By the time LADIES NIGHT was released in 1979, the dirty, earthy funk of songs like "Jungle Boogie" had been almost completely expunged from Kool & the Gang's sound. With new producer Eumir Deodato at the boards, LADIES NIGHT showed the Gang moving toward a slick, lighter pop sound. The formula worked wonders, spawning a runaway R&B chart-topper in the title track. Though steady backbeats and thumping basslines still dominate, the whole thing has been given a slightly jazzy, high-gloss sheen.
In addition to the dance-floor favorite "Ladies Night" (with its singalong chorus), "If You Feel Like Dancing" and "Tonight's the Night" also incite listeners--both lyrically and musically--to get down. Elsewhere, the album is strong on polished, romantic R&B that spotlights the ensemble's soulful vocals. "Got You into My Life" rides a mid-tempo groove in the ballad mode, as does the seductive sway of "Too Hot," featuring intimate, smooth-as-butter singing by lead vocalist James "J.T." Taylor. These songs premiered the sound that would make Kool & the Gang one of the most popular pop acts of the '80s.