certified five times platinum in the US alone.

Time has certified the evergreen value of “September.” Today, 40 years after its original release, “September” is still heavily played on radios and clubs worldwide. Crystal-clear evidence of the late Maurice White’s God-given talent and his unique ear to recognize another genius like David Foster.


Listen

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Lead Vocals: Maurice White
Backing Vocals & Percussion: Philip Bailey
Piano & Keyboards: David Foster
Keyboards: Larry Dunn
Guitar: Al McKay & Johnny Graham
Bass: Verdine White
Drums: Fred White
Percussion: Ralph Johnson
Horns: Andrew Woolfolk, Michael Harris, Don Myrick, Ramhlee Michael David & Louis Satterfield.

Strings & Horns Arranged by Tom Tom 84
Produced by Maurice White


Lyrics

Do you remember the
21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away

Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing.
As we danced in the night,
Remember how the stars stole the night away

Ba de ya – say do you remember
Ba de ya – dancing in September
Ba de ya – never was a cloudy day

Ba duda, ba duda, ba duda, badu
Ba duda, badu, ba duda, badu
Ba duda, badu, ba duda

My thoughts are with you
Holding hands with your heart to see you
Only blue talk and love,
Remember how we knew love was here to stay

Now December found the love we shared in September.
Only blue talk and love,
Remember the true love we share today

Ba de ya – say do you remember
Ba de ya – dancing in September

Now you’ve come and taught me
How to give you my heart.
And make me feel at last
That the end will never start.
You’re the only reason
I’m not afraid to fall.
For if i didn’t love you
If i didn’t love you
I wouldn’t love at all.