Friday, November 18, 2011

Where Kool & The Gang Definitely Don't Promote Marital Sex

Here's a Kool & The Gang song not likely to be played at a wedding reception. Even fans of their '70s incarnation can get behind this one; to quote one YouTube user, "Didn't care much for their 80's output, but this song is a banger!"

The band was apparently hoping it would be considered a rocker. I'm staring to come under the impression that every single '80s R&B artist, at some point, tried to do their own "Beat It." Kool & The Gang released a couple of different mixes of "Tonight." The version that appeared on my '80s Tape was, oddly enough, the "album" mix. They also released an "AOR Mix," with a different and slightly longer guitar solo, presumably in an attempt at having a crossover "Album Oriented Rock" hit. Didn't work, I'm presuming.

What's always struck me about "Tonight" is that, while the lyrics appear to describe a 16-year-old guy losing his virginity, the song doesn't sound particularly happy or idyllic. Instead, it sounds kind of freaky and menacing. Maybe it wasn't such a great night after all. When J.T. leaps into a piercing falsetto at the end, proclaiming "Oh tonight, I wanna da-aaa-ance with you," I mean, I'm glad he wants to dance, but I wouldn't want him dancing anywhere near me.

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