Apr 1, 2017

RhoDeo 1713 Grooves


Today an American female vocal group, who were originally formed in 1963 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although a total of 15 women have been a member over the years, the group has always been a trio. The current line-up consists of Valerie Holiday, Helen Scott and Freddie Pool. Holiday has been a member since she first joined in 1967, while Scott has been a permanent member since 1976, having previously been in the group from 1963 to 1966. The group were particularly successful in the UK, achieving 13 Top 50 hit singles between 1974 and 1985..  ..... N'joy

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

 Philly soul vocal group the Three Degrees started in 1963 in Philadelphia, PA. They were discovered by producer and songwriter Richard Barrett. Barrett was a key force for 1950s groups the Chantels, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, and his own group the Valentines. The original lineup was Fayette Pickney, Shirley Porter, and Linda Turner. Barrett recorded this lineup on their first single, "Gee Baby (I'm Sorry)." In 1963, Linda Turner and Shirley Porter left the group and were replaced by Helen Scott and Janet Jones. Around this time, Barrett began managing and producing Sheila Ferguson who was a high school friend of Scott. Barrett got deals for both the group and Ferguson with Swan Records. By 1966, Helen decided to leave the group and become a housewife. Sheila Ferguson took her place. She sang backup on all the Three Degrees' Swan recordings, as did the Three Degrees for her solo singles. In 1967, Valerie Holiday joined the group, while Janet Jones departed. Over the next four years, both the Three Degrees and Ferguson released many singles.

In 1970, now signed to Roulette Records, the Three Degrees scored their first national chart hit with a remake of the Chantels' "Maybe". It went to number four R&B in summer 1970. The follow-up, "I Do Take You," peaked at number seven R&B. Barrett got the group short-term deals with Warner Bros., Metromedia, and Gamble & Huff's Neptune Label. The group had a cameo in the classic 1971 movie The French Connection starring Gene Hackman and toured with Engelbert Humperdink. In 1973, Barrett worked a deal with Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records (PIR). The Three Degrees' first PIR single was "Dirty Ol' Man," a disco hit. A short time later, Don Cornelius, producer and host of TV's Soul Train, approached Gamble & Huff about coming up with a new theme song for his hit syndicated show. The Three Degrees were asked to do vocals at the end of the show's new theme track. After some airings, public demand forced the TV show's theme to be released as a single. "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)" by MFSB featuring the Three Degrees went gold hitting number one R&B and holding the number one pop for two weeks during spring 1974. Meanwhile, a previously released Three Degrees single, "Year of Decision," stalled at number 74 R&B. Another MFSB/Three Degrees single, "Love Is the Message," peaked at number 42 R&B in the summer of that year. In the summer of 1974, PIR released another single on the group, "When Will I See You Again." The single went platinum, selling over two million copies, going to number four R&B and number two pop around September 1974. Their PIR debut album, The Three Degrees, was released at the end of 1974. The follow-up, "I Didn't Know," written and produced by Bunny Sigler, went to number 18 R&B in early 1975. The group performed the song on a guest appearance on the hit NBC show Sanford and Son. Their only other charting PIR single was "Take Good Care of Yourself" (number 64 R&B in summer 1975).

Around 1976, Pickney left the group and was replaced by returning member Helen Scott. CBS released their album Standing up for Love in the U.S. in 1977. In 1978, the Three Degrees were signed to European label Ariola Records. The group recorded three LPs for the label. Longtime favorites in the U.K., the group performed at Buckingham Palace for Prince Charles' 30th birthday party and they were guests at his wedding to Princess Diana. During the first half of the '80s, the Three Degrees released U.K.-issued albums, Album of Love and Live in the UK and singles, "Liar" and "A Sonnet to Love." Stock/Aitken/Waterman produced a 1985 U.K. chart hit, "The Heaven I Need," on the group for Supreme Records. In 1986, Sheila decided to leave the group and after a short period of regrouping, Valerie and Helen brought in Cynthia Garrison and set about their business again. The act recorded another live CD with Billy Paul and Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes during a TSOP tour in the summer of 1989. Scott, Holiday, and new member Cynthia Garrison recorded three albums in the 1990s.

Ever since, they have been constantly touring all over the world, occasionally recording but always working. Their hard work in the early years has held them in good stead for today’s more demanding audiences. “For us, it is still exciting and we still enjoy our work,” Valerie points out. “We are blessed with a wide age group appeal….from fifteen to sixty-five. This is why we have survived, I think. We learned and were taught how to entertain and even before we had hit records, we knew how to do our job — our choreography, our costumes, the lights…these were all things that we learned at an early age.” “I think we have done many firsts in our career.” Helen adds. “We have opened a lot of doors for other entertainers. In some cases, we may not have always succeeded but we have never given up. It still amazes me when we see teenagers singing along with our songs. And yet we still have the fans who have grown with us.”

At the end of 2010 and after more than 20 years as a Degree, Cynthia was forced to retire from the group due to medical reasons. It brought to an end the most stable period in the trio’s long history. Her place has been taken by Freddie Pool, a hugely talented and experienced vocalist who has enjoyed past success both as a solo artiste and as a member of other groups. Vocally, she is the perfect blend for both Valerie and Helen and continues the rich tradition that the Three Degrees has always represented. So it is that after more than four decades of existence, the Three Degrees can still make the claim as being the longest running female vocal group in history….see the Guinness Book of Records for confirmation of this fact! And they show no signs of slowing down!

Fayette Pinkney, an original member of the Three Degrees who lent her strong, soulful voice to the 1970s hits “When Will I See You Again?” and “T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia),” the theme song of the television show “Soul Train,” died  in Lansdale, Pa. July 2009, she was 61.

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

In 1976, the Three Degrees parted company with Gamble and Huff and moved to CBS Sony/Epic Records where they released the concept album, A Toast Of Love (which was recorded in Japan), purely for the Far East market, although a single of the title track was released internationally.

I come to you
With offerings of love
I lift my heart to you
Let me lead then you'll uncover
All the wondrous worldly charms that goes so long
When undiscovered
In you and me (you and me)
Won't you let me
Set your soul free

I drink a smooth, sweet
Toast of love to you (toast of love to you)
From my heart I give it so gladly
Take me
Touch me
Let your soul run free
This is my toast of love to you

So many times
I dreamed that it would be like this
With no walls to find you
Then makes the power of suggestion
With all the passion and expression
That my eyes feel free to give
Then lay with me (lay with me)
Won't you let me
Set (set your soul free) your soul free

I drink a smooth, sweet
Toast of love to you (toast of love to you)
From my heart I give it so gladly
Take me
Please touch me
Let your soul run free
This is my toast of love to you
A toast of love to you

I drink a smooth, sweet
Toast of love to you (a toast of love to you)
From my heart I give it so gladly
(take me) Take me
(touch me) Touch me
Let your soul run free
This is my toast of love to you

Three Degrees - A Toast Of Love    (flac  323mb)

01 Toast Of Love 4:21
02 Japanese Cycle 1999 4:47
03 I Wanna Say La 3:49
04 From Souvenirs To Souvenirs 4:13
05 The Promise 2:45
06 Do It (Use Your Mind) 3:25
07 Ipi-N-Tombia 4:11
08 Gee Baby (I'm Sorry) 4:11
09 Stop In Nevada 5:13
10 Truth 7:52

Three Degrees - A Toast Of Love  (ogg   118mb)

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

This album with it's eclectic selection of 12 songs (9 plus 3 bonus tracks) was issued in 1977 under the CBS/Epic label and was a transitional point in the group's 14 year career. Members Sheila Ferguson, Valerie Holiday and Helen Scott's tight harmonies and great song styling brought something special to each song. The album starts strong with the upbeat and uplifting "Standing Up For Love" which can best be described as a mixture of R&B/Pop/ and a touch of disco, and followed by Sheila Ferguson's powerful vocals on "What I Did For Love" from Broadway's A Chorus Line, which was a box office smash at the time. "Just Leave Me Alone" is a great heartfelt ballard sung by powerhouse Sheila Ferguson, with great smooth, soothing harmonies by Valerie and Helen, and is one of my favorites. "Macaroni Man" although not one of my favorites, can be best described as a funky hip tune that was the "sound" at the time, and with Valerie Holiday singing the lead it comes together. The group first released "Gee baby I'm Sorry" in 1965 under Swan Records and it reached #80 on the US single charts, however this version has a slower tempo with a great string arrangement and lots of passion. It should also be mentioned that an un-creditred Fayette Pinkney shares lead vocals with Sheila Ferguson. "People With Feeling" with Valerie on lead vocals is a mid tempo feel good type of song that just makes you smile. I think the harmony on "In Love We Grow" is fantastic and shows what made the sound of The Three Degrees so unique. This song should have made some noise on the charts but maybe it wasn't given a chance. Sheila's cover of Boz Scaggs "We're All Alone" is soulfully marvelous!! There is a 2.29 minute reprise of "Standing Up For Love", which was what many albums did back in the 70's, takes you back to where it all began.

Three Degrees - Standing Up For Love   (flac  308mb)

01 Standing Up For Love 5:25
02 What I Did For Love (From The Musical "A Chorus Line") 3:41
03 Just Leave Me Alone 5:41
04 Macaroni Man 3:42
05 Gee Baby (I'm Sorry) 2:54
06 People With Feeling 4:13
07 In Love We Grow 3:57
08 We're All Alone 3:41
09 Standing Up For Love (Reprise) 2:29
10 Toast Of Love (Single Version) 3:57
11 Do It (Use Your Mind) (Single) 3:38
12 Standing Up For Love (Single) 3:45

. Three Degrees - Standing Up For Love  (ogg   113mb)

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

Unquestionably, the Three Degrees enjoyed their finest moment when paired with Philly International masterminds Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Unquestionably, too, their union with Eurodisco guru Giorgio Moroder was less an artistic decision than a commercial one -- Moroder, after all, had the hottest sound around. And the Three Degrees hadn't been the same since Prince Charles called them his favorite group. So, the hip meets the hapless -- and stranger things had succeeded in the past. This album is pure music magic. Superb dance tracks and ballads from beginning to end.  The combination of Moroder and The Three Degrees on this this album is heavenly. The biggest hits were The Runner and Giving Up, Giving In But my most favorite is the lush dance track Falling In Love Again. It is so romantic with glorious vocals and a dance beat that makes you feel as if you are floating on air. The original album portion ends with beautiful ballads Woman In Love and Magic In The Air. Big Break Records outdoes themselves with bonus tracks here We get single versions of many of the songs as well as the 12" version of The Runner. Amazing. Also added is the nonalbum track The Golden Lady. What a treat - it is an amazing track. From beginning to end you'll find no flaw with this superb feel good cd. There was some amazing music in the 70s and Big Break Records is bringing it all back.

The Three Degrees - New Dimensions    (flac  473mb)

01 Giving Up, Giving In 6:07
02 Falling In Love Again 5:33
03 Looking For Love 5:28
04 The Runner 6:20
05 Woman In Love 5:18
06 Magic In The Air 5:46
07 Giving Up, Giving In (Single Version) 3:56
08 Woman In Love (Single Version) 4:13
09 The Runner (Single Version) 3:46
10 Falling In Love Again (Single Version) 3:58
11 Out Of Love Again 3:59
12 The Golden Lady 4:15
13 The Runner (12" Extra Long Version) 8:15

The Three Degrees - New Dimensions  (ogg     170mb)

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

. "3D" is an amazing disco album produced by Giorgio Moroder and Harold Faltermeyer. The sound quality of the reissue is perfect. Music magic. 3D is a tour de force for the talented ladies. The album opens with the amazing dance track Jump The Gun and then moves onto the spellbinding Red Light. Starlight is an excellent smooth groove soul dance track that slows things down a little as the set moves into the ballads My Simple Heart and Without You. The set then closes with the standout Bodycheck. Uptempo dance tracks are the name of the game here and the set flows effortlessly from beginning to end. And the ballads also have a purpose and fit in perfectly. Big Break Records does their magic here and provides gorgeous remastering and extensive liner notes. But the true gift is the amazing 9 bonus tracks. There is the added track Hot Summer Night  and then single versions and 12" versions of most of the albums tracks. The Three Degrees in their prime.

The Three Degrees - Three D  (flac 544mb)

01 Jump The Gun 6:04
02 Red Light 5:42
03 Set Me Free 4:34
04 Starlight 4:43
05 My Simple Heart 4:28
06 Without You 4:04
07 Bodycheck 3:35
08 Hot Summer Night (Single B-Side) 4:42
09 Jump The Gun (Single Version) 3:56
10 My Simple Heart (Single Version) 3:42
11 Without You (Single Version) 3:33
12 Starlight (Single Version) 3:24
13 Jump The Gun (12" Long Version) 8:05
14 My Simple Heart (12" Long Version) 5:12
15 Bodycheck (12" Long Version) 4:03
16 Set Me Free (12" Long Version) 7:19

The Three Degrees - Three D (ogg  198mb)

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

No comments: