Kool & The Gang

The Albums – Vol 2 – 1979 to 1989 Edsel Records EDSL 0103.


Just as Harold Melvin wasn’t the lead singer in Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes, Robert ‘Kool’ Bell wasn’t the lead singer in Kool & The Gang; on all, except the last one in this 11xCD package James (J. T.) Taylor was the front man of the band with Kool, as the group’s leader, playing bass. Starting life as a ‘funk’ band, as disco became the music of the day Kool & The Gang changed tack and released a succession of hit singles which resulted in thirteen Top 20 hits between 1979 and 1985 and a few lesser successful ones over the next four years.

Ladies Night, Celebration, Get Down On It, Ooh La La, Joanna, In The Heart and Cherish saw record buyers rushing to their local record store and dancers eager to get on the dance floor. There are eight full LPs in this set, one CD given over to the 7” mixes of their singles, and two more containing various twelve inch mixes. Home Is Where The Heart Is (from the In The Heart album) is a beautiful ballad, Good Time Tonight (from the Something Special album) could well have been a single, a great dance track and the same goes for Take It To The Top (from the 1980 LP Celebrate).

The thing about Kool & The Gang is that they were equally at home with commercial pop, ballads and dance; their singles proved that time and again. Delve into any one of the LPs gathered together here and you’ll see that whatever they chose to record, they hardly ever put a foot wrong. That’s some achievement.


Austin Powell has spent his entire working life in the music business. From being an agent and manager of ‘beat groups’ in the sixties to working for major record companies in the seventies and eighties, he has also held management positions at radio stations in England, Wales and on the Isle Of Man. He continues to act as a consultant to several record companies and artists and presents a weekly 'oldies' show on Monday evenings on 101.8 WCR FM in Wolverhampton.

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