Earth, Wind & Fire - That's the Way of the World - 1975

Earth, Wind & Fire: "That's the Way of the World" (1975)

Earth, Wind & Fire's "That's the Way of the World", released in 1975, is not just a song but a masterpiece that encapsulates the essence of the 1970s soul, funk, and R&B scene. This track, known for its uplifting lyrics and innovative blend of musical styles, became one of the defining sounds of Earth, Wind & Fire. The band, formed in Chicago in 1969 by Maurice White, is renowned for their energetic performances, elaborate stage shows, and eclectic blend of genres.

Before diving into the interactive elements of this aiMOOC, let's explore some key aspects of "That's the Way of the World":

  1. Background: Delve into the history of Earth, Wind & Fire and the cultural context of the 1970s which influenced their music. Check out the band's history and the 1970s music scene.
  2. Musical Style: Understand the unique blend of funk, soul, jazz, pop, rock, and African music that defines Earth, Wind & Fire's sound. Explore articles on Funk, Soul, and Jazz Fusion.
  3. Lyrical Analysis: The song's lyrics convey a message of resilience and optimism. Learn more about the art of lyric writing and how music can evoke emotions.
  4. Legacy: Discover how "That's the Way of the World" influenced later music and its role in popular culture. Look into music's influence on culture and 1970s music legacy.

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "That's the Way of the World" released? (1975) (!1969) (!1980) (!1972)

Which genre best describes "That's the Way of the World"? (Soul and Funk) (!Disco) (!Rock) (!Jazz)

What is the primary theme of the song's lyrics? (Optimism and resilience) (!Romantic love) (!Political protest) (!Celebration of youth)

Which band member of Earth, Wind & Fire was primarily responsible for founding the group? (Maurice White) (!Philip Bailey) (!Verdine White) (!Ralph Johnson)

The song was also the title track for a movie. What was the genre of this movie? (Musical drama) (!Comedy) (!Science fiction) (!Horror)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

In what city was Earth, Wind & Fire formed? (Chicago) (!New York City) (!Los Angeles) (!Detroit)

Which of the following instruments is not associated with Earth, Wind & Fire's music? (Guitar) (!Kalimba) (!Trumpet) (!Electric bass)

Which famous Earth, Wind & Fire song has a strong association with a particular month? ("September") (!"June") (!"April") (!"December")

Apart from "That's the Way of the World," which album is considered one of Earth, Wind & Fire's greatest works? ("Gratitude") (!"Thriller") (!"Purple Rain") (!"Back in Black")

Who was the band's main lead singer in the 1970s? (Philip Bailey) (!Maurice White) (!Verdine White) (!Ralph Johnson)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

Which line follows "You will find peace of mind" in the song? ("Don't you hesitate") (!"Love's the way they say") (!"When you look way down") (!"In the world today")

The song's lyrics mention "hearts of fire." What does this metaphor most likely represent? (Passion and determination) (!Anger and conflict) (!Romance and love) (!Danger and warning)

"That's the Way of the World" encourages listeners to...? (Keep their head to the sky) (!Forget their worries) (!Dance all night) (!Look for love)

What is the main message of the song "That's the Way of the World"? (Staying positive and resilient in the face of adversity) (!Focusing solely on material success) (!Remembering the past) (!Giving up when faced with challenges)

The lyrics "Child is born with a heart of gold" suggest what about human nature? (Inherent goodness and potential) (!Inevitable corruption) (!Indifference to the world) (!Need for material possessions)


Maurice White Founded Earth, Wind & Fire
1975 Year "That's the Way of the World" was released
Chicago City where Earth, Wind & Fire was formed
Funk and Soul Primary genres of "That's the Way of the World"
"Keep your head to the sky" Key message in the song

Open Tasks


  1. Listen to the song: Spend some time listening to "That's the Way of the World" and reflect on how it makes you feel.
  2. Research the 1970s music scene: Explore what other music was popular during the same era.


  1. Write a short essay: Discuss the influence of 1970s music on modern genres.
  2. Create a playlist: Compile songs from the 1970s that share themes or styles with "That's the Way of the World."


  1. Analyze the lyrics: Provide a detailed analysis of the song's lyrics and their meaning.
  2. Compare and contrast: Look at another Earth, Wind & Fire song and compare its themes and musical style to "That's the Way of the World."

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the evolution of Earth, Wind & Fire: How did the band's music change over time and what influences can you identify?
  2. Examine the impact of music on culture: In what ways did songs like "That's the Way of the World" influence the culture of the 1970s?
  3. Explore the fusion of genres: How does Earth, Wind & Fire's blend of different musical styles create a unique sound?

OERs on the Topic


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