Thursday, January 16, 2020

"Stone Love" by Kool & the Gang

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3014
Date:  02/07/1987
Debut:  87
Peak:  10
Weeks:  18
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  The band's seventeenth studio album, Forever, got a good boost via its first single, the #2 R&B/#10 Pop hit "Victory." To follow it up, this next track was selected. It would do almost equally as well reaching #4 R&B and #10 Pop. It also got to #11 at AC and #41 Dance. The pair of hits helped the album get to #9 R&B and #25 Pop. The LP would eventually go gold, but that was a bit of a drop following the double-platinum sales of their 1984 album Emergency. This song would not only be the band's last to reach the Pop Top 10, but their last to make the Pop Top 40.

ReduxReview:  Just like "Victory," I don't remember this song at all. I know I would have heard it since it went Top 10, but nothing about it is familiar at all. There may be a reason for that too - it's even more forgettable than "Victory." This was the sound of a band that was just tired. Their formula was worn to the nubbin and the fact that they eked out this pair of Top 10's was really amazing. It was actually a gift because both songs are so bland. I think the band knew it too as significant changes would take place after this. Kool & the Gang certainly had their share of classic hits, but this one certainly wasn't among them.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  With lead singer James "J.T." Taylor, Kool & the Gang had their best success between 1979 and 1987 when they scored ten Pop Top 10s. Yet many people forget that the band had a period of success earlier in the 70s prior to Taylor joining. Their 1973 album Wild and Peaceful would be a gold seller thanks to a pair of hits, "Jungle Boogie" (#2 R&B/#4 Pop) and "Hollywood Swinging" (#1 R&B/#6 Pop). A follow-up album, Light of Worlds, would also go gold mainly thanks to the #1 R&B/#37 Pop single "Higher Plane." But then things quickly cooled for Kool and while they would get a few tunes into the R&B Top 10, their mainstream appeal faded away. Their 1978 album Everybody's Dancin' would be their worst charting to-date and it signaled that the group's career may be at an end. But then they hired on Taylor along with producer Eumir Deodato and rebounded big time with 1979 platinum seller Ladies Night. The next eight years would be their most fruitful.


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