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Light of Worlds

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iTunes Review

Even as Earth, Wind & Fire married rock-inspired funk to jazz-informed playing, Kool & the Gang topped R&B and pop charts with an even harder amalgam of similar styles. Long a moderately successful act with jams like "Let the Music Take Your Mind," the Gang hit big in 1973 and '74 with irresistibly raucous singles like "Jungle Boogie" and "Hollywood Swinging." Light of Worlds was their first album after this breakout, and continued to offer a nearly surreal approach to the funk ("Rhyme Tyme People") while tweaking the mellower side of the band's influences (the original, superior version of "Summer Madness," an often sampled classic). Soon enough, such venturesome reach would be a thing of the past, as Kool & the Gang headed for the middle of the road. But this album captures them at a peak of inventiveness and happy mischief.

Customer Reviews


I haven't heard the rest of the album, but "Summer Madness" is such a cool, low key song. Perfect for just chillin' by the pool smoking an L.

Light of Worlds

Great album. Summer Madness reminds me of great, hot, sweaty summernights in Brooklyn, NY, sitting on my fire escape, slightly tipsy and looking at Manhattan's skyline...

The Nation Of Islam

This album is so often overlooked. Its a little known fact that Kool and The Gang were heavily influenced by teh nteachings of Elijah Muhammad, but this album lays all doubt to rest. As it went to press, the Nation was falling, but if you listen to the words in each song, you will see just how heavy this group was into "the teachings" before they went disco. Even the titles give clues...H.G.Whiting was the Nations company trhat sold the whiting fish at stores throughout the country. The Fruitman is a funny little diddy that recalls the entrepreneurs who sold Muhammad Speaks on street corners and finally if there was any doubt in your mind, the "As Salaam Alaikum" at the end of "Here After" should convince you. I still have the original album cover and each band member also had taken the "X" in place of thier slave names...all in all its a great glimpse into Black conciousness towards the mid-seventies. I am glad I still have my original album.


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 with the interplay and improvisation of a jazz outfit, plus the energy and spark of a band...
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