KC Takes a Solo Flight

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
KC Takes a Solo Flight

Anyone who lived through the 1970s and the disco era knows KC and the Sunshine Band and at least a couple of their songs. Oh, don’t give us that look, trying to pretend you’re too cool to have ever listened to disco: when a band has five number-one hits to their name – “Get Down Tonight,” “That’s the Way (I Like It),” “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty,” “I’m Your Boogie Man,” and “Please Don’t Go,” in case you’ve forgotten them – there’s no way even their detractors can avoid hearing their music, and like it or not, the songs are so catchy that the hooks stick with you long after they’ve left the charts.

All good things must come to an end, however, and for the Sunshine Band, the platinum-selling years came to an abrupt halt with the release of 1981’s Space Cadet: Solo Flight, the first full-length effort credited solely to KC: not only did the album itself fail to chart, but all three of the album’s singles – “Make Me a Star,” “Space Cadet,” and “Red Light” – suffered the same fate.

As of today, Space Cadet: Solo Flight makes its debut in Rhino’s digital catalog, so you can give it a listen for yourself and figure out if it’s a lost classic or not. Either way, though, you can’t say that Harry Casey – the man who puts the “KC” in “KC and the Sunshine Band,” as you may have guessed – didn’t take a shot at stepping outside the box a bit. The problem, as Casey groused in a February 2014 interview with Des Moines’ Cityview website, was that “every time I changed, I was told, ‘That doesn’t sound like KC and the Sunshine band.’”

But is that a good thing or a bad thing? You’ll have to decide that for yourself.