Friday, December 22, 2017

"Fresh" by Kool & the Gang

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2264
Date:  03/23/1985
Debut:  73
Peak:  9
Weeks:  10
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  The band's album Emergency got a good start thanks to its first single, "Misled," hitting #10 at Pop and #3 R&B. For the follow-up, this track was chosen. It would do even better getting to #9 at Pop, #1 R&B, #1 Dance, and #5 AC. It was the first time since early 1980 that the band was able to score two Top 10 hits from the same album. The news would only get better with their next single.

ReduxReview:  I have to admit that I hated this song when it came out. After the meaty and rockin' "Misled," this dance track disappointed me.  The chorus irritated me - "she's fresh...fresh!...exciting  <dong, dong, dong, dong, dong>..." I just wasn't having it. I'm much better about it these days. I still don't care for the song, but dang if it isn't memorable. Sometimes when I'm out to dinner with folks or grocery shopping with someone and a person mentions that something is fresh, I immediately imitate the chorus of this song (much to the dismay of the folks with me). It's like an automatic reaction. So, since I'm still doing that all these decades later, I guess the song can't be all that bad.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Prior to joining Kool & the Gang in 1979, lead singer James "J.T." Taylor had been writing songs and performing with other bands. When Kool & the Gang were assembling material for the Emergency album, Taylor reached back into his catalog and rediscovered a song he had written for one of his former bands. They decided to give an update to the song including writing some new lyrics. The band worked up the song and enlisted the help of songwriter Sandy Linzer to finish off the lyrics. Linzer had previously written hits for The Toys ("A Lover's Concerto," #2, 1965), The Four Seasons ("Let's Hang On," #3, 1965 and "Working My Way Back to You," #9, 1966), Odyssey ("Native New Yorker," #6 R&B, 1977), and many others over the decades includes tunes done by Whitney Houston and the Backstreet Boys.


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