Sunday, October 13, 2019

"Victory" by Kool & the Gang

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2920
Date:  11/01/1986
Debut:  72
Peak:  10
Weeks:  18
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  This band's 1984 album Emergency would be their best-selling studio album going double-platinum. It was thanks to three Pop Top 10s and four R&B Top 10s, which included the triple-charting ballad "Cherish" (#2 Pop/#1 R&B/#1 AC). It would take two years before they would release their next album, Forever. This first single got things kicked off. It did well getting to #2 at R&B while becoming their twelfth Pop Top 10. The tune was also a minor entry at AC (#35) and Dance (#35).

ReduxReview:  Now, I'm certain I heard this song back in the day because it was a Top 10 hit and I would have heard it on the Top 40 countdown. Yet I don't remember it at all. It's like I've just heard this song for the first time (and likely the last). I think the reason I don't remember the tune is because it is so dull. It's just one long groove with barely a chorus over the top. In fact, the last half of the song is just sputtering horns and various "victory" vocal stabs and ad libs. For a song that is supposed to be energetic, it practically puts me to sleep. It didn't help that I was pretty much over Kool & the Gang's pop/R&B formula they had spread over the past few albums. They were becoming less interesting with each release and this song certainly didn't help.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Since their debut album in 1969, Kool & the Gang had been on the same label. De-Lite Records was started in 1967 and began putting out records in 1968. One of the first artists they signed was Kool & the Gang. The band's first single, 1969's "Kool & the Gang," would be the label's first hit. The tune got to #19 R&B and #59 Pop. A long string of hits from the band would follow. De-Lite would get distributed by Pickwick for a good chunk of the 70s. Then PolyGram took over in 1977. Then in 1985, PolyGram decided to fold De-Lite into one of their bigger labels, Mercury. De-Lite was then de-funked. Kool & the Gang was then moved over to Mercury and Forever was their first album for the label. De-Lite also had some success in the mid-70s with the R&B/disco outfit Crown Heights Affair. Their biggest hit was the 1975 #1 Dance/#5 R&B/#43 Pop hit "Dreaming a Dream." They would go on to have two more Dance Top 10s and four R&B Top 20s. The label would have a few other artists to have songs reach the charts, but none were as successful as Kool & the Gang.


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