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September (Earth, Wind & Fire song)

"September" is a song by the American funk band Earth, Wind & Fire. It was recorded during the sessions for their album I Am (1979) and released as a single in 1978. It was included on The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 (1978).

"September"
EarthWindAndFireSeptember7InchSingleCover.jpg
Single by Earth, Wind & Fire
from the album The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1
B-side
  • "Love's Holiday"
  • "Can't Hide Love"
ReleasedSeptember 21, 1978 (1978-09-21)
Format
RecordedSeptember 1978
Genre
Length3:35
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Maurice White
Earth, Wind & Fire singles chronology
"Got to Get You into My Life"
(1978)
"September"
(1978)
"Boogie Wonderland"
(1979)
Music video
"September" on YouTube

"September" reached No. 1 on the US R&B chart, No. 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100,[1] and No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart.[2]

CompositionEdit

"September" is in the key of A major with a tempo of 126 beats per minute in common time. The vocals span from E4 to F5.[3][4]

Using a chord progression written by Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist Al McKay, vocalist Maurice White and songwriter Allee Willis wrote the song over one month. Willis was initially bothered by the gibberish "ba-dee-ya" lyric White used through the song, and begged him to rewrite it: "I just said, 'What the fuck does 'ba-dee-ya' mean?' And he essentially said, 'Who the fuck cares?' I learned my greatest lesson ever in songwriting from him, which was never let the lyric get in the way of the groove."[5] The song was included on the band's first compilation—The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1—solely to boost sales with original content.[6]

Although several theories about the significance of the date have been suggested, the songwriter Maurice White claimed he simply chose the 21st due to how it sounded when sung.[7] His wife, Marilyn White, however, claimed that September 21 was the due date of their son, Kahbran, according to lyricist Allee Willis.[8]

ReceptionEdit

The song was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry and certified gold in the US (until the RIAA lowered the sales levels for certified singles in 1989, a Gold single equaled 1 million units sold.) "September" was later certified Gold for digital sales by the RIAA,[9][10][11] and has sold over 2 million digital copies in the US as of September 2017.[12] Earth, Wind & Fire recorded a new version of the song, retitled "December", for their 2014 Christmas album Holiday.

In the United Kingdom the song has been popular as the basis of football chants at a number of clubs: according to a Guardian article this originated at Newcastle United F.C. where fans started singing a chant about player Chancel Mbemba in the autumn of 2015.[13] It was also adapted by fans of the England national football team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia: "Woah, England are in Russia / Woah, drinking all the vodka / Woah, England’s going all the way".[14]

A version featuring the band accompanied by Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake is featured in the 2016 film Trolls. It was released on September 23, 2016, as part of the Trolls: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.

"September ’99"Edit

"September '99"
 
Single by Earth, Wind & Fire
from the album The Ultimate Collection
Released1999
GenrePop, R&B
Length3:43
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Maurice White, Allee Willis, Al McKay
Producer(s)Maurice White
Earth, Wind & Fire singles chronology
"When Love Goes Wrong"
(1997)
"September '99"
(1999)
"All in the Way"
(2003)
Music video
"September 99" on YouTube

A remix of the song called "September '99" was issued in 1999 on Columbia Records.[15] The single reached Nos. 1 & 25 on the Canadian Dance Songs chart and UK Singles Chart.[16][17][18]

The song was remixed by English dance music duo Phats and Small[19] and was included on The Ultimate Collection.[15]

Chart performanceEdit

Sales and certificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[53] Gold 45,000^
Italy (FIMI)[54] Platinum 50,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[55]
Digital download
Gold 30,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[56]
Physical release
Silver 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[57] Platinum 600,000 
United States (RIAA)[58]
Physical release
Gold 1,000,000^
United States (RIAA)[58]
Digital download
Gold 2,065,000[12]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 179.
  2. ^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 289. ISBN 0-87586-207-1.
  3. ^ White, Maurice. "Earth Wind & Fire "September" Sheet Music in F# Minor (transposable) – Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  4. ^ "September – Earth, Wind & Fire – Spot On Track". www.spotontrack.com. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  5. ^ "The Song That Never Ends: Why 'September' Sustains". NPR.org. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Myers, Marc (September 3, 2019). "Do You Remember? The Message in Earth, Wind & Fire's 'September'". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  7. ^ Charnas, Dan (September 19, 2014). "The Song That Never Ends: Why Earth, Wind & Fire's 'September' Sustains". Morning Edition.
  8. ^ Myers, Marc (September 3, 2019). "Do You Remember? The Message in Earth, Wind & Fire's 'September'". Wall Street Journal.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 10, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-29. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Rock Music, etc., Terms". spider.georgetowncollege.edu. Archived from the original on May 18, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved 2010-10-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ a b "Nielsen SoundScan charts – Digital Songs – Week Ending: 09/28/2017" (PDF). Nielsen SoundScan. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 2, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  13. ^ MacInnes, Paul (November 23, 2017). "When a terrace tune goes viral: the hunt for the source of the September chant". theguardian.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  14. ^ Simpson, Dave (July 11, 2018). "Why Atomic Kitten and Earth, Wind & Fire became England's World Cup chants". theguardian.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  15. ^ a b Earth, Wind & Fire: September 99 (Liner notes and text). Columbia Records. 1999.
  16. ^ "Earth Wind & Fire : September 99". RPM.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100: 25 July 1999 - 31 July 1999". officialcharts.com.
  18. ^ a b c "Earth, Wind & Fire: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  19. ^ "Phats & Small". allmusic.com.
  20. ^ "Australian Chart Book". Austchartbook.com.au. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-13. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  21. ^ "Ultratop.be – Earth, Wind & Fire – September" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  22. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0103a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  23. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 4507." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  24. ^ a b "Musicline.de – Earth, Wind & Fire Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  25. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – September". Irish Singles Chart.
  26. ^ "Hit Parade Italia – Indice per Interprete: E". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  27. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 4, 1979" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  28. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Earth, Wind & Fire – September" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  29. ^ "Charts.nz – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". Top 40 Singles.
  30. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". VG-lista.
  31. ^ "SA Charts 1965 - 1989 Songs S". South African Rock Lists. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  32. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". Singles Top 100.
  33. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–2002
  34. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 78.
  35. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, January 27, 1979". Archived from the original on February 14, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  36. ^ "Ultratop.be – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  37. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved June 26, 2018. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  38. ^ "Lescharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)" (in French). Les classement single.
  39. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (NR. 336 Vikuna 12.8. - 19.8. 1999)" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir. Retrieved July 13, 2018. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  40. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Earth, Wind & Fire" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  41. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  42. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)". VG-lista.
  43. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  44. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)". Singles Top 100.
  45. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September 99 (Phats & Small Remix)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  46. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". officialcharts.com.
  47. ^ "Lescharts.com – Earth, Wind & Fire – September" (in French). Les classement single.
  48. ^ "Australian Chart Book". Austchartbook.com.au. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-13. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  49. ^ "1979 Top 200 Singles". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  50. ^ Top 100 1979 - UK Music Charts
  51. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1979/Top 100 Songs of 1979". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  52. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 29, 1979". Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  53. ^ "Earth Wind & Fire "September"". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  54. ^ "Italian single certifications – Earth, Wind & Fire – September" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved November 27, 2017. Select "Tutti gli anni" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "September" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  55. ^ "Certificaciones" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved February 14, 2016. Type Earth, Wind & Fire in the box under the ARTISTA column heading and September in the box under TÍTULO
  56. ^ "British single certifications – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved October 3, 2014. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type September in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  57. ^ "British single certifications – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 3, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type September in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  58. ^ a b "American single certifications – Earth, Wind & Fire – September". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 3, 2014. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit