Kool And The Gang Emergency (Deluxe Edition)

This was Kool & The Gang’s 16th studio album and was a turning point in their career as it was the final release for the band with De-Lite Records after 15 years with the label. Emergency marked the end of the relationship, but it did so in fine style.

After a number of UK hits over the years, this was the album that saw them at their most commercial, marking a firm move into the pop market. Cherish was their biggest hit since Get Down On It (reaching number 4), but the album also spawned the singles Fresh (which reached number 11) and Misled (which just made it into the top 30).

At just seven tracks long, Emergency was lean and mean. While the first side contained the hits, the B side included the more musically interesting Surrender, Bad Woman and You Are The One, which at almost seven minutes long was a slightly indulgent return to their more traditional funk-pop sound.

This 2CD Deluxe Edition makes the most of those hits, with 3 or 4 versions of most of them, including an entertaining dance remix of Fresh, which in 2016 still sounds, well, fresh. There are also surprise versions of Get Down On it and the wonderful Ladies Night, plus one of the more underrated songs Straight Ahead. Emergency marked the end of Kool & The Gang’s chart appearances and although the band continued, this is the record that proudly sits at the peak of their career.