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Gold

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Kool & the Gang 31//2005

Review

Believe it or not, Gold is the first compilation with U.S. distribution to provide a fair and rather thorough glance at Kool & the Gang's career from 1969 through 1987. Dozens upon dozens of other sets either focus on one of the group's distinct eras or attempt clumsily to appease those who want "Jungle Boogie" and "Joanna" in one spot. The Chronicles catalog division of Mercury realized that roughly 90 percent of Kool & the Gang's chart hits can fit neatly on two discs, so this is an ideal package for casual fans who can appreciate raw '70s funk and slick, radio-friendly '80s R&B. It would be impossible to plot a thorough introductory course across two discs, since the group's catalog runs too deep. There wasn't enough room for the likes of "Steppin' Out," "Jones vs. Jones," "Slick Superchick," or "Take It to the Top," all of which were popular on black radio stations, and the compilers' decision to focus on the biggest singles means that a lot of subdued album cuts -- such as "Breeze and Soul" and "Winter Sadness" -- aren't factored in. A lot of care went into the presentation, with plenty of photos, thorough chart-placement information, and insightful liner notes from group associate Cleveland Brown. No Kool & the Gang compilation can be flawless, but this is one of the best ones out there. ~ Andy Kellman
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Kool & The Gang Kool & the Gang 2:54
  3. 2 Kool's Back Again Kool & the Gang 2:53
  4. 3 Let the Music Take Your Mind Kool & the Gang 2:55
  5. 4 Funky Man Kool & the Gang 3:9
  6. 5 Who's Gonna Take the Weight Kool & the Gang 6:20
  7. 6 Love the Life You Live Kool & the Gang 5:39
  8. 7 Funky Stuff Kool & the Gang 3:0
  9. 8 Jungle Boogie Kool & the Gang 3:3
  10. 9 Hollywood Swinging Kool & the Gang 4:34
  11. 10 Higher Plane Kool & the Gang 4:56
  12. 11 Rhyme Tyme People Kool & the Gang 3:19
  13. 12 Summer Madness Kool & the Gang 4:17
  14. 13 Spirit of the Boogie Kool & the Gang 4:51
  15. 14 Caribbean Festival Kool & the Gang 7:33
  16. 15 Love and Understanding (Come Together) Kool & the Gang 7:49
  17. 16 Open Sesame Kool & the Gang 3:46
  18. 1 Ladies Night Kool & the Gang 3:26
  19. 2 Too Hot Kool & the Gang 5:2
  20. 3 Celebration Kool & the Gang 4:56
  21. 4 Take My Heart (You Can Have It) Kool & the Gang 4:2
  22. 5 Get Down on It Kool & the Gang 4:48
  23. 6 Big Fun Kool & the Gang 3:48
  24. 7 Let's Go Dancin' (Ooh, La, La, La) Kool & the Gang 6:38
  25. 8 Joanna Kool & the Gang 3:59
  26. 9 Tonight [AOR Mix] Kool & the Gang 4:11
  27. 10 Misled Kool & the Gang 4:4
  28. 11 Fresh Kool & the Gang 3:47
  29. 12 Cherish Kool & the Gang 5:38
  30. 13 Emergency Kool & the Gang 5:12
  31. 14 Victory Kool & the Gang 4:0
  32. 15 Stone Love Kool & the Gang 3:53

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