Jungle Boogie

(Kool & The Gang)

FZ album(s) in which song has appeared

Tour(s) on which song is known to have been performed (main source: FZShows, v. 7.1)


Marc De Bruyn (emdebe@village.uunet.be), August 23, 2003

"Jungle Boogie" was one of those cool tunes from Kool & The Gang (they've been called the original funk soul brothers), who cranked out a ton of hit singles that managed pop crossover while still dominating the R&B charts.

Formed by Ronald "Kool" Bell originally as The Jazziacs (1964)—by 1969 they were called Kool & the Gang. Without a lead singer, they produced funk songs from the late sixties to the early seventies with minimal vocals. Changing their funk sounds to glide with the onset of the mid seventies, they recorded songs like "Jungle boogie", that allowed them to break into the mainstream US singles charts. As disco began, their music followed. By the time of their "Force" album of 1977, they were heavily disco-funk styled. Their last album of this era unfortunately flopped.

New producer (jazz fusion arranger) Eumir Deodato (who produced their records from 1979 to 1982) and a vocalist, James "JT" Taylor, yielded the international smash single and album "Ladies Night" (1979)—a true classic. "Celebration" (1980) was even better received than "Ladies Night" and quickly went platinum; the song was later used by the media as the home-coming theme for the returning American hostages from Iran.

When you think of Kool & The Gang, you'll probably also think of "Get Down On It" (1981), "Joanna" (1984) and "Cherish" (1985). Classic hits like "Ladies Night," "Hollywood Swinging" and a host of others were revived with a Hip Hop twist from rap artists, such as Mase, Puff Daddy, Coolio and Will Smith.

Writing credit on every tune was given to one primary writer and the band as a whole, and most often the primary writer was keyboardist/wind player Ronald Bell (a.k.a. Khalis Bayyan), who in later years became producer as well. In the case of "Jungle Boogie" (1974), it was Ronald Bell, Claydes Smith, George Brown, Robert MicKens, Donald Boyce, Richard Westfield, Dennis Thomas, and Robert Bell.

"Jungle Boogie" was featured on the multi-platinum soundtrack "Pulp Fiction" (1994).

The lyrics contain stuff like "Get down, get down. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!", "Jungle Boogie, get it on. Get down with the Boogie, Jungle Boogie (come and shake it around)", "Uh, yeah, feel the Funk you'll let me feel the load", and "Get Funky ya'll"... not very high profile...

The group never had the stylistic and emotional range of Earth, Wind & Fire, or the explosive funkiness of P-Funk. They fit somewhere into the second rank of 70's/80's R&B groups: the Isley Brothers were more consistent, Ashford & Simpson were more sophisticated, and the Ohio Players were earthier, but Kool & the Gang is comparable, and by far the most commercially successful of the lot. They're more interesting and original than the O'Jays or the Gap Band, anyway.



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