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.
Ladies' Night was the album where Kool & the Gang perfected their funky style and made it more mainstream by incorporating some pop and light R&B into the sound. The result was that this album was not only popular during the 1970s black-oriented funk era where the band started, but also during the more popular and diverse disco era. Ladies' Night became their first Platinum album.