Kool & the Gang Songs You Must Own

Essentials from the group's vintage catalog.

Legend Award Honorees: Kool and the Gang -

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Kool & the Gang Songs You Must Own - For 45 years, the iconic funk/R&B band Kool & the Gang has been churning out classics that have become a part of both America's hit parade and the Black urban lexicon (remember the old response: "That's Kool...and the Gang"). Since you may not have a moment to go through all their LPs for the hits, we've assembled a list of their essential songs right here. Click on for the cuts that have made K&TG the legends that they are.  (Photo: GAB Archive/Redferns)

"Jungle Boogie"  - With the commercialization of Black pride in full swing, Kool & the Gang's first hit was one of the party hits of the time. This 1973 full-on funk classic would later be sampled by hip hop artists from EPMD to the Beastie Boys.   (Photo: De-Lite Records)

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"Jungle Boogie"  - With the commercialization of Black pride in full swing, Kool & the Gang's first hit was one of the party hits of the time. This 1973 full-on funk classic would later be sampled by hip hop artists from EPMD to the Beastie Boys.  (Photo: De-Lite Records)

"Funky Stuff"  - With its blaring horns, hard-hitting rhythm and party chants, this classic track ? from the group's Wild and Peaceful LP ? helped to redefine funk for a new generation.    (Photo: De-Lite Records)

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"Funky Stuff"  - With its blaring horns, hard-hitting rhythm and party chants, this classic track — from the group's Wild and Peaceful LP — helped to redefine funk for a new generation.   (Photo: De-Lite Records)

"Hollywood Swinging"  -  At a time when Black leaders in entertainment ? from Motown to the TV show Soul Train ? moved to Hollywood, Kool & the Gang crafted the perfect anthem for such a development. In 1997, DJ Kool would give the classic a new life as the intro to his own party smash "Let Me Clear My Throat." (Photo: Polydor Records)

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"Hollywood Swinging"  - At a time when Black leaders in entertainment — from Motown to the TV show Soul Train — moved to Hollywood, Kool & the Gang crafted the perfect anthem for such a development. In 1997, DJ Kool would give the classic a new life as the intro to his own party smash "Let Me Clear My Throat." (Photo: Polydor Records)

"Ladies' Night" - Seeking to expand their audience with a smoother sound, the band enlisted singer J.T. Taylor to be their lead vocalist. The title track for their 11th LP, Ladies' Night, becomes their biggest hit at the time, putting the group in the crosshairs of the mainstream.   (Photo: De-Lite Records)

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"Ladies' Night" - Seeking to expand their audience with a smoother sound, the band enlisted singer J.T. Taylor to be their lead vocalist. The title track for their 11th LP, Ladies' Night, becomes their biggest hit at the time, putting the group in the crosshairs of the mainstream.  (Photo: De-Lite Records)

"Get Down on It" - In the '80s era of post-disco, Kool & the Gang smoothed out the dance sound with this R&B chart-topping hit.    (Photo: De-Lite Records)

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"Get Down on It" - In the '80s era of post-disco, Kool & the Gang smoothed out the dance sound with this R&B chart-topping hit.    (Photo: De-Lite Records)

"Open Sesame (Groove With the Genie)" - Perhaps one of the best songs of the disco era, this Kool & the Gang dance track gained its biggest spotlight when it was featured on the soundtrack of the iconic film Saturday Night Fever.   (Photo: De-Lite Records) 

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"Open Sesame (Groove With the Genie)" - Perhaps one of the best songs of the disco era, this Kool & the Gang dance track gained its biggest spotlight when it was featured on the soundtrack of the iconic film Saturday Night Fever.  (Photo: De-Lite Records) 

"Too Hot" - This smoking love song was the second hit off the Ladies' Night LP, showcasing J.T.'s emotional chops and tugging heartstrings along the way.    (Photo: De-Lite Records)  

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"Too Hot" - This smoking love song was the second hit off the Ladies' Night LP, showcasing J.T.'s emotional chops and tugging heartstrings along the way.   (Photo: De-Lite Records)  

"Celebration" - You hear it at NBA games. You hear it at football games. You've, not long ago, heard it in commerials. But this Kool & the Gang pop party track was a huge hit in 1980, capturing not only their success but the crossover achievements of many Black music artists ? from Lionel Richie to Michael Jackson ? of that time.   (Photo: The Island Def Jam Group)

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"Celebration" - You hear it at NBA games. You hear it at football games. You've, not long ago, heard it in commerials. But this Kool & the Gang pop party track was a huge hit in 1980, capturing not only their success but the crossover achievements of many Black music artists — from Lionel Richie to Michael Jackson — of that time.  (Photo: The Island Def Jam Group)

"Summer Madness" - This 1975 jazz-fusion track flexed K&TG's love of the genre as the band originally started out as a jazz band. Cool, dreamy and atmospheric, it captures all of the nuances of a summer day. So much so that Will Smith sampled it for his 1991 hit with DJ Jazzy Jeff, "Summertime."  (Photo: The Island Def Jam Group) 

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"Summer Madness" - This 1975 jazz-fusion track flexed K&TG's love of the genre as the band originally started out as a jazz band. Cool, dreamy and atmospheric, it captures all of the nuances of a summer day. So much so that Will Smith sampled it for his 1991 hit with DJ Jazzy Jeff, "Summertime." (Photo: The Island Def Jam Group) 

"Fresh" - From K&TG's biggest selling LP, 1983's Emergency, this is another one of Kool & the Gang's classic pop dance tracks.   (Photo: The Island Def Jam Group)  

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"Fresh" - From K&TG's biggest selling LP, 1983's Emergency, this is another one of Kool & the Gang's classic pop dance tracks.  (Photo: The Island Def Jam Group)  

"Joanna" - This smash love song was the lead single off of their their gold-selling 1983 LP, In the Heart. Once again, J.T. Taylor's voice is irresitable as he sings about the love of his life.   (Photo: The Island Def Jam Group)  

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"Joanna" - This smash love song was the lead single off of their their gold-selling 1983 LP, In the Heart. Once again, J.T. Taylor's voice is irresitable as he sings about the love of his life.  (Photo: The Island Def Jam Group)  

"Cherish" - This hit ballad was also spawned from the LP Emergency, hitting No. 2 on the pop charts and becoming a stable at just about every prom and wedding back in 1983.   (Photo: The Island Def Jam Group)  

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"Cherish" - This hit ballad was also spawned from the LP Emergency, hitting No. 2 on the pop charts and becoming a stable at just about every prom and wedding back in 1983.  (Photo: The Island Def Jam Group)