Kool & The Gang
Seeing as Kool & The Gang’s iconic hit “Celebration” is featured in our first music release Groovelates Mixtape 1, AND it’s also Groovelates’ chosen theme for January 2023, we thought you might like to find out a bit more about the band!
So, Kool & The Gang, what would you like to know? Well, originally formed in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA, as a jazz ensemble in 1964, (yes, 1964!!!), by brothers Robert “Kool” Bell and Ronald Bell, Kool & the Gang have undergone countless member changes and explored various musical styles and genres over the years, including jazz, soul, funk, rock, and pop. The band did eventually sign a recording contract with De-Lite Records and released their debut album, Kool and the Gang (1970).
However, it wasn’t until their fourth album Wild and Peaceful (1973), which contained the US top-ten singles “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging” that they got their first taste of success.
The band reached their commercial peak between 1979 and 1986 following their partnership with Brazilian musician/producer Eumir Deodato and the addition of singer James "J.T." Taylor to the line-up.
Their most successful albums during this period included:
Ladies' Night (1979)
Something Special (1981)
As One (1982)
And those albums produced the hit singles
“Ladies’ Night” (No.9*)
“Too Hot” (No.23)
“Get Down On It” (No.3)
“Hi De Hi, Hi De Ho” (No.29)
“Big Fun” (No. 14)
“Steppin’ Out” (No.12)
“Oh La La La (Let’s Go Dancin’)” (No.6)
However, it was the classic, and Groovelates’ favourite, 1980 single “Celebration” (No.7) released as the first single from their TWELFTH, yes, 12th studio album Celebrate! which gave Kool & the Gang their first and only US No.1 single!
Self-Produced albums In The Heart (1983) and Emergency (1984) (with Jim Bonneford as co-producer) continued their run of success and resulted in the hit singles
“(When You Say You Love Somebody) In The Heart” (No.7)
from In The Heart.
Their biggest selling album Emergency presented Kool & The Gang with the hit singles
and “Misled” (No.28).
Kool & the Gang continue to perform today! They have won countless awards, including two Grammys, seven American Music Awards and a Soul Train Legend Award.
They also have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,
and have sold 70 million albums worldwide!
*UK Chart Position (OCC Official Chart Company)