I am the Nightrider.
When one hears of Earth, Wind & Fire what songs come to mind? “Shining Star,” “That’s the Way of the World,” “Reasons,” “September,” “Fantasy,” and so forth. No one doubts that Earth, Wind & Fire has left a legendary legacy to the world of music. But what about their lesser known songs?
Let’s consider the song “See the Light” from their classic 1975 album “That’s the Way of the World.” It is the perfect ending song of a perfect album. After singing along to immortal hits “Shining Star,” “That’s the Way of the World,” and “Reasons,” a bossa nova melody about a hopeful future while keeping temptation at bay does the trick to conclude an album well known for its funk, harmonies, and those beautiful horns. Here’s a link to “See the Light.”
But why consider “See the Light” as a hidden gem? What makes it different from “Reasons?” “Reasons” itself was an unknown song in 1975 when it debuted, and it quickly became an enduring masterpiece in its own right. “See the Light,” to me, relaxes the listener after moving to the chaotic-yet-wonderful songs before it. The intro starts off chaotic with lyrics that reveal irony and hopelessness. Then the rhythm changes to a positive, relaxing melody of optimism mixed with a plea to weather life’s darkest challenges. Then after the song concludes, you hear a synthesized melody with African voices and beating drums in timing with the synthesized music. One should recall that “That’s the Way of the World” is a soundtrack to the film with the same title; knowing it would be a bomb EWF released the album before the film premiere so that they can distance themselves from a failing venture. So the lyrics make perfect sense since the movie “That’s the Way of the World” displays the dark side of the music industry.
EWF’s “That’s the Way of the World” was their breakthrough masterpiece. We don’t speak about the lesser known songs that constitute a great album such as this. “See the Light” delivers a message that inspires hope. Maybe we all could “See the Light” and venture into an optimistic future away from our darkness.