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Kool & the Gang

Kool & The Gang On tour

January - August 2020


Kool & the Gang are an American Jazz, R&B, Soul, Funk and disco group, originally formed in 1964 as the Jazziacs based in Jersey City, New Jersey. They went through several musical phases during the course of their recording career, starting out with a purist jazz sound, then becoming practitioners of funk and R&B, progressing to a smooth pop-funk ensemble, and in the post-millennium creating music with a modern, electro-pop sound.

In 1964, thirteen-year-old Robert Bell formed an instrumental band called the Jazziacs with five high-school friends. They changed their name to "Kool & the Flames" in 1967, then "Kool & the Gang" in 1969 (to avoid confusion with James Brown' Famous Flames) and were signed by Gene Redd to his new record label De-Lite Records in 1969.

The band first hit the pop charts with the release of their debut eponymous album. Although none of the three singles from the album went far on the pop charts, their R&B success was swift and massive. Several live and studio albums followed, with 1973's Wild and Peaceful breaking into the mainstream with "Funky Stuff", "Jungle Boogie" and "Hollywood swinging". Many reviews see the Gang's 1974 album Light of Worlds and 1975 album Spirit of the boogie as the greatest achievements of the band, with the 1975 single "Summer Madness" gaining much attention. However, after the release of those albums the band abandoned deep funk music and switched to pop-funk. 

The late 1970s saw a lull in Kool & the Gang's output except for the album Open Sesame, which yielded the title track "Open Sesame", achieving some success as part of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. New lead singer James "J.T" Taylor then joined the group, starting with 1979's Ladies' Night. Their number one hit in 1980's "Celebration" was from Celebrate!, co-produced by Eumir Deodato. More international hits followed in the early 1980s, including "Big Fun", "Get Down on it", and "Joanna". Their 1984 album Emergency yielded four top-20 pop hits, including "Fresh" and "Cherish". Their chart presence stopped after Forever. In 1988, Taylor left the group amicably to pursue a solo career. He returned for the 1996 album State of Affairs, which did not make much of an impact commercially. Taylor departed again in 2001 to resume his solo career.

Discography : 

1969 : Kool and The Gang

1971 : Live At The Sex Machine  

1971 : Live At PJ's 

1972 : Music is The Message 

1972 : Good Times

1973 : Wild and Peaceful 

1974 : Light of Worlds 

1975 : Spirit of The Boogie

1976 : Behind The Eyes

1976 : Love & Understanding

1976 : Open Sesame

1977 : The Force

1978 : Everybody’s Dancin’

1979 : Ladies Night

1980 : Celebrate !

1981 : Something Special

1982 : As One

1983 : In the Heart 

1983 : Twice as Kool (complilation)

1984 : Emergency

1986 : Forever 

1988 : Everything’s Kool and The Gang : Greatest Hits and More

1989 : Sweat

1983 : Unite

1996 : State Of affairs 

1997 : Kool Jazz

2001 : Gangland

2004 : The Hits : Reloaded

2007 : Still Kool

2010 : Live at Montreux

Awards : 

- 1 Pionner Award

- 2 Grammy Awards 

- 7 American Music Awards


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