"Jungle Boogie" was first released on the Kool & The Gang album, Wild & Peaceful, in October 1973. A month later, November 24, 1973, the track was released as a single, with the little recognized "North, South, East, West" as the B-side. With the million-selling success of "Jungle Boogie" and the success of other singles, "Funky Stuff" and "Hollywood Swinging," the album was quickly certified gold by the RIAA, the band's first certified gold album. "Jungle Boogie" hit #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 after receiving extensive play in dance clubs and discos, leading to the single being certified gold as well on February 2, 1974. The album, Wild & Peaceful peaked at #6 on the Billboard R&B Album chart and #33 on the Billboard Pop Album chart.
The main spoken vocals on "Jungle Boogie" were performed by then-roadie, Donal Boyce, who became better known as "The Boogie Man." Boyce's vocals on the hit were so popular he was invited to sing back-up and perform "vocal effects" on a number of Kool & The Gang singles, including "Spirit of the Boogie," "Open Sesame," and "Slick Superchick." Boyce performed with the band from 1973 to 1977.
All the songs on Kool & The Gang's 1973 album Wild & Peaceful, including "Jungle Boogie," were credited to the songwriting team of Kool & The Gang and Gene Redd. At the time, Kool & The Gang was made up of six members: Robert 'Kool' Bell, Claydes Smith, Dennis 'D.T.' Thomas, Ronald 'Khalis Bayyam' Bell, Robert Mickens, and George Brown. The group joined together with music producer and founder of De-Lite records, Gene Redd, in 1968, when Redd signed them to his first record label, Redd Coach Records.
Since its release in 1973, "Jungle Boogie" has been sampled and covered repeatedly. Kool & The Gang sampled their own hit, releasing an instrumental version with an overdubbed flute section and additional percussion called "Jungle Jazz" on their album, Spirit of the Boogie. In 1988, Hip hop duo EPMD sampled the track for their debut single, "Strictly Business." The 1989 Beastie Boys hit, "Hey Ladies," used parts of "Jungle Boogie" to help land the first single in US history to chart in the Top 20 on both the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart and the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. Madonna followed suit with sampling for her 1992 hit "Erotica," a controversial song that got the material girl banned from the Vatican and banned from airplay on the surrounding radio stations. The 1994 Top 10 hit by Janet Jackson, "You Want This," featured samples from both "Jungle Boogie" and "Love Child" by The Supremes.
Media moguls love to use a well-recognized song like "Jungle Boogie" for their projects. Director Quentin Tarantino used the track for his 1994 film, Pulp Fiction. A cover version of "Jungle Boogie" by The French was featured in the Disney straight-to-video feature The Lion King 1 ½. Disney used the hit again in 2004 for the soundtrack of the show That's So Raven. Harmonix got in on the act in 2010 when they used "Jungle Boogie" as a dance track for their hit X Box 360 Kinect game, Dance Central.