On this day in music history: November 21, 198…

On this day in music history: November 21, 1981 – “Take My Heart (You Can Have It If You Want You It)” by Kool & The Gang hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #17 on the Hot 100 on December 26, 1981. Written by Claydes Charles Smith, James “J.T.” Taylor, George Brown, Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell and Eumir Deodato, it is the sixth chart topping single for the R&B band from Jersey City, NJ.  Kool & The Gang begin work on their third album with Brazilian born producer, musician and arranger Eumir Deodato (“Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)”, “Whistle Bump”) in the Spring of 1981, continuing their hot streak that began when Deodato produces their album “Ladies Night” in 1979. The idea for what becomes “Take My Heart”, originates with guitarist Claydes Smith when he begins playing the signature guitar line as the band is jamming in the studio. The band’s drummer George Brown is also instrumental in setting the distinctive swaggering rhythm of the song, influenced by Motown icon Marvin Gaye, who is name checked by lead singer James “J.T.” Taylor when he says “like Marvin, huh…” toward the end. Issued as the first single from their thirteenth studio album “Something Special” in September of 1981, it quickly becomes a big hit on R&B radio, crossing over to the pop chart. The success of “Take My Heart” and the follow up singles “Steppin’ Out” (#12 R&B, #89 Pop) and “Get Down On It” (#4 R&B, #10 Pop) makes “Something Special” (#1 R&B, #12 Pop) Kool & The Gang’s third Platinum selling album in a row.