Keep Your Head To The Sky

Album: Head To The Sky (1973)
Charted: 52
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Songfacts®:

  • "Keep Your Head To The Sky" was written by Earth, Wind & Fire leader Maurice White, who imbued it with his sense of spirituality, encouraging us to seek out meaning and find our true calling. White's quest took him all over the world, but he's not bound to the Earth; in this song, he'll keep his head in the sky and listen to the clouds.
  • Maurice White didn't sing lead on this one; Philip Bailey did. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly in 2021, Bailey said: "Maurice wanted to use the music in a way to uplift people and 'to render a service to humanity.'"
  • At the end of this song, the music ducks out and Philip Bailey sings the "Keep Your Head To The Sky" line three times. The first time, he's backed by the full harmony, but by the end it's just him and Jessica Cleaves singing way up high in a whistle register. Bailey was a big fan of "Minnie Riperton," who could hit these high notes. He and Cleaves were seeing how high they could sing that line, and it ended up on the recording.

    Cleaves was a member of Earth, Wind & Fire for a short time in the early '70s, appearing on their albums Last Days And Time (1972) and Head To The Sky (1973). She went on to work with George Clinton on his various projects.

    As for "Minnie Riperton," two years later she had a #1 hit with "Lovin' You," where she hit a big high note at the end.
  • This was the second single from the Head To The Sky album, following "Evil." Earth, Wind & Fire had built a solid fanbase, but their hit-making days were still two years away. Their breakthrough was "Shining Star" in 1975.

Comments: 1

  • Eugene E Pierce from Houston, TexasEarth Wind and Fire is my favorite group of all time,That's the Way of the World, Heads To The Sky, that greatness
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