The title “Sun Goddess” was a last-minute thing. The original idea was a track that I wrote with Jon Lind, a young up-and-coming writer that I signed to a publishing deal.
It took only one day to record what would become “Sun Goddess.” We cut the track, and Don (Myrick) took an incredibly long, hot solo, which we just let ride. This was jazz, after all. Ramsey (Lewis) did a solo, and we forgot about the length of the song. We were feeling it.
Columbia released “Hot Dawgit” first. Much to my disappointment, it sank like a stone. A few weeks later, I arrived in Oakland, California, for a show. Bruce Lundvall, head of CBS Records USA, called me at my hotel. He was so excited, I could barely understand his words over the phone.
“We can’t keep it in the stores!” he shouted.
“What – what?” I said.
“Sun frigging Goddess.”
“You’re kidding. Really?”
“All the distributors are saying reorder, reorder reorder.”
“Sun Goddess” turned out to be one of those complete flukes of success. At first it was not released as a single. After all, it had ended up being eight minutes long!
– Maurice White. My Life With Earth, Wind & Fire, by Maurice White with Herb Powell, 2016.