Live albums can be hit or miss ventures for even the most popular music artists. Gratitude, released by Earth, Wind & Fire in December 1975, hit with tremendous success.
Gratitude posed several challenges for Maurice White, EWF founder and the album’s co-producer. Could it surpass the monster success of That’s The Way of The World, EWF’s 1975 soundtrack album? Could it capture the wonder of EWF live shows without the stunning visuals? Could a double-album with live and studio tracks have enough really good content?
It proved it could. By the end of January 1976, Gratitude was the #1 album on both R&B and Pop charts in the USA. It earned triple platinum sales and became the year’s #2 R&B album. Gratitude received several Grammy nominations and won a Rock award.
Practically every song delights old fans and entices new ones. The favorites include “Sing a Song,” and these covers: “Sun Goddess,” originally recorded by Ramsey Lewis featuring EWF; “Can’t Hide Love,” a mellow remake of the Creative Source classic; and the live version of “Reasons,” featuring Phillip Bailey’s vocals and Don Myreck’s saxophone.
Gratitude was reissued in 2000 with a bonus track. Both albums are available in various formats from major vendors. Please consider purchasing them from a local independent record store.
Every record has particularly fascinating facts behind it; here are some for this one. The Brothers Johnson released the #1 R&B album in 1976. It had a title that invited music fans to look out for it.