“Fresh”, Kool & the Gang

Kool & the Gang Fresh

This song will always remind me of my cousins in Michigan.  These are the same cousins who had Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” on 45 (read my blog about it here), so they will always be connected to each other.

It was the 80s, and we all wore T-shirts with random words on them.  Angie had a huge white shirt that said KISS OFF in black capital letters that she used to sleep in when we’d visit our grandparents in Cincinnati.  She also had one that said FRESH on it.  Her sister Tonya said it stood for “fresh boobs.”  I used to carry a tape recorder with me whenever we were all together, so I have it on tape that she said it!  I thought it was hilarious.

Angie's famous FRESH T-shirt!

Angie’s famous FRESH T-shirt!

I thought this song was very sophisticated.  It made me feel as grown up as a 6th grader could feel.  I always wanted to be older and sexier, and this song did that for me.  Oh, how I longed to be fresh and lovely like a dream come true!


The video is very, very 80s.  It’s sort of a weird Cinderella tale, and it has that hazy look to it that so many early videos used.  It gives the video a sort of dreamy quality—and by dreamy I mean cheesy!  But it’s fabulous. 

It’s Jheri curl city for Kool & the Gang!  There are millions of sequins reflecting the lights as the band gets all up in their Temptations-style choreography.  And there are drag queens.  (I’m pretty sure they’re not women!)  And whips and chains.  And it’s quite an epic love story, as Kool ends up with the girl of his dreams to the applause of the Gang. 


Yes, Kool & the Gang were pretty big in 1985, and they could do no wrong!  I loved “Misled” and “Cherish” from the same album.  Not sure why I didn’t buy it, but I probably checked it out of the library and taped it.  That was the old school way of illegally downloading music.


Listening to “Fresh” and watching the video for the first time in several decades made me smile and brought back some funny memories.  I really did love 6th grade!  The 1984-1985 school year was filled with lots of great music and ridiculous fashion.  I’m glad I was there to enjoy it, but I do not want to wear leggings and rubber bracelets again!

At a church banquet in the mid-80s, if you couldn't tell!

At a church banquet in the mid-80s, if you couldn’t tell!

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