SotD80 - Kool and the Gang

Three women, two sitting on a silver sofa, one standing behind

Inspired by our series of articles looking back at music released 30 years ago, Jimmy Hunter takes a step further back in time to give us a Song of the Day 1980. This week, there's a party going on right here...

Ok, time to lighten up. It’s 8 weeks till “C” word hits us so we should celebrate [What, celebrate what, exactly?? – Ed] simply having got this far in 2020. This is an unashamedly feel-good song from a band with a long and credible history. Very long and very credible indeed.

This week I’m bopping away to Kool and The Gang’s Celebration and it’s a record I really do like. It’s unashamedly feel-good and yet it remains authentic, not cheesy and I will not be told otherwise.

If you’re thinking KC and the Sunshine Band – ish, Crown Heights Affair – ish, well you could be forgiven for that because there were numerous bands throughout the 1970s that had similar music styles and similar set ups. Few of them became commercially successful, even fewer reached a level of longevity that this band got to.

Fresh out of a 3 year period where the band were trying to be a little too Earth, Wind and Fire, they actually achieved a disco sound without it sounding wrong. With such a long R&B-soul-funk history, adding disco glitter ain’t that easy and it cost them a few fans.

Starting off with a thumping drum, adding guitars and percussion then brass, the bass picks up the melody, the copious melodies and off we go. There’s a lot going on here yet it’s not over produced and immediately the falsetto “YAHOO” gets you going – right up onto the dancefloor.

With a lead singer (that made my teenage heart beat faster) having a delightfully bassy voice that leads the melody and the harmonies, it’s hard not to like this. The band achieved well earned success with this and rightfully so but happily this wasn’t their peak. In the coming few years they would maintain popularity and grow further and I remember seeing them live in Edinburgh in November 1983 – front row seats too!

We need a smile. Grab the tipple of your choice, smile and join me shaking it all out, why don’t you!

Image - Amazon

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