February 8, 2023 Playlist

Kool & The Gang "Wild And Peaceful" (1973)
Kool & The Gang "Wild And Peaceful"  1973 (USA)
Kool & The Gang reached their zenith in the early 1980's with pop-soul dance jams like "Too Hot", "Lady's Night", and of course the wedding standard "Celebration." During that period their charismatic lead vocalist was a guy named James "J.T." Taylor (not to be confused with the bald wimpy folksinger "James Taylor"!) That stuff is fine in a post-disco kind of way, but more people need to know what a cool band Kool & The Gang were back in the 1970's and even their early roots as a jazzy soul band at the end of the 1960's. The first record I would recommend is the 1971 compilation on De-Lite records called The Best Of Kool & The Gang, which collects up great early funk nuggets released on 7" singles, like "Funky Man", "The Penguin" and "Let The Music Take Your Mind". They were quite arguably the #2 nasty funk band in America when that one came out (of course you know who was #1 funk in 1971). But those early tunes were only hits on "black radio" and it wasn't until 1973 and our CAOTW that the Gang started to hit the American Top 40 with regularity: this album includes three immortal dance floor jams "Funky Stuff", "Hollywood Swinging" and "Jungle Boogie" - songs that paved the way for Disco a few years later, with their simple chanting vocals and thunderous big band groove with horns. Though this album still includes a ten-minute instrumental for the title track, reminiscent of their earliest albums (when they weren't making those early funk singles they were also doing tributes to John Coltrane on their LP's). Kool got a little more disco as the 1970's wore on (including a tune in the film Saturday Night Fever) before giving Lionel Richie a run for the money in the early Reagan years. The rise of rap music pretty much put an end to their career as a relevant contemporary group, though their beats got sampled by the hiphoppers as much as any seventies funk band. And in case you were wondering: Kool is the bass player, Robert Bell!
(N) = New Release
Artist Song Album Year Country
The TemptationsPsychedelic Shack (complete version)Psychedelic Soul (compilation)1969USA
The Jimmy Castor BunchBadIt's Just Begun1972USA
Ike & Tina TurnerBold Soul SisterThe Hunter1969USA
James BrownGet It Together (complete version)Star Time (compilation)1967USA
Stevie WonderDo Yourself A FavorWhere I'm Coming From1971USA
Mint Field Contingencia (live)Levitation Sessions (N)2022 (Reverberation
Appreciation Society)
Guerilla Toss Wild FantasyFamously Alive (N)2022 (Sub Pop)USA
Tricot Fudeki ("Bungle")Fudeki (N)
2022 (8902/Cutting Edge)Japan
OFF! Smoking GunFree LSD (N)2022 (Fat Possum)USA
Thumper Topher GraceDelusions Of Grandeur (N)2022 (Reckless)Ireland
Kool & The GangJungle BoogieWild And Peaceful
Kool & The GangFunky StuffWild And Peaceful
Kool & The GangWild And PeacefulWild And Peaceful
Earth Wind & FireAfricanoThat's The Way Of The World1975USA
WarNappy Head (Theme From Ghetto Man)All Day Music1971USA
Kool & The GangJungle JazzSpirit Of The Boogie1975USA
FunkadelicLet's Take It To The StageLet's Take It To The Stage1975USA
FunkadelicYou And Your Folks, Me And My FolksMaggot Brain1971USA
Jimi HendrixWho Knows (live)Band Of Gypsys1970USA
Prince & The RevolutionPaisley Park (complete version)(12" single from) Around The World In A Day1985USA
Ultramagnetic MCsRaise It UpThe Four Horsemen1993USA
Lou DonaldsonPot BellyPretty Things1970USA
Rahsaan Roland KirkThe Seeker (live)
   a. Black Classical Rap
   b. The Seeker
   c. Thank You, Bird
   d. New Orleans
Rahsaan Rahsaan1970USA
Fela Kuti & Africa 70Yellow FeverYellow Fever / Na Poi1976Nigeria
Bobbie Lovesong Reincarnation Of A Lovebird (Charles Mingus)On The Wind (N)2023 (Woodsist)USA

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