1988, 1 track, 3 mins 41 sec
“Celebration” celebrates and era in R&B that is just about having a good time – nothing deep, nothing gratuitous – just fun for the whole family. One of the top party grooves, “Celebration” does skirt the line between coolness and corniness, and the latter descriptor has more to do with all of the silly commercials that have used it for it’s soundtrack. At it’s heart, the track puts a smile on your face, and one can feel comfortable moving to it’s groove regardless of age. This is why it is such a mainstay at barbecues, weddings, and ballgames. It offends no one. “There's a party goin' on right here, a celebration to last throughout the years, so bring your good times, and your laughter too, we gonna celebrate your party with you.” In essence, don’t show up if you have a bad attitude or are too proud to dance with everyone. The track is funky yet simple, set to the key of C. Perhaps that was intentional, regarding ‘c’, as the word celebration is repeated for the majority of the lyrics.
This is definitely packaged as approachable Pop, with the big band sporting inviting smiles and positive attitudes, dancing with their instruments and shouting ‘yah hoo’ in unison. 1980 was the big year for the track, as it peaked at number one for two weeks on the Billboard R&B charts. The rhythm guitar never lets up, and at 123 beats per minute, the percussion doesn’t let up, demanding some dancing involvement. There is a certain euphoria that pours out of this music, making us all want to be part of the atmosphere. The bridge comes just a little after the halfway mark of the song, and the chord change is awesome and unexpected. Lifting us up, lead singer JT Taylor sings “it's time to come together, it's up to you, what's your pleasure, everyone around the world, come on!” When he speaks these words, it really does feel like an international affair, and not surprisingly, “Celebration” was also a phenomenal success around the world, able to speak universally to peoples of many cultures. To this day, it remains a staple at gatherings of all kinds.
Ronald Nathan Bell, Claydes Charles Smith, George Melvin Brown, James "J.T." Taylor, Robert Spike Mickens, Earl Eugene Toon Jr., Dennis Ronald Thomas, Robert Earl Bell, Eumir Deodato, Ronald Nathan Bell, Claydes Charles Smith, George Melvin Brown, James "J.T." Taylor, Robert Spike Mickens, Earl Eugene Toon Jr., Dennis Ronald Thomas, Robert Earl Bell, Eumir Deodato, Donna Johnson, Claydes Charles Smith, Earl Eugene Toon Jr., James "J.T." Taylor, Ronald Nathan Bell, George Melvin Brown, Dennis Ronald Thomas, Eumir Deodato, Robert Spike Mickens, Robert Earl Bell
"Celebration" is a song released in 1980 by Kool & the Gang from their album Celebrate!.