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The Very Best of Kool & the Gang

Kool & The Gang

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Album Review

Spanning the band's early-'70s genesis as an unhinged funk congregation and their later resurgence with urbane R&B balladry and synth-inflected disco, The Very Best of Kool & the Gang may not be a unified collection, but it is the first to offer every hit that's expected — as well as a few that aren't — from the band's long career. The emphasis is definitely on their peak as a pop group, from 1979 to 1986, with pride of place going to the hits "Celebration," "Get Down on It," "Ladies Night," "Too Hot," "Misled," and "Joanna." Fans of the funk get only three tracks ("Funky Stuff," "Hollywood Swinging," and "Jungle Boogie," all from 1973's Wild and Peaceful), which won't cause anyone to sell their copies of The Best of Kool & the Gang 1969-1976, but does give pop fans a glimpse of their mid-'70s greatness. All in all, this lengthy collection doesn't transition well from hit to hit, but then again, chronological order would've forced legions of pop fans to forward through the funk material to get to their favorites.

Customer Reviews

I am white

and i like this

What a band! What a Transformation!

What an exceptional band! From the mid 70s when their funkalicious Wild & Peaceful album made my mom recoil in ways that gangsta rap records do this generations matriarchs, this group transformed itself like none other with the insertion of James Taylor as lead singer. Kool & the Gang went from chunky guitar licks and group party vocal chants to being one of the more melodic bands of the late 70s and early 80s. I once heard that Joanna was the most recorded song of 1980. My only disappointment (and it's not their fault) is that their anthematic hits Celebration and Ladies Night have gotten way overplayed at every wedding, confirmation and bar mitzvah and the songs I would rather hear I don't get to hear enough. But I am evening the score a bit more on my Ipod. My personal favorite is Get Down On It (so infectious almost anyone can sing 90% of the words) and the best tip I can give is that Misled is a very underrated and forgotten song. The 30 second snippet on Itunes doesn't do it justice as it misses the chorus which is dynamite. Download it!

Jungle Boogie

Jungle Boogie Forever

Biography

Formed: 1964 in Jersey City, NJ

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
Full Bio

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