85. Kool & the Gang

There are many people who first heard of Kool & the Gang form the monster hit, Celebration in 1980. After that, the band churned out multiple hits of the softer R&B vibe that generated them much success. However, like a few other artists on this list we can’t help but feel that we are discussing two different careers as the Kool & the Gang of the 1970’s was much different than the decade that followed.   Originally forming as a Jazz band, Kool & the Gang soon would implement Funk and Soul which led to a series of albums that charted well on the R&B charts. Some of Kool’s efforts managed to crossover into mainstream Pop success. In retrospect, the work of Kool & the Gang has occasionally been compared to that of Parliament and James Brown. It was however when singer, J.T. Taylor was brought in that their sound shifted to a hybrid of Funk and Pop that gave them a six year run of chart success. As successful as this period was, it ironically may not help them get inducted, as their earlier work had the originality that the Hall genuinely looks for. Should the Hall look at their entire body of work and not just their 80’s chart success, their chances will improve.   The Bullet Points:   Eligible Since: 1994   Country of Origin: U.S.A. (Jersey City, NJ)   Why They Will Get In: Their entire body of work is certainly Hall worthy.   Why They Won’t Get In: The Hall voters may only look at their 80’s work which although commercially successful, was not critically acclaimed.   Nominated In: Never   Essential Albums: Wild and Peaceful (1973) Light of Words (1974) Celebration (1980) Something Special (1981)   Our Five Favorite Songs as Chosen by Each Member of the NIHOF Committee: Jungle Boogie (From Wild and Peaceful, 1973) Hollywood Swinging (From Wild and Peaceful, 1973) Too Hot (From Ladies’ Night, 1979) Get Down On It (From Something Special, 1981) Misled (From Emergency, 1984)   www.koolandthegang.com {acepolls 123}

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