on 29 March 2001
Forget 'Celebration'. Before Deodato smoothed them off, Kool & The Gang were as heavy anyone. Think 'Jungle Boogie'. Meaty funk with just a tinge of jazz in there, mainly in some of the soloing. Especially good if you struggle with the slower, more hypnotic grooves of other heavyweights like James Brown and P-Funk, a lot of this is up-tempo and wicked - a party on plastic. Fake crowd noises, brianless group vocals, walloping bass, wah-wah, and horns horns HORNS. Top pick - 'Chocolate Buttermilk'. Hardcore funk lovers, this is THE Kool & The Gang compilation.
on 9 July 2003
This CD covers their period from 1969-1976 before they became a massive selling disco pop band. Music wise it's raw jazz funk, singing wise they chanted rather then sing properly with some tight instrumentals and crowd noises on some tracks in the background.
In some places it got a little preachy, too jazzy and the latter songs got a little to disco. If you were wandering what they sounded like before their disco pop days in the late 70's & 80's this is highly recommended, if you prefer their disco pop days with JT Taylor as lead singer get hold of Best of Kool & the Gang (1979-1987)
on 24 July 2001
Forget the post Ladies Night pap. This is Kool and the Gang when they were seriously Funky. If you like JB, Ohio Players, Brass Construction etc, then this is for you. Not as experimental as Funkadelic/Parliament - but for straightforward funk this is hard to beat.
Forget their best selling pop crap like 'Joanna', this is the real Kool & The Gang.
Great horns, deep baselines, whistles & sparse vovals.
Standout tracks? Hard to choose but try:
Funky Stuff: Heavy weight funk complete with whistles!
Who's Gonna Take The Weight: early stuff showing where they were heading.
Hollywood Swinging: great horns & vocals that remained funky.
Chocolate Buttermilk: great early funk- jazzy & melodic.
Jungle Boogie: bit gimmicky but great horns & catchy tune.
Let The Music Take Your Mind: more early fun - raw but 100 times more real than "Cherish"
Open Sesame: not quite vintage Kool. A bit more 'pop' but still featuring great horns (esp. nice sax)
Summer Madness: if you must have mellow Kool then go no futher than this! Tuneful & charming singing.
Love And Understanding (Come Together) Great percussion driven funk.
If you like funk or 70's soul then this is the Kool & Gang album to buy!
If you like pop disco then get their later hits album.
(but get this one too!)
on 16 November 1999
Everyone laughs about Kool because of the Celebrate and Ladies night moments but this young band of hip funksters were responsible for many of the catchiest loops in Break beat history. Check out Public Enemy's Takes a nation, between Kool and the JB's the whole album is founded (all credit to the terminator though). You must at least know Jungle Boogie.
Every time I hear ' SUMMER MADNESS ', I get a lump in my throat. It takes me back to when I was young, I thought I was going to live forever, always had a girlfriend, and it always seemed like it was summer......HAPPY DAYS!!! Who would've thought ' KOOL & THE GANG ' were THIS FUNKY!!!....Buy this, you need it in your life.`Nuff said.