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The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 is the definitive chronicle of Earth, Wind & Fire’s reign as innovative soul-funk hitmakers in the 1970s. Originally released in 1978, this multi-platinum collection features 10 unforgettable hits including “Shining Star,” “Sing a Song,” “Getaway” and “Fantasy,” plus three exclusive tracks including a Grammy-winning cover of The Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” and the immortal dance floor hit “September,” a Top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic. This new 12” picture vinyl edition, featuring the original album’s classic cover emblem plus a die-cut insert, will be released exclusively for Record Store Day Black Friday.
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"Listen to This." As the original working title for Bitches Brew, the instruction and invitation resonates to this day as the best way to approach a record that shattered conventions, altered music history, and, more than 40 years later, still sounds far ahead of its time. The aural Mount Rushmore of jazz fusion, Bitches Brew is rightly ranked by virtually every significant press outlet among the 100 greatest albums ever made in any genre. Davis conceived Bitches Brew by having the musicians stand in a semi-circle, where he pointed at them with vague directions for tempo, solos, and cues. The collective improvisation and interplay spawned a galaxy of melodies and grooves that were later spliced together by producer Ted Macero. Here, these distinct creations take shape with utmost realism. Mobile Fidelity's version envelops you in expansive warm tonal blankets. Compositions stretch across jet-black backgrounds and paint abstract canvasses on par with those of Axis: Bold As Love and Abraxas. Juxtaposed percussion, loose jams, and melodic segues explode with impressionistic verve. Gathering a Hall of Fame-worthy lineup of musicians and tweaking it according to his desires, Davis follows through on his idea to "put together the greatest rock and roll band you ever heard" on Bitches Brew. Central to his proposition is the presence of two (and sometimes three) drummers and two bassists, a tactical move that thrusts rhythms into a central focus. Akin to the futuristic album cover art, the drum-driven suites head toward distant universes and uncharted territories—at once hypnotizing and grooving, charting maverick adventures with quixotic rock, funk, and R&B elements. Conceptually, Davis described Bitches Brew as "a novel without words" and "an incredible journey of pain, joy, sorrow, hate, passion, and love." The vast psychedelic expanses of warped echoes, liquid reverb, and tape loops confirm such ambitious contrasts of light and dark, fear and hope. Yet the most absolute characteristic of this watershed effort lies in how it resists definitive interpretation and encourages free thought—the very principles with which Davis conceived the everlasting beauty and fascination that is Bitches Brew.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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