KC AND THE SUNSHINE BAND-PART 3.

KC AND THE SUNSHINE BAND-PART 3.

Imagine you’re a member of a band whose just released a triple-platinum album. Not just any triple-platinum album, but one featured two number one singles. How do you follow this up? This was the problem facing Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch, or as they’re better known, KC and The Sunshine Band. The success of KC and The Sunshine Band marked a turnaround in fortunes for Harry and Wayne. Their 1974 debut album Do It Good had failed to chart, but after noticing a change in the musical landscape, decided to change tack musically. 

R&B was no longer as popular, with disco becoming the most popular musical genre. Artists who previously, had made their reputation as soul or R&B singers or groups decided to jump on disco’s bandwagon. Realising disco was the future, KC and The Sunshine Band decided to do likewise. Disco was the future, and between 1975 and 1979, KC and The Sunshine Band would become one of the most successful purveyors and practitioners of disco. They’d released five albums, two of which were certified platinum and two which were certified triple-platinum. KC and The Sunshine Band released in 1975, was the album that started this run of commercially successful albums. It proved their most successful album, reaching number four in the US Billboard 200 and number one in the US R&B Charts. Add to that two number one singles in the US Billboard 100 in That’s the Way I Like It and Get Down Tonight. By the time KC and The Sunshine Band hit record shop’s shelves, work began on the followup, Part 3 which will be rereleased by WEA Japan on 4th February 2014. Part 3 proved that lightning could strike twice in the same place. Not only would Part 3 be certified triple-platinum, but featured three number one singles. Soon, KC and The Sunshine Band would become disco Kings.

For Part 3, Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch set about writing the eight tracks that became Part 3. These eight tracks were written by Harry and Richard, and contained a plentiful supply of poppy, memorable hooks. Disco, soul, funk, R&B and  Latin music was combined with the sound of the Caribbean during the eight tracks. These eight tracks would be recorded at TK Records Miami studios, with Harry and Richard joined by the session musicians that made up KC and The Sunshine Band.

When Harry “Wayne” Casey and Richard Finch started recording what became Part 3, they were joined by the a number of session players. Harry sang lead vocal, Richard played bass, drums and percussion, with guitarist Jerome Smith and drummer Robert Johnson key to the band’s sound. Beverley Champion, Margaret Reynolds and Jeanette Williams added backing vocals. Together with a horn section of trumpeters Ken Faulk and Vinnie Tanno, tenor saxophonist Mike Lewis and baritone saxophonist Whit Sidener, the eight tracks were recorded, with Harry and Richard arranging and producing Part 3.

Before the release of Part 3, (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty was released as the lead single in June 1976, it gave KC and The Sunshine Band a dual number one single, reaching number one in the US Billboard 100 and US R&B Charts. Over the Atlantic in the UK, it reached number twenty-two in the UK. KC and The Sunshine Band were on a roll. When Part 3 was released in October 1976, it reached number thirteen in the Us Billboard 200 and number five in the US R&B Chart. Snap. Part 3 gave KC and The Sunshine Band their second triple-platinum album. The next single was I Like To Do It, which reached number thirty-seven in the US Billboard 100 and number four in the US R&B Charts in November 1976. While 1976 would prove successful for KC and The Sunshine Band, so would 1977.

I’m Your Boogie Man saw KC and The Sunshine Band start 1977 with a number one single. It reached number one in the US Billboard 100, number three in the US R&B Charts and number forty-one in the UK in January 1977. Keep It Coming saw the hits keep on coming for KC and The Sunshine Band during the summer of 1977. This gave them their third number one single from Part 3. The fourth single reached number two in the US Billboard 100, number one in the US R&B Charts and number thirty-one in the UK in June 1977. Wrap Your Arms Around Me was released in November 1977, reaching number forty-eight in the US Billboard 100 and number twenty-four in the US R&B Charts. KC and The Sunshine Band were by now, one of disco’s biggest success stories. Part 3, which I’ll now tell you about, proves just why.

Opening Part 3 is Baby I Love You (Yes I Do). Chiming guitars drive the arrangement along, while keyboards and the rhythm section create a slice of good-time funky music. Harry’s vocal is delivered with sass, while the rest of the band lock into a mesmeric, joyous groove. It’s impossible to resist the track’s poppy hooks and rhythmic delights. Later, bursts of horns and harmonies are the icing on this slice of joyful, good-time funky music.

Wrap Your Arms Around Me has a heavier, funkier side. Punchy, blazing horns join the rhythm section and percussion as KC and The Sunshine Band pick up where they left off on Part 3’s opener. Harry’s vocal is filled with joy and promise. A slapped bass, pounding drums and stabs of grizzled horns all play their part in the track’s sound and success. So too does Harry’s sassy, vampish vocal,

I Like To Do It sees a hint of Latin and Caribbean music unite with KC and The Sunshine Band’s usual fusion of soul, funk and disco. From the get-go, the track bursts into life, spreading its joyous sound. Chiming guitars, percussion and a funky rhythm section join braying horns and handclaps. Harry’s vocal has a laid-back, lazy sound that’s perfect for the track. Handclaps and harmonies join the stabs of horns as KC and The Sunshine Band spread their unique sunshine sound. 

As (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty begins, you immediately hear similarities with George McCrae’s Rock Your Baby. That’s no surprise, given Richard and Harry also cowrote this. Of the eight tracks on Part 3, this is the catchiest of lot. It’s full of memorable, poppy hooks. Just keyboards, rhythm section and chiming guitars, accompany Harry’s foxy, sassy vocal. Blazing horns are key to the track’s sound, reinforcing the hooks. They also add to the track’s hook-laden, good-time, funky sound. By the end of the track, you’ve succumbed to the track’s irresistible charms and realised just why, it reached number one in the US.

Although the tempo drops as Let’s Go Party opens, the funk quotient increases. Big style. Keyboards, rhythm section, and guitars unite with growling horns and percussion. They create a backdrop that’s full of glorious rhythms and percussive delights. Harry whoops and hollers during the track, driving the band to greater heights of funkiness. This they do, whilst creating the perfect soundtrack to any party, one that will be funky with a capital F.

Come On In sees elegant, soulful, sweeping harmonies provide a contrast to the power, drama and sheer funkiness provided by KC and The Sunshine Band. Guitar licks, stabs of keyboards and a powerhouse of a rhythm section are joined by rasping horns. Soon, the drama and power build. Harry’s vocal is filled with happiness and joy. He becomes like a cheerleader, encouraging and rousing the band. Bursts of growling horns, a pounding and funky rhythm are joined by keyboards as KC and The Sunshine Band provide a rousing, uplifting slice of dramatic, funky music.

When I’m Your Boogie Man was first released, people thought Harry was singing about the bogey man. Thankfully, it was the boogie man. The track has an understated sound before bursting into life. Stabs of dramatic, blazing horns, a thunderous, funky rhythm section and melodramatic keyboards combine as Harry becomes the boogie man. Stabs of horns accompany his vocal, adding drama and proving crucial to the sound and success of the track. Later, during a breakdown, when the horns drop out, the piano and guitar take charge. When they return, they drive what is one of the highlights of Part 3, to dramatic, horn laden crescendo.

Closing Part 3 is Keep It Comin’ Love, which gave KC and The Sunshine Band a number one US R&B single. As often proves to be the case, the last track on the album is one of the best. This is the case. From the opening bars, when piano and chiming guitars combine with a pounding, rhythm section, you realize something special is about to unfold. When Harry’s hopeful, joyous vocal enters, this proves to be the case. High kicking, blazing horns and harmonies accompany him as he unleashes a heartfelt vocal. With a plentiful supply of poppy hooks combining with the track’s joyous, sweet sound Part 3, closes with the highlight of the album. It’s one of these track’s that once you’ve heard it, won’t forget in a hurry.

Part 3 is best described as good time, funky music with a healthy sprinkling of disco added. It’s joyous music designed for the dance-floor. For any party, it’s the perfect soundtrack. Even though it’s twenty-six years since Part 3 was released, Part 3 has aged well. Indeed, like so much good music, it has a timeless sound. Unlike other albums from this era, it’s stood the test of time. Eight tracks filled with a plentiful supply of memorable, poppy hooks follow hot on the heels of the previous one. Part 3 proved lightning can strike twice in the same place.

Like their sophomore album KC and The Sunshine Band, Part 3 was certified triple-platinum. As if that wasn’t success beyond Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch’s wildest dreams, Part 3 featured three number one singles. It seemed Harry and Richard could do know wrong. Part 3 which will be rereleased by WEA Japan on 4th February 2014, saw KC and The Sunshine Band join disco’s royalty. They went from being Princes of disco, to disco Kings. The music on Part 3, KC and The Sunshine Band’s third album, includes some of the best music of their career. Indeed, the eight tracks that comprise Part 3, are packed full of poppy hooks aplenty and perfectly showcase KC and The Sunshine Band’s good-time, funky sound, which is still guaranteed to get keep any party going. Standout Tracks: Baby I Love You (Yes I Do), (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty, I’m Your Boogie Man and Keep It Comin’ Love.

KC AND THE SUNSHINE BAND-PART 3.

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