Wild and Peaceful

Kool & the Gang

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Wild and Peaceful Review

by Andrew Hamilton

Prior to James "JT" Taylor adding pop flavor vocals, which help garner a handful of top selling albums, this was Kool & the Gang's most successful album, spawning three bonafide R&B hits. Produced by Robert Bell, and featuring Donal Boyce's incredulous vocals, these songs have held up well. The fast, chugging "Jungle Boogie" was a club favorite, while "Funky Stuff," with its "whoa whoa whoa" hook, was slower and spacier than "Jungle Boogie." The band formerly known as the Jazziacs got their first R&B number one with "Hollywood Swinging," a slightly faster than mid-tempo song with whistles, festive ambiance and lead vocals by keyboardist Ricky West. All three hits were inspired by Manu Dibango's "Soul Makossa," and were recorded in one night at a studio in midtown Manhattan. The title cut flash backs to their prerecording jazz days, when they dazzled New Jerseyites with their playing skills.

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