Earth, Wind & Fire – Last Days and Time (Columbia C31702) (1972)


Had for £2 at a Padstow bootfair, this is the first of many posts from this year’s Cornish vac.

Super fonky, conscious third EWF album (Phillip Bailey’s first and their Columbia debut) that, if not quite a five star Lp, still pushes most all the right buttons. Some shrill singing on side two puts paid to that pesky fifth self-luminous celestial body. Note the Bitches Brew/Satanic Majesties Request-style outer sleeve with the Riot Goin’ On /Check Your Head collage action on the inside gate fold.

And another example of the strange EMI/CBS licensing conundrum elucidated by Boursin here; surely some poor schmuck had something better to do than black out Columbia 10,000 times. And three different trademarks were painstakingly cut out from the back of the Lp jacket with an Xacto knife–Jesus H!

PS: If Wilberforce doesn’t have this, he should.

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Published in: on August 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm  Comments (9)  

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  1. i do consider myself a big fan of earth wind & fire, but in the main i prefer their later more polished stuff from “all ‘n all”, “i am” and “faces”… i did actually pick up this album about 5 years back but wasn’t very impressed with it – if i’ve still got it (can’t remember!), on the above recommendation i’ll dig it out sometime and give another spin… however one LP i shan’t be listening to again in my lifetime is “bitches brew” – i love miles’ “kind of blue” and even some of the shiny 80’s electronica of “tutu”, but to me BB is just self-indulgent mindless parping!

    with regard to the marker pen handiwork (it doesn’t look like a very effective job here, but maybe age has had its effect ha ha), i suppose the accounts department reasoned it was cheaper to get some wallahs to do that rather than scrap it all and start again because of legal red tape. my thoughts are that back in those days the industry regarded their customers as consumers rather than collectors (and to a large extent they were right – many punters then had the same approach to listening to music as eating at mcdonalds), and if the covers were mutilated iin the interests of saving a few quid (or bucks) it was no big deal as long as the actual grooves weren’t affected… perhaps the most notorious example of such penny-pinching practice was when the beatles’ US “butcher” albums were recalled, and rather than pulping the sleeve they just glued a different picture on top (which of course was then sooner-or-later peeled off again by fab four fans searching for the holy grail)!

  2. I love this album as you can see on one of my earliest posts http://darcysfeelit.blogspot.com/2006/05/elemental.html

    The licensing problem with the Columbia name would continue for years it seems. I have
    albums and 12″ singles from the late 70s with black outs. By then they had managed to manufacture a black sticky backed circular ribbon that would be stuck on the outer rim of the label.

    In Cornwall as I write this contemplating the Rosudgeon car boot tomorrow. Weather looks distinctly iffy though.

  3. darcy :

    In Cornwall as I write this contemplating the Rosudgeon car boot tomorrow. Weather looks distinctly iffy though.

    Cornish bootfairs are the best because they tend to start later (anywhere from the 10am to 1pm, with one starting at 6pm[!]) This means late nights don’t preclude the digging of crates as they do for me here in Kent where 7am is the preferred start time and many of my pushier brethren (and they are always brethren) there at set up time bargaining away.

    • 7am (and earlier) starts – I know what you mean. It’s the same in Bristol/Bath.

      The sun shone in Rosudgeon (and a 10:30 start) but alas very few records.
      Nevertheless very happy with this even though I think mine is a reissue:

  4. Oh btw – which one starts at 6pm?!

    • I couldn’t remember, but my son says it was a one-off anyway.

  5. Have some new record cover frames. This one will be up one the wall in the next few days.

  6. Those things are surprisingly expensive. I hope you got a good deal!

  7. […] Lp from the summer’s time in Cornwall, this one from the same bootfair as the recent Earth, Wind & Fire post. Despite the presence of the hits “D.J.” and “Boys Keep Swinging”, […]


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