Title - Perfect Union
Artist - Kool & the Gang
For those not following along at home, the iconic funk band Kool & the Gang will release their new album, Perfect Union, August 20th, 2021 on Omnivore Recordings through its Ru-Jac Records imprint — the first new recording on the historic R&B label.
The two-time Grammy® Award-winning group’s new project was produced by the late Ronald Khalis Bell, Kool’s brother, who passed away in 2020. The album, a CD / Digital release, contains ten tracks including the new single, the rap version of Pursuit of Happiness, and Sexy (Where’d You Get Yours), which hit #16 on the Adult R&B charts. Oh, and the band is currently embarking on a worldwide tour.
Formed in 1964, The Jazziacs would play with McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Saunders, and other jazz greats. They would change their name to Kool & The Gang in 1969, sign with De-Lite Records and release their self-titled debut the following year.
1973’s Wild And Peaceful featured the Gold singles Jungle Boogie and Hollywood Swinging. The end of that decade and beginning of the next saw them collaborating with producer Eumir Deodato for a string of Platinum albums—Ladies Night, Celebrate!, and Something Special. They continued through the 80s with more Platinum albums, including Emergency, which featured four Top 20 singles.
The use of Jungle Boogie in 1994’s Pulp Fiction brought a new generation of fans to the group, and David Lee Roth invited them to open for Van Halen’s A Different Kind Of Truth tour in 2012, after catching their set at Glastonbury.
2016’s Kool & The Gang And Friends! had them collaborating with artists including Sean Paul, Angie Stone, Redman, Jamiroquai, Lisa Stansfield, and more. Kool & The Gang have won multiple Grammy® and American Music Awards, have been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and have sold over 70 million records worldwide!
Perfect Union is Kool & the Gang’s first album since 2011 and their first with Omnivore. Their legendary long run in the music industry has produced iconic songs such as Celebration, Ladies Night, Get Down On It, Jungle Boogie, Summer Madness, and Open Sesame, which have earned them two Grammy® Awards, seven American Music Awards, 25 Top Ten R&B hits, nine Top Ten Pop hits and 31 gold and platinum albums.
1. Pursuit Of Happiness
2. The Weekend
3. Leave It On The Dance Floor
5. Sexy (Where’d You Get Yours)
6. All To Myself
7. R.O.Y.A.L.T.Y. (Kool & The Gang Mix)
8. Hold On
9. Good Time
10. Pursuit Of Happiness (Rap Version)
Opening on the beautifully free flowing R&B vibe of Pursuit Of Happiness and the dancefloor hipsway of The Weekend, they back those up with the funky Leave It On The Dance Floor, the guitar-led, R&B-pop of flow of High and then we get the 80’s-imbibed brilliance of Sexy (Where’d You Get Yours).
Next up is the mid-tempo, soulful balladry of All To Myself and the dancefloor slide of R.O.Y.A.L.T.Y. (Kool & The Gang Mix), which are in turn followed by another mid-tempo ballad in the form of Hold On, the album rounding out on the genuinely addictive foot-tapper Good Time, closing on the bookended Rap Version of the opening track, Pursuit Of Happiness.
Kool expounds upon the background of the album: My brother, Khalis, wrote the single Pursuit of Happiness around the time of Obama’s second campaign for President. That was such an inspirational time and the hook and music just bolted out of him.
That time period was a pretty creative period for him and all of us. Now that he has passed, that name, Perfect Union makes even more sense to me. It’s about us. He used to say we were the koolective genius of a band called Kool & the Gang. We came together as kids and it’s been a perfect union. He knew that.
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