Rembert Explains the ’80s: Earth, Wind & Fire, ‘Let’s Groove’

Welcome back to our series Rembert Explains the ’80s. Every so often, we’ll e-mail 25-year-old Rembert Browne a video from the 1980s that he hasn’t seen. Rembert will write down his thoughts as he’s watching the video, then we’ll post those thoughts here. This week’s installment was selected by Rembert Browne, BECAUSE IT’S BLACK HISTORY MONTH AND I’M CALLING THE SHOTS: “Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire. If you have an idea for a future episode of Rembert Explains the ’80s, e-mail us at hollywood@grantland.com.

0:00 For what it’s worth, there was an eight-year period where I thought this was the first music video.

0:15 This video has no flaws, starting with this Rubin’s vase–esque imagery:

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We’ll never know if that’s two faces singing into a microphone or, you know, a vase.

0:17 The intro of every other song needs to bow down to what Earth, Wind & Fire have done in the first 17 seconds of “Let’s Groove.” Seriously. BOW.

0:20 HERE. THEY. COME.

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0:23 The horns kicking in + a full-band spin move = ART

0:27 Something to look out for: this crouched one-two step that the entire band does. It’s majestic. And it will continue.

0:33 I see you over there on the right, Verdine.

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Verdine never had an off day.

0:40 We have Earth, Wind & Fire to thank for all the Power Rangers costumes. I don’t know if any credit has ever been formally attributed, but there’s no doubt in my mind Haim Saban was a huge “Let’s Groove” fan.

0:44 Cue stage right: Earth, Wind & Fire SEQUINS MUSE:

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Missed you, girl.

0:48 SHOW YOURSELF, MAURICE:

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Something you should know about the brothers White, Maurice, and Verdine: huge fans of their own foreheads.

0:55 QUICK, LOOK THE OTHER WAY, MAURICE

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0:57 If you’ve never witnessed two people seducing each other at the same time, while being covered in sequins, today is your lucky day:

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THE PASSION OF THE BEDAZZLER

1:03 I’ve long wondered what the sequins budget was for this video. Probably $50k, right?

1:05 The next seven seconds are great because they are a visual acid trip.

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1:12 Sorry, did I say seven? Definitely meant “the duration of this video.”

1:27 Never underestimate how hard it is to be cool and dance with a bass clarinet at the same damn time. Never.

1:33 If you didn’t fully understand my Power Rangers theory earlier:

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Now you do.

1:40 The gentlemen of Earth, Wind & Fire were not only great at travel dancing, but also standing-in-place dancing. Just a complete understanding of how to use one’s hips. Shout-out to the hips of the Elements.

1:45 Oh man, I can barely contain myself for what’s about to happen. Like, this is a beautiful thing to watch:

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But it has NOTHING on this:

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2:04 The fact that this isn’t creepy in the slightest is proof of how magical this video is. Also, who hasn’t gathered with four of his best friends in flying-V formation, sung falsetto, and then stared at a shrunken, sequined woman as she does body rolls in a rainbow orb?

2:12 The members of EWF have the uncanny ability to go an entire song without breaking the Kool-Aid smile. I dare you to find a frown. Double-dare you. Yes, I will also physical-challenge you.

2:20 Because there is so much going on in the first two minutes, it’s easy to forget the fact that MAURICE WHITE HAS THREE HEADS.

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The only world better than one in which Maurice White sings is one in which two of his heads sing one part and the third chimes in with the lead vocals.

2:32 “IF YOU WANT MY LOOOOOOOOOVE”

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“WE CAN BOOGIE. ON DOWN.”

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2:37 Oh hello there, new and improved “Vase or Face.” It’s even more confusing this time, because I can’t tell if I’m looking at two faces singing at each other while a sequined woman dances within their faces, or if it’s simply a Maurice White vase.

2:43 Don’t get so lost in the visuals that you forget even for a second that this song is jamming your face off. I mean, I know it’s hard.

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But just try.

2:55 “Share the spice of life.”

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I don’t know what “spice” meant in 1981, but I’m glad EWF had enough of it to pass around.

3:07 This is what we call “sensory overload for good.”

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We can only guess how far back that army of sequined muses goes.

3:10 I love it when she does the Thriller dance.

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3:17 She did a kick and I saw at least eight rows of sequined muses. Impressive.

3:22 EVERYTHING JUST HAPPENED AT ONCE.

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And it was good.

3:42 NO, EWF, DON’T CROUCH AWAY AND LEAVE, NOOOO.

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That’s always the hardest part of this video: knowing that it eventually ends.

Filed Under: Music Videos, Rembert Explains, The 80S

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Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ rembert