With their long track record, Kool & the Gang have always offered dance-provoking rhythms and Something Special fits that bill, too. Featuring the number one single "Take My Heart (You Can Have It If You Want It)," James "J.T." Taylor approaches the song in a cool, mesmerizing tone, closing out the vamp in his falsetto with a burst of energy while the background vocals chant the subtitle throughout the chorus. Not known to lead a song in falsetto, Taylor further utilizes this talent on the motivated rhythms of the nocturnal scenario of "Steppin' Out." It maintained a steady stride, rising to the number ten spot on the charts. The third single from the album was "Get Down on It." As the title indicates, this is a gritty funk track that worked its way up the charts to claim the number three position, selling more than 500,000 copies. Although there were no more charted singles from this album, the entire collection is deserving of recognition. On a slower note, "Pass It On" and "No Show" received regional airplay.
Featuring "Summer Madness" long live version
Following on the heels of their 1975 smash Spirit of the Boogie, Kool & the Gang hit the road to tour the album and record new material. One tumultuous show, at London's Rainbow Theatre, became the core of Love & Understanding.
Featuring "Summer Madness"
Lest anyone is expecting extravaganzas like "Celebration" or other crossover hits from the early '80s, Kool & the Gang's Spin Their Top Hits strictly covers the band's funk-filled '70s chart successes. Although singer James "J.T." Taylor's cool-breeze approach may have given the band their biggest chart toppers, Kool & the Gang's longevity rests with the jazz-informed grooves heard here. Coming off as part early Earth, Wind & Fire and a prelude to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," "Open Sesame" starts things off with some fantasy funk for the dancefloor, sounding every bit the high-end disco showstopper that made it a highlight of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.