With their long track record, Kool & the Gang have always offered dance-provoking rhythms and Something Special fits that bill, too. Featuring the number one single "Take My Heart (You Can Have It If You Want It)," James "J.T." Taylor approaches the song in a cool, mesmerizing tone, closing out the vamp in his falsetto with a burst of energy while the background vocals chant the subtitle throughout the chorus. Not known to lead a song in falsetto, Taylor further utilizes this talent on the motivated rhythms of the nocturnal scenario of "Steppin' Out." It maintained a steady stride, rising to the number ten spot on the charts. The third single from the album was "Get Down on It." As the title indicates, this is a gritty funk track that worked its way up the charts to claim the number three position, selling more than 500,000 copies. Although there were no more charted singles from this album, the entire collection is deserving of recognition. On a slower note, "Pass It On" and "No Show" received regional airplay.
Featuring "Summer Madness" long live version
Following on the heels of their 1975 smash Spirit of the Boogie, Kool & the Gang hit the road to tour the album and record new material. One tumultuous show, at London's Rainbow Theatre, became the core of Love & Understanding.
Featuring "Summer Madness"
Lest anyone is expecting extravaganzas like "Celebration" or other crossover hits from the early '80s, Kool & the Gang's Spin Their Top Hits strictly covers the band's funk-filled '70s chart successes. Although singer James "J.T." Taylor's cool-breeze approach may have given the band their biggest chart toppers, Kool & the Gang's longevity rests with the jazz-informed grooves heard here. Coming off as part early Earth, Wind & Fire and a prelude to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," "Open Sesame" starts things off with some fantasy funk for the dancefloor, sounding every bit the high-end disco showstopper that made it a highlight of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
This is an amazing double CD tribute compilation - to commemorate 40 years in the business, Kool & The Gang has teamed up and remade many of their top hits top to bottom featuring many of todays most up & coming vocalists and artists. I am quite surprised that this project has not made more of a splash in the states, yet…
By the time 1983's In the Heart hit the streets, Kool & the Gang had left the fast lanes of funk for the smoother ride of the adult-oriented R&B expressway. Nevertheless, their grasp of 1980s soul sonics ensured that the band continued to top the charts with a verve and style that left their early influences firmly behind. With Ronald Bell temporarily stepping off the stage to shoulder the production, the band entered yet another fruitful era. With the monster hit "Joanna" setting the pace, Kool & the Gang powered their way through a set that seemed light to some, but still had enough force to push In the Heart into gold disc territory.
Live archive release from the American R&B/Soul/Funk outfit. On the occasion of their 40th anniversary, Kool & The Gang gave a concert in Denver, Colorado in the summer of 2005 to celebrate four decades of success all over the world…
Formed as a jazz ensemble in the mid-'60s, Kool & the Gang became one of the most inspired and influential funk units during the '70s, and one of the most popular R&B groups of the '80s after their breakout hit "Celebration" in 1979. Just as funky as James Brown or Parliament (and sampled almost as frequently), Kool & the Gang relied on their jazz backgrounds and long friendship to form a tightly knit group with the interplay and improvisation of a jazz outfit, plus the energy and spark of a band with equal ties to soul, R&B, and funk.
Good Times was a bit spotty compared to Music Is the Message, compromising Kool & the Gang's legendary funk instincts for a variety of digressions that don't turn out the way they should. There's much more good than bad though, beginning with the title track, a school's-out jam just in time for summer. "Making Merry Music" is in a similar mold and just as good, while the group leaps into wild, unhinged, horn-driven funk for "Rated X" and "Country Junky." …