Getaway

Album: Spirit (1976)
Charted: 12
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  • Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White did the lion's share of the songwriting for the group, but he was always receptive to songs from outside writers, which resulted in some of EW&F's biggest hits, including "After The Love Has Gone" and "Getaway."

    "Getaway" was written by Peter Cor and Beloyd Taylor. Cor has composed music for a variety of movies and TV shows, and has had songs recorded by Lee Ritenour and Lakeside. Taylor, who passed away in 2014, recorded as a solo artist and composed a few other songs for Earth, Wind & Fire, including "Spread Your Love" and "Lady Sun."
  • This song fit the "spirit" of the album, which found the band seeking transcendence. Like many Earth, Wind & Fire songs, "Getaway" is a powerful message wrapped in a funky groove. The lyric could be interpreted as seeking an escape from the mundane, or as a call to look outside your boundaries for your higher self.

    For the writers of the song, however, it had its own special meaning. Peter Cor told us: "We were on our own spiritual path and the concept came about as we were basically broke, living in a roach-infested apartment in WATTS! That will make you want to 'Getaway.'"
  • Maurice White credits his co-producer Charles Stepney for bringing the jazz, funk and R&B elements on this song together. Stepney was a key contributor to Earth, Wind & Fire until he died of a heart attack on May 1976, a few months before the Spirit album was released. Stepney had been working on this track when he died.
  • On their 1976-1979 tours, the band staged an elaborate performance around this song. You have to see it to get the full effect, but shimmering visitors would appear on stage as a giant pyramid descended. The front line band members would say their goodbyes and enter the pyramid, which when lifted up shattered in an explosion, as which point the visitors would remove their costumes to reveal those same band members that had entered the pyramid. The band worked with the magician Doug Henning to create the illusion.
  • The song was written for a flute player named Bobbi Humphrey, but the demo never found him. The song's co-writer Peter Cor told us: "The engineer on our demo lived in the same apartment building as Verdine and a couple other group members, played them the demo we made, and they created their arrangement from that."

    Humphrey says he never heard the song until it was released.
  • In our interview with the band's bass player Verdine White, he said that this was the hardest Earth, Wind & Fire song to get right in the studio. "Originally, we played it the way the writer had it, in a rock way," White said. "Then we ended up doing it the Earth, Wind & Fire way."
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