Phillip Bailey is not here for today’s songwriting. And why should he be? This is the man who wrote songs like “Shining Star”, “September” and “Fantasy” with his band Earth, Wind, and Fire. He says that he used to play around with lyrics with his bandmates, and they’d laugh at what they came up with. Now that’s what he hears on the radio.
“The lyrics nowadays are just like, whoah, alright. I cannot believe what I hear on the radio those days. I don’t know if we (EW&F) were so deep, our lyrics were just sane and sensible.”
His new book Shining Star: Braving the Elements of Earth Wind and Fire talks about what is was like behind the scenes of one of the most storied bands in music history.
“All of those elements have worked for us and they’ve also fought against us,” Bailey told the Tom Joyner Morning Show. “There’s life that has to go on between doing tours and making records. With all the accolades that we’ve had over these 45 years, there’s also life. There have been peaks and valley and there are stories behind all those songs that have become the soundtracks of people’s lives. I wanted to provide those stories for the folks.”
Bailey says that the meaning of one of the group’s most famous songs was not what most people think it is.
“’Reasons’ was not meant to be a song that you play at your wedding,” Bailey says. “It was far from that. In fact, it comes from a conversation me and Maurice were having about fidelity and being true to your mate. “Reasons” was written from that conversation.”
Bailey also talks about growing up and struggling with fidelity because of his experiences with his own family structure. He grew up without a father and with a mother and aunts who were doing their thing.
“When I got married, I didn’t know that [fidelity] was part of the landscape, so to speak. I had to learn all this stuff while going through the elements of my career. And my music taking the first place in my life and failing at relationships. There was a lot I had to learn while writing songs and going through all that stuff and I talk about that in the book.”
You can purchase Shining Star: Braving the Elements of Earth, Wind, And Fire here.
REGISTER NOW for the 2014 Allstate Tom Joyner Family Reunion taking place August 28- September 1, 2014 in Orlando, Florida! For booking information visit here.
(Photo: Philip Bailey official website.)