Getaway (Special Disco Version) / Getaway (Instrumental)

Groove Line | Earth Wind & Fire | GLR120007


Absolute BOMB from Earth, Wind & Fire brought to you by the impeccable Groove Line

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Availability: Pre-order
Format: Vinyl

Looking to gain on his groups critical and commercial success from the early 1970s EW&F's main man Maurice White brought in the legendary Charles Stepney, who had tutored him at Chicago's Chess Records in the 1960s, as the co-producer and arranger on their incredible 1976 album Spirit, which opened up with the formidable funk track Getaway.

Co-written by guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Bernard “Beloyd” Taylor (S.O.U.L.) and songwriter Peter Corbelenky around the theme of escapism and self-fulfilment, the primal urgency of Getaway was the ideal composition for White to record with EW&F. White felt the song's energy and positive, uplifting lyrics matched the attitude and ethos of his group perfectly. As a result EW&F created a funk gem both musically and lyrically perfect for the dance floor.

The overwhelming immediacy of the multi-layered, arresting intro/bridge suggests the group had almost been held back in the stalls before being allowed to let rip on this classic recording. The urgency and excitement that envelopes the listener from the very first second is immediately taken up a level by the increasing momentum of the ascending riff which quickly reaches fever pitch by the time the track has only reached eight seconds! EW&F's trademark brass sound then takes centre stage on the first chorus with a punching, staccato horn line while the opening vocals invite you to “...leave today, let's getaway.” Concluding with a twelve note harmony of horns (borrowed' by so many dance floor tracks since) the break neck momentum is maintained in to the first verse which introduces, thanks to arranger Charles Stepney, an even more intricate horn line over a funky, viscous rhythm section before Maurice White, Philip Bailey and Verdine White blend effortlessly to deliver the impassioned vocals. The innate funkiness of the whole group is then exposed in an extended instrumental sequence before the bridge, slightly adapted from the intro, introduces the second chorus and verse. On this pass Stepney then cleverly places a third rousing chorus before the group stretch out on another extended instrumental section before verse three. The intensity is ramped up even more with an otherworldly, two second, stand alone synthesizer part added to the bridge, which heralds the extended chorus outro over which the groups vocalists soar until the track fades. And all of this within just over five minutes.

The clever arrangement on this track and the complex musicianship displayed on it become even more apparent with the 3 minute 50 second instrumental version on the B-side where you can lose yourself within the intricate rhythms. On its release in the summer of '76 Getaway topped the Billboard R&B charts for two weeks and crossed over to #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and to this day puts R&B, Funk & Disco fans old and new under its enduring spell.

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