From New York to Hollywood

Kool_and_the_Gang_Ladies_Night_single.jpgOn 19 January, 1980, “Ladies’ Night” by Kool & The Gang peaked at #8.

I don’t dislike “Ladies’ Night” the way I dislike most other disco songs, and it’s in part because Kool & The Gang tend to go a few steps further than their disco compatriots to make their music interesting, or at least more interesting. So, for instance, the accent violins I do despise in disco are wonderfully absent from this song, so I actually get to decide for myself what parts of the song are the exciting parts. There’s also some layering in the vocals that is more a trademark of funk than of disco.  The song shifts from a slower shuffle sort of beat to a faster upbeat pace and back in ways that disco generally doesn’t tolerate.  Actually, all those things in addition to a few unusual synthesized noises scattered hither and yon almost give “Ladies’ Night” a new wave feel that’s unusual in disco this early in the 80s.  And, hey, the song is a song for the ladies without making the ladies a target of the sexual advances of the male band.  There’s praise for the women, of course, romantic ladies and sophisticated mamas as they are, but Kool’s telling them that this night is theirs to have fun with, regardless of the attentions of the males.  To have men celebrating women as women, and not as objects, that’s pretty special for a male disco band, so kudos for that.

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