Funk Inc. – Kool Is Back


Funk Inc. – Kool Is Back 1971

Kool & the Gang – Kool’s Back Again 1969; Pink Elephant 22.515 Netherlands, mono 7 inch single, original / Funk Inc. – Kool Is Back 1971; Prestige – PRS00097 US, 2017 repress album / Yes – Owner Of A Lonely Heart 1983; ATCO records 79-9817-7 Netherlands, 7 inch single

Kool’s Back Again

Kool & the Gang released “Kool’s Back Again” in 1969, on album and as a 7 inch single. The track got picked up by other bands, amongs others by Funk Inc. in 1971. It got released under a slightly different name: “Kool Is Back”. That track contains a break that got used a lot later on in time. Two parts to be specific: the drum break and the horn hit right before that drum break. The count is far above the 550 times that both samples got used in other songs.

Listen to the compilation: Funk Inc. – Kool Is Back, Yes – Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Kool & the Gang – Kool’s Back Again and Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley

One of the earliest was by the formation Yes that used both samples on their release “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” from 1983. A hit single in a lot of countries, an 80’s favorite on radio and in disco’s. The horn hit followed by the drum break in the break of “Owner…” is epic and it is fun to compare both music parts. As I did in the first compilation I made for this article.

Listen to the comparison between the drum breaks from Funk Inc. – Kool Is Back and Yes – Owner Of A Lonely Heart

The drums can be ‘cut up’ beyond recognizing the original drum break. So you might know the songs it is used in but do not realise that it is a part of “Kool Is Back”.

The horn hit is used in so many tracks as accent, detail or even a scratchtool, that you do not think about it when you hear it. Almost like a guitar chord, you don’t think about that either when you hear it.

Bo Diddley

Most popular music we know of comes from other, older music. That goes with Kool & The Gang’s song too. It contains a melody that we might know from Bo Diddley’s track “Bo Diddley” from 1955. And Bo used that melody (and lyrics) from a Folk traditional and Nursery Rhyme named “Hush, Little Baby” that dates back at least to the 19th century.

Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley 1955; All Round Trading Records AR 31082 EU, 1987 compilation album

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