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Light of Worlds
Light Of Worlds1974.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1974
Recorded1973–1974
Media Sound Studios
(New York, New York)
GenreJazz-funk[1]
Length36:06
LabelDe-Lite
DEP-2014
ProducerK. & G. Productions
Kool & the Gang chronology
Wild and Peaceful
(1973)
Light of Worlds
(1974)
Spirit of the Boogie
(1975)
Reissue cover
Alternative Cover
Alternative Cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Rolling Stone(favorable)[2]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[3]
Yahoo! Music(favorable)[4]
Stereo Review(favourable)[5]

Light of Worlds is the fifth studio album, and seventh album of new material by the American R&B group Kool & the Gang. Released in 1974, it was later remastered by Polygram and was a second success for the band, reaching number 16 in the R&B Charts and number 63 in the Pop Charts. It was a landmark in the funk/jazz fusion genre of the 1970s.

Light of Worlds is regarded as Kool & the Gang's most spiritual and sophisticated work, produced in the wake of the success of their previous album, Wild and Peaceful. While it was their seventh album of original material, the band considered Light of the Worlds their ninth LP (counting two compilations), and therefore consciously chose nine songs for the album to represent the then nine planets in the solar system. The album contains rock-inspired funk set to jazz-informed playing with afrobeat influences and a tinge of analogue synthesizing.

"Summer Madness" is considered[according to whom?] to be the album's highlight, incorporating smooth melodies and a synthesizer. It was later released as a single, with a follow-up titled "Winter Sadness" in Kool & the Gang's Spirit of the Boogie a year later. In 1991, the Hip-Hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince sampled elements of "Summer Madness" for their song "Summertime". A remake of "Summer Madness" was released on their 1993 album Unite titled "WKOOL/Summer".

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Street Corner Symphony"Kool & the Gang, Bayyan4:32
2."Fruitman"Kool & the Gang, Westfield5:19
3."Rhyme Tyme People"Kool & the Gang, Saunders, Thomas3:19
4."Light of Worlds"Kool & the Gang, Smith4:21
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
5."Whiting H. & G."Kool & the Gang, Bayyan3:17
6."You Don't Have to Change"Kool & the Gang, Mickens2:39
7."Higher Plane"Kool & the Gang, Bayyan4:57
8."Summer Madness"Kool & the Gang, Mickens, Taylor4:16
9."Here After"Kool & the Gang, Bayyan2:54

Singles[edit]

Song R&B Charts Pop Charts
"Higher Plane" No.1 No.37
"Rhyme Tyme People" No.3 No.63
"Summer Madness" No.36 No.35

Personnel[edit]

  • Ronald Bell – arrangements (1, 7, 9), acoustic piano (1, 4–7, 9), clavinet (1, 4, 5, 7), ARP synthesizer (1, 5–9), bass (1), percussion (1), tenor saxophone (1–4, 7, 9), vocals (3, 4, 6, 9), alto flute (5), mellotron (6, 8, 9), ARP 2600 (7), lead vocals (7), electric piano (9), kalimba (9)
  • Robert "Kool" Bell – bass (1–8), vocals (6, 7)
  • George "Funky" Brown – drums (1–9), percussion (1, 9), vocals (6), kettle drums (9), gong (9)
  • Robert "Spike" Mickens – trumpet (1, 2, 3, 5, 7), flugelhorn (2), vocals (6), arrangements (6, 8)
  • Claydes Charles Smith – guitar (1–8), vibraphone (4), percussion (4), arrangements (4), conductor (4)
  • Ricky West – acoustic piano (1, 2, 7, 8), lead vocals, (2), arrangements (2), electric piano (5)
  • Dennis "D.T." Thomas – alto saxophone (1, 2, 3, 7), clavinet (3), congas (3), percussion (3, 5), lead vocals (3), arrangements (3)

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Herb Lane – vocals (4), backing vocals (7)
  • Alton Taylor – vocals (4), lead vocals (6)
  • Penni Phynjuar Saunders – vocals (3, 4)
  • Richard Shade – backing vocals (7)
  • Kenneth Banks – backing vocals (7)
  • Al Pazant – trumpet (4)
  • Ed Pazant – oboe (4), alto saxophone (4)
  • Noel Pointer – strings (4)

[6]

Production[edit]

  • Producers – Kool & The Gang
  • Engineers – Bob Clearmountain, Godfrey Diamond, Harvey Goldberg and Alec Head.
  • Cover Design – Frank Daniel
  • Liner Notes – Cleveland "Clevie" Browne
  • Photography – Bernie Block, David Lartaud and Phil Willen.
Reissue
  • Digital Remastering – Gary N. Mayo
  • Package – Mitchell Kanner
  • Liner Notes – Cleveland "Clevie" Browne

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[7] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gorton, TJ (July 30, 2018). "BeatCaffeine's 100 Best Jazz-Funk Songs". BeatCaffeine. Archived from the original on August 25, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  2. ^ Palmer, Bob (30 January 1975). "Light Of Worlds : Kool & the Gang : Review : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 23 February 2010.
  3. ^ Hoard, Christian. "Review: Light of Worlds". Rolling Stone: 464. November 2, 2004.
  4. ^ Leroy, Dan. Review: Light of Worlds. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved on 2009-07-19.
  5. ^ Chris Albertson (March 1975). "Kool and the Gang: Light of Worlds" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. Vol. 34 no. 3. Stereo Review. p. 78.
  6. ^ "Kool & the Gang - Light of Worlds".
  7. ^ "American album certifications – Kool & The Gang – Light of Worlds". Recording Industry Association of America.

References[edit]

External links[edit]


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