KC and the Sunshine Band...(help?!)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MielR, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    As of July 1st 2019, I owned a total of ZERO KC & The Sunshine Band albums. The only KC product I had was the Saturday Night Fever sdtk, and a Casablanca compilation with the KC/Teri DeSario duet.

    As of today, September 1st 2019, I own every KC and the Sunshine Band album ever made. Including the Epic ones and the "solo" TK and Meca ones (but NOT including any of the stuff KC had put out since he came out of "retirement" in the 90s because what I've heard of it is not very good).

    Anyhow, something happened to me in the past month and I went down the rabbit hole (maybe I caught the "boogie fever"? I know, that's a different band). Has anything like this ever happened to you?

    It all started when the song "give it up" popped into my head one day while I was standing in the kitchen. I vaguely remembered its strange concept video with the little girl that I saw on TV back when the single came out in the US in 1984. I liked the song very much back then. I decided to look up the video on YouTube and of course, I found it. That led to me buying a "best of" CD (the Rhino one), and discovering a bunch of great songs of theirs I'd never heard before. I wondered what else I had missed all these years. Enter, rabbit hole.

    I know I saw the band's VH1 Behind The Music doc when it aired, but it was so long ago, I forget most of it and I'd like to see it again. The problem is, I can't seem to find it anywhere. VH1 no longer airs it (rights issue) and nobody seems to have uploaded it to YT or anywhere else. Found this promo for it on Vimeo which only makes matters worse, because now I REALLY want to see it again!
     
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  2. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    ...I should mention that everything I've bought so far is on CD (with the exception of the "space cadet" lp that I don't think has ever gotten a CD release, aside from the few tracks included as bonus tracks on one of the '94 Rhino CDs). I've heard that the pressing quality of the TK records was pretty poor and that they used recycled vinyl.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows if there is a difference between the "original album series" CD set and the original Rhino or Rhino Collector's Choice CDs or if they're just basically the same CDs repackaged?
     
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  3. I don't know.

    But that band jams. There ought to be at least one touring band of young musicians who can play like that.
     
  4. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    KC still tours, though I haven't seen his live show so I don't know how it compares to the old band. But the original studio musicians (horn players in particular) were a different group of people than the ones who toured with him.
     
  5. I know. I'm looking for a new band that can hit that note with their own material.
     
  6. zebop

    zebop Well Known Stranger

    They are a fun band especially from 1973-1980. They had a real clinker in there, 19798’s Who Do Ya Love but they did OK afterward.

    Part 3 is my favorite, especially in vinyl. Thru probably swing harder than the post 1975 JBs.
     
  7. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Who Do You Love isn't their best, but there are a few good tracks on it. It suffers in comparison to the others. I actually love the LP that followed (Do You Wanna Go Party) and think "Que Pasa?" is a hilariously great, underrated track.

    Sorry..."JBs"?
     
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  8. zebop

    zebop Well Known Stranger

    "Do You Wanna Go Party" is great. The JB's were James Brown's band, great from 1971-1975, so-so to bad by 1976.
     
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  9. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Ok, thanks.

    Part 3 is a great album...my favorite 70s "hit" of theirs is "I'm Your Boogie Man". I just think that one is a masterpiece---it's more complex than some of the other chart-toppers, maybe less danceable, but more interesting imo. It's funny how it's become a Halloween-party standard. I see Halloween decorations every year that play the song when you press a button.

    A big surprise to me were some of the tracks from their 1st album, which didn't yet have that trademark "KC" sound and yet are really great, like "I'm A Pushover" and "You Don't Know".
     
  10. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    There were some posts recently about some of the TK artists that KC and the Sunshine Band wrote and backed up for (like Jimmy "Bo" Horne, etc.), this is an interesting Casey/Finch composition for a group called "Magic City" (a KCSB pseudonym I'm guessing) featuring "Fire" (KCSB's back-up singers):
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  11. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Ok, so FYI...I just listened to S/T and PART 3 from the "Original Album Series" Warner/Rhino CDs (the 5-CD set in the little LP covers), and there ARE some differences between these and the original 1994 Rhino "...and more" discs (aside from the lack of bonus tracks that the '94 CDs had).

    What I've noticed (so far):
    1. The fadeout on "get down tonight" is a bit better (LATER) than on the '94 Rhino, but personally, I don't find the '94 Rhino fadeouts on the S/T to be all that egregious compared to the LP, but others here are more familiar with the LP than I am so I'd appreciate input on that.
    2. The obvious speed issue on "boogie shoes" seems to have been fixed. It clocks in at about 2:15 when I think the '94 Rhino is like 2:08 or something.
    3. "I'm Your Boogie Man" actually FADES out (like the single) before "Keep It Comin' Love" starts (it shouldn't fade, and doesn't on the '94 Rhino).

    So these are indeed different from the '94 Rhinos, if anyone is interested. I don't have any of the Rhino "Collector's Choice" CDs to compare them to, so I don't know if they're the same as those or not. I also have the BBR versions of the 1st 3 albums (I told y'all I went NUTS last month!) and so far I've also noticed that the speed on "boogie shoes" is correct, but the fadeout on "get down tonight" is even WORSE (sooner) than on the '94 Rhino. I'm really curious as to what source tapes they used for those.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  12. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga

    I can't answer any of your questions, but I was there watching and listening as a kid throughout the '70s and they were a wonderful party band with kudos and some sumptuous, rich stuff too, not least of all this, Please Don't Go, which I adore:

     
  13. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Thanks, Willy! :) I love that one, too. They're not known for their ballads, but "All I Want" is a great original ballad, too, as well as their covers of "I Betcha Didn't Know That" and "All Through The Night".
     
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  14. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Just for reference, this is the set I'm talking about:
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Bluesman Mark

    Bluesman Mark But I'm innocent! Swan stole my music & framed me!

    Location:
    Iowa
    The only one of their albums I had was The Sound Of Sunshine, which was just the instrumental tracks of several songs associated with them.

    That way I didn't have to hear KC's "singing" nor his incredibly vapid & inane lyrics & could instead concentrate on the groove. Which the session musicians at TK Records/Studio could do. Mightily in fact.
     
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  16. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    The Sound Of Sunshine is ok as an instrumental album, but their best songs are not on it.

    I don't consider KC to be a great singer or lyricist (he's not the Cole Porter of dance music, that's for sure), but some of his imperfect vocals are quite effective (I really like them on "i'm your boogie man" and "give it up"). I can certainly think of far-worse singers who've made it big! For the most part the lyrics are just kind of throwaway, and don't distract from the songs & arrangements, which was his intention (that, and making sure people knew the name of his songs when they went into a store to buy singles).

    Speaking of KC's lyrics, I remember when Steve Allen used to make fun of modern song lyrics by reading them as poetry. Did he ever do any of KC's songs? That would have been hilarious.:D Kind of reminds me of this clip:
     
  17. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
  18. Linnaeus Nightingale

    Linnaeus Nightingale Forum Resident

    KC and the Sunshine Band were ubiquitous on the radio when I was a young teen. But in my neck of the woods, it wasn't as if adolescents were hanging posters of the band on their walls. No, the band simply owned the radio waves. In retrospect, was that justified? The answer is irrelevant, because it was what it was. This was fun music for a much freer time. The Vietnam war was over, Nixon was gone, and people felt like letting it go for a change. And what better background music could there have been for such a time. Not just fun, but simple fun was the need of the day, and the unadorned music and lyrics of the band were apt. And I'll be darned if their music doesn't sound just as entertaining today, perhaps as an antidote to the current stressful times.

    Threads on this band do not seem to last beyond a few posts or pages, so I am glad to have found this one. In going over all past discussions, there seem to be several open questions regarding releases of their music: what compilations sound best, what album versions are superior, what releases recycle existing masters, and so on. I do not have all the answers, but will jump in with what I've got, adding more as I accrue additional information.

    I guess I will start with this: I find it remarkable just how deferentially KC and the Sunshine Band has been treated with respect to mastering of their material. I currently own two of their compilations the VH1 Behind the Music set from 2001 and the 25th Anniversary Collection from 1999. Below are the DR measures for the VH1 set.

    KC and the Sunshine Band, VH1 Behind the Music: The Best of KC & The Sunshine Band, 2001, Rhino, R2 74289

    DR Peak RMS Filename
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DR13 -0.00 dB -14.91 dB 01 Track01.wav
    DR13 -0.00 dB -14.74 dB 02 Track02.wav
    DR15 -0.00 dB -18.10 dB 03 Track03.wav
    DR12 -0.00 dB -14.25 dB 04 Track04.wav
    DR13 -0.00 dB -14.62 dB 05 Track05.wav
    DR11 -0.00 dB -14.70 dB 06 Track06.wav
    DR14 -0.00 dB -15.93 dB 07 Track07.wav
    DR14 -0.00 dB -16.02 dB 08 Track08.wav
    DR14 -0.00 dB -15.83 dB 09 Track09.wav
    DR16 -1.05 dB -18.53 dB 10 Track10.wav
    DR14 -0.00 dB -15.00 dB 11 Track11.wav
    DR13 -1.05 dB -15.47 dB 12 Track12.wav
    DR13 over -15.72 dB 13 Track13.wav
    DR14 -0.00 dB -16.34 dB 14 Track14.wav
    DR12 -1.26 dB -16.70 dB 15 Track15.wav
    DR14 -0.10 dB -16.23 dB 16 Track16.wav
    DR15 -0.00 dB -16.58 dB 17 Track17.wav
    DR15 -1.00 dB -16.96 dB 18 Track18.wav
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Official DR value: DR14​

    Such cavernous DR values are expected more of a 1980s disc than an early 2000s one, where DRs of 7 or 8 ruled the day. Don't get me wrong, I tend to love more dynamic range, but am intrigued as to why this band's music received such treatment. If any band's output could actually withstand a bit of compression, it would be this one's. Their music is meant to be played partyingly loud. I won't look a gift horse in the mouth, however, and will simply turn up the volume.

    A question I will address in my next post is whether the mastering on the VH1 compilation is identical to that found on the earlier 25th Anniversary Collection as some have suggested. My preliminary findings suggest not, but I have yet to discern which tracks sound best on which compilation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
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  19. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Thank you so much for your post! I really appreciate it. I will look forward to your future posts.

    I don't have the VH1 collection, but I do have the 25th Anniversary set. I've purchased various versions of their albums on CD in the past 6 months as well. Their release of "Who Do Ya Love" (Rhino "collector's choice") is very quiet (I think it's from 2004?). It sounds fine, but I also find that odd for a 2004 CD. I don't own the "collectors choice" versions of their self-titled or "part 3" because I own the Rhino editions from 1994 with the bonus tracks. But, I'm curious as to whether the "collectors choice" versions are identical masters to the '94s, other than the bonus tracks (the "original album series" CDs from 2012 are louder, but I don't know about the dynamic range).
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
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  20. Linnaeus Nightingale

    Linnaeus Nightingale Forum Resident

    The versions of Part 3 and their self-titled albums that I own were put out by Big Break Records in 2012. They sound good to me, but I do intend to address the individual albums, as well, at some point. It is my suspicion that the Collector's Choice versions are simply recycled, but I would surely love to know that as well. If folks could post peak levels for the various albums they own, then we could determine exactly what might be unique.
     
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  21. MielR

    MielR THIS SPACE FOR RENT Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    I've also got the BBR versions of S/T and Part 3 (and Do It Good, which is my favorite of the BBR releases). One odd thing I've noticed it that all CD versions I've heard of "boogie shoes" are either the wrong speed, or they fade out WAY too abruptly at the end (or both). The only version on CD that I've found so far that sounds right to me is on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack CD.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
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  22. Linnaeus Nightingale

    Linnaeus Nightingale Forum Resident

    Boogie Shoes was a great track, which amazingly gained new life with Saturday Night Fever. To me, it did not seem to fit in with the rest of the soundtrack, too funky I guess. This is not a criticism. Boogie Shoes is awesome in its grooving simplicity, and despite its brevity, I never grew tired of it.

    The BBR releases are interesting in that the music on these is compressed relative to other releases I know of. This should not, however, be taken as a criticism in that I haven't yet had time to do any side-by-side comparisons.
     
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  23. Juggsnelson

    Juggsnelson Senior Member

    Location:
    Long Island
    I am currently playing my entire KC 45 collection as part of going through every 45 I own...which is a lot! Spinning these has me wanting to pick up a few albums of theirs...but that would only lead me down the rabbits hole as well!

    Queen of Clubs gets a bit overlooked. Great dance track that is more soul than disco.
     
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  24. Linnaeus Nightingale

    Linnaeus Nightingale Forum Resident

    I am pretty sure I had the Boogie Shoes 45. Boy did that sound great back in the day. I saw it as more of a funk song than a disco standard.
     
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  25. Linnaeus Nightingale

    Linnaeus Nightingale Forum Resident

    I did some legwork and have obtained interesting results related to the VH1 Behind the Music and 25th Anniversary compilations from KC and the Sunshine Band. The most common and seemingly reasonable assumption has been that the VH1 set simply recycled tracks from the 25th Anniversary one, because the latter was issued just two years earlier in 1999. This turns out to be incorrect. In fact, in almost all cases where tracks are shared between the two sets, their dynamic ranges are noticeably broader on the VH1 release. Differences in track length do not serve as a confounding factor, since all tracks have the same, or nearly the same, running time. In fact, any differences are so slight I suspect they are related to dead space between tracks. One might presume then that Bob Fisher remastered the tracks anew.

    However, I decided to check out the 1990 Best of KC and the Sunshine Band, which Fisher also had a hand in producing. As it turns out, the dynamic ranges of the tracks on the VH1 compilation much more closely approximate those on the Best of than on the 25th Anniversary Collection, as do peak levels o_O. In fact, dynamic range data is identical for such tracks as Please Don't Go, Keep It Coming Love, Boogie Shoes, That's The Way I Like It, and Sound Your Funky Horn. Other songs vary, but not by much suggesting there have been minor equalization tweaks. The tracks once again run for similar lengths of time on the VH1 and Best of sets. For these analyses I used data I collected, as well as some from Dynamic Range Database.

    So, it is basically best to consider the VH1 Behind the Music collection to be an update of The Best of, rather than being a cut-down version of the 25th Anniversary Collection :idea:. Given that Fisher did nonetheless tweak at least some tracks for the VH1 set, it would be interesting to see if he improved upon the 1990 release's sound. More work lies ahead.

    Wow! I think I will go so far as to toast myself for this effort. Why I wasn't imbibing while checking all this I cannot be sure :).
    :cheers:

    The set in question:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020

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