Spirit of the Boogie

Album: Spirit of the Boogie (1975)
Charted: 35

Songfacts®:

  • With growling vocals and effects from Kool & the Gang's technician Donal Boyce, aka "The Boogie Man," this funky soul number is a call back to the group's 1973 hit "Jungle Boogie," but with an edge. Ronald Bell, the Gang's musical director and saxophonist, told Blues & Soul in 1975: "We were trying to get a harder sound using double bass - synthesizer bass and Kool's bass. It was also an experimentation with close harmonies on the horns."
  • Bell remembers the moment he came up with the idea for the song: "I was coming out of Mediasound and it hit me - I heard the melody in my head, with the chord changes on top. The hook came to me right then, too: It's the spirit of the boogie/The baddest little boogie in the land. Sometimes song ideas, melodies, or hooks float out there. I just heard this one, picked it up, moved on it, and started playing."
  • That's the band's alto sax player Dennis "Dee Tee" Thomas singing "Yeah, yeah, yeah."
  • You can't boogie without The Boogie Man. Bell explained the genius of Donal Boyce, whose usual duties were running sound and lights: "He had a voice that could do anything. We'd be working and he'd and make all these different voices. I said, 'Hey, set up the mike and let's go.' Live, he'd do his bit during those songs, then go back to the tech side."
  • This was the group's fourth Top 40 hit and their third #1 on the soul charts.

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