Monday, June 22, 2020

"Holiday" by Kool & the Gang

Song#:  3172
Date:  06/27/1987
Debut:  93
Peak:  66
Weeks:  7
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  The band's seventeenth studio album Forever was doing well thanks to a pair of #10 Pop hits "Victory" and "Stone Love." Those singles would help make the LP a #25 (#9 R&B) gold seller. However, that was a quarter of the double-platinum sales of their previous disc Emergency. They needed another significant hit to keep sales going and tried to do so with this third single. It would do fine at R&B reaching #9, but it was unable to replicate that success at Pop where it stalled in the bottom half of the chart. It didn't do much to increase sales of the album and it signaled a downturn in the band's fortunes.

ReduxReview:  As I mentioned in the posts for their previous two hits, the band was nearly out of gas and running on fumes. They were just coasting along on the same formula they had been tossing out in songs for several years an it showed. This track sounded like they were trying to write another "Celebration," which was quite obvious since it actually contained the word "celebrate." It didn't work. The band just sounded tired. The background vocals in the chorus sounded like they were on the verge of falling asleep and JT Taylor didn't sound all that vested either. And while a song about a fun holiday wasn't a bad thing, in the era of Madonna I'm not sure it was so smart to release a single with the same name of her 1983 debut single, especially when hers also contained the word "celebrate." I dunno. It just sounded like they weren't even trying.

ReduxRating:  2/10

Trivia:  This song would end up being the band's final one to reach the R&B Top 10. Eight years prior, the band got their first #1 R&B hit following the addition of lead singer James "JT" Taylor and choosing to work with producer Eumir Deodato. "Ladies Night" would become a gold single that also got to #8 at Pop. The tune was named after the popular bar promotion that sought to lure in more female clientele with drink and other specials. The hit helped turn their same-titled album into their first platinum seller. Several artist would cover the tune including a 2003 version by the UK girl group Atomic Kitten. Apparently, Kool & the Gang had reached out to the trio to collaborate on a track for the band's upcoming duets-style album The Hits: Reloaded. They suggested "Ladies Night" to the trio and they liked the idea so much that they asked if they could also put the song on their upcoming third album. Agreements were ironed out and the song was completed and released as a single. It would do well reaching #8 on the UK chart. The song didn't reach the US charts. In fact, while Atomic Kitten were highly successful in the UK getting twelve Top 10 hits including two #1's, they remained relatively unknown in the US. In fact, it seems as if their recordings weren't even released in the US. After three successful albums, the trio ended up splitting in 2004, although they would reunited several times over the years.


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