Earth, Wind & Fire

Every year, without fail, Earth Wind & Fire rises from the black hole of tight songwriting, flashy pants and old '70s space junk to take their movable fiesta cross-­country. Last given mass exposure when "Boogie Wonderland" appeared in a medley from 2006 kid flick Happy Feet, EWF has bestowed such classics as "Shining Star," "After the Love Is Gone" and "Spread Your Love" upon the planet. Happy Feet isn't the only movie to feature the legendary group's music, either, and in fact several of its more recent hits were directly commissioned by Hollywood, for films including Roll Bounce ("Love Together"), Robots ("Love's Dance") and Hitch ("This Is How I Feel"). Of course, the band itself isn't just a funk-R&B-rock-pop-whatever amalgam of epoxy-like tuneage, but a true spectacle, even if the breadth of that spectacle has changed with the times. The days of light-saber battles and "Holy crap, it's a real spaceship" flip-outs may be gone, but fans can always count on enough wizardry and choreography to make the trip ­worthwhile.

 
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