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Wild and Peaceful

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Editors’ Notes

The first two songs on Wild & Peaceful are called “Funky Stuff” and “More Funky Stuff,” respectively. Though the titles are accurate, they cover only one dimension of the album and the band. By the time Wild & Peaceful was released in 1973, Kool & the Gang had been jamming together for a full decade, and had evolved into an air-tight unit capable of laying down both hard-driving funk, as on “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging,” as well as the ethereal jazz of the nine-and-a-half minute title track, with its intertwined trumpet, flute, sax, and guitar solos. Simply put, their musicianship is staggering, and this album captures them at the peak of their powers. These “scientists of sound” can smolder one moment, as they do on “Heaven at Once,” which features a spoken plea for peace and unity, and then erupt into a raging fire the next. Regardless of tempo, they never miss, combining scratchy guitar, crisp horn lines, bubbling bass, and skittering drums into polyrhythmic perfection. Funky stuff, indeed.

Customer Reviews

Mathematically putting it down!

Everyone gravitates toward ‘Jungle Boogie’ and ‘Funky Stuff’ but give the whole album a listen . . . for me ‘This Is You, This Is Me’ trumps them all. The tempo starts out full throttle and doesn’t break stride for five and half minutes. The horns weave in and out of the vocals creating a wonderful jazz / funk fusion. The “Scientists of Sound” really could put it down. Dig into the whole album – it is worth it!

Hey, Hey, Hey...What You Got to Say?

Answer: Hollywood Swinging! This is simply a classic, fun album with Kool and the Gang putting out tunes that I can still sing verbatim to this day. With tunes like 'Jungle Boogie', 'Hollywood Swinging' and 'Funky Stuff' contrasting with the jazzy and introspective 'Wild and Peaceful', you have the essence of a superb album. Well worth the investment!


This is an amazing album, which is so far removed from Kool & The Gang's 1980s output, that it's almost hard to believe that it's the same band. Nevertheless, there isn't a weak track on here. From the moment "Funky Stuff" kicks things off with its fat splanks of bass and horn stabs to the moment the jazzy strains of the title track fade, this is a ride well worth taking, again and again. Buy this whole album, then check out some of their other pre-disco stuff, too. It's some of the hardest funk and most mind-blowing fusion jazz that you'll ever hear.


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...
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